to view full WSBK FP1 results
Aprilia has emerged fastest from the opening World Superbike free practice session to be held at Sepang, with Marco Melandri leading an all-RSV4 top three after FP1.
An extended practice session to allow the WSBK riders to become acquainted with the Malaysian circuit, which is hosting WSBK for the first time this weekend, it was Toni Elias and Tom Sykes that shared the top spot for much of the 75min session.
However, a flurry of fast laps in the closing stages would see all three Aprilias come to the fore, with Melandri setting a best time of 2mins 05.167s, ahead of RSV4 counterparts Elias – on the privateer Red Devils machine – and Sylvain Guintoli.
Indeed, though it is perhaps no coincidence that all three riders have prior experience of Sepang to call on from their GP days, it is also a circuit that is expected to play to the top speed strengths of the RSV4. With this mind, all three riders were able to breach 300km/h in the session, with only Sykes in fourth able to join them in that bracket.
Despite losing time in a straight line, it was a strong start to the weekend for Ducati with Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies in fifth and sixth, while Jonathan Rea brushed off a fall at turn seven late on in the session to turn in the seventh best lap.
Loris Baz ended his FP1 session in eighth place, ahead of Suzuki duo Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty, the latter also suffering a tumble as he gets to grips with his GSX-R1000 following a week testing MotoGP machinery.
In the EVO class it was Alessandro Andreozzi who was the surprise pace setter on the Pedercini Kawasaki in 12th place overall, just ahead of Ayrton Badovini and Leon Camier.