WSBK Aragon 2013: Melandri, Davies lead way for BMW in FP1

Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies set the pace during first free practice at Motorland Aragon, ahead of Tom Sykes, Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier.
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Late flyers from Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies put BMW GoldBet Motorrad in charge after first free practice for the second round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship at Motorland Aragon.

The pair were in fine form on their final laps to demote Tom Sykes from the top spot at the chequered flag, with Melandri coming out on top with an impressive 1min 58.510secs, half a second faster than his Welsh team-mate.

Showing few ill-effects of the shoulder injury that has hampered him between events, Melandri set the initial pace before Sykes, who tested at Aragon last week, went ahead with 20 minutes of the session remaining.

However, just as it seemed the Kawasaki rider had the top spot sewn up, Davies and then Melandri would slip beneath his time to create a BMW 1-2.

Behind Sykes, series leader Eugene Laverty was immediately up to speed on the factory Aprilia, albeit more than a second behind Melandri, while Leon Camier rounded out the top five on his Fixi-supported Suzuki.

Having hinted at a breakthrough with the troublesome electronics package on the Pata Honda during a secondary test at Alcarras this week, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam will be pleased to be in the upper half of the order in sixth and seventh, ahead of Loris Baz, Sylvain Guintoli and local hero Carlos Checa.

Elsewhere, Phillip Island podium winner Michel Fabrizio was 11th quickest on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, with Jules Cluzel, Davide Giugliano, the returning Ayrton Badovini and Alexander Lundh making up the rest of the top fifteen.

Meanwhile, Effenbert Liberty Racing made their public return to WSBK action with Mark Aitchison on the Ducati 1098R. The Australian managed 14 laps, but was only 19th fastest of 20 riders and almost eight seconds off the ultimate pace.

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