Phillip Island: Rea rises to the top in crash-strewn session

Jonathan Rea posts a near-identical time to his Monday personal best in a session that was stopped three times thanks to substantial crashes at the World Superbike test at Phillip Island.
CLICK HERE for Tuesday's WSBK testing results [AM] from Phillip Island.

A day after experimenting and perfecting the set-up of his Kawasaki ZX-10R, Jonathan Rea topped Tuesday morning's test session in Australia, as several riders suffered substantial falls.

The red flag was displayed on three occasions as Phillip Island's positive camber curves caught out several riders, including the Althea BMWs of Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger and VFT Ducati's Fabio Menghi.

One-time World Superbike winner Torres fell at turn two and subsequently injured his left elbow, which may require further treatment in Melbourne. It was then left to the fearsome turns eleven and twelve to claim Reiterberger and Menghi respectively, with both men needing assistance in the medical centre.

The crashes detracted from a session that saw the Kawasaki hegemony of Rea and Tom Sykes split for the first time at this test. Davide Giugliano's fastest lap was good enough for second with Michael van der Mark confirming his pace on Monday morning by placing third.

It was the second half of the session in which Rea posted a race simulation with enviable consistency and speed. The Northern Irishman set 20 consecutive laps with ten of those high 1m 31s/low 32s and the others between 1m 32.3 and 1m 32.5s.

Giugliano insisted on Monday that he had been working with his crew to cure the end-of-race issues that have hampered his quest for a maiden win in the class. The Italian's speed over five lap bursts wasn't in question with his final time of 1m 31.400s 0.15s off Rea's best.

Sylvain Guintoli ensured four different manufacturers occupied the top four positions, as the Frenchman ended the session a quarter of a session slower than Rea.

A positive morning for the Ten Kate Honda squad, Nicky Hayden was fifth with Sykes, fastest on Monday, sixth, 0.6s slower than his team-mate. Chaz Davies wasn't showing many ill-effects of his crash at turn twelve on Monday, coming home seventh, narrowly ahead of Crescent Yamaha's Alex Lowes.

So impressive throughout the offseason, Barni Racing's Xavi Fores was ninth after posting just two flying laps. The Spaniard endured a frightening moment at turn one when he ran off track but managed not to fall.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rea, Australian WSBK 2016
Exhaust on Alex Lowes Yamaha, Australian WSBK, 2017
Exhaust on Alex Lowes Yamaha, Australian WSBK, 2017
Exhaust on Brad`s Honda, Australian WSBK, 2017
Exhaust on Hayden`s Honda, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Davoes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Davies, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Alex Lowes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Sykes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Sykes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Sykes, Davies. Lowes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Alex Lowes, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea, Davies, Melandri, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea leads, Race1, Australian WSBK, 2017
Alex Lowes, Australian WSBK, 2017
Rea`s exhaust, Australian WSBK, 2017

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