Melandri takes over from Rea at Monza

GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri powers to head of time sheets in dry at Monza, demotes wet pacesetter Jonathan Rea to second on Pata Honda
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GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri replaced Jonathan Rea at the top of the timing charts during the first qualifying session for the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza in Italy.

Pata Honda rider Rea had led the way on his CBR1000RR Fireblade in the wet in FP1 on Friday morning, but it was Italian star Melandri who had the edge in speed when the circuit dried out.

Championship leader and Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli held the top spot for much of the session until he was knocked from his perch by Melandri in the closing stages, whose fastest lap of 1m 42.883s put him 0.274s ahead of Ulsterman Rea, who also nudged ahead of the Frenchman.

Guintoli's time of 1m 43.510s on the RSV4 was 0.6s down on Melandri and just 0.011s ahead of Kawasaki's Tom Sykes on the ZX-10R in fourth position.

While Melandri toasted a successful conclusion to the day, there was disappointment for his team-mate and Aragon double winner Chaz Davies, who crashed out with around half-an-hour of the session remaining.

Davies had been as high as second on his BMW at the beginning of Q1 but was unable to rejoin the action and slumped to 13th place overall.

Behind Sykes, Davide Giugliano on the factory Althea Aprilia and Michel Fabrizio on the factory Red Devils Roma RSV4 were fifth and sixth respectively, with the pair finishing ahead of Eugene Laverty on the official Aprilia RSV4 machine.

Northern Irishman Laverty's time of 1m 43.956s left him over one second behind Melandri.

Loris Baz was eighth on the second factory Kawasaki ahead of Leon Camier, who is battling injury.

The Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider finished ahead of team-mate Jules Cluzel in tenth by 0.360s.

Carlos Checa was 11th on the Alstare Ducati Panigale 1199R.

Kosuke Akiyoshi, fourth fastest in the wet morning session, dropped to 17th on the second Pata Honda as he stands in for the injured Leon Haslam this weekend.

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