WSBK Aragon, Spain: Sykes blasts clear despite Davies form

Tom Sykes has taken top spot from Chaz Davies in Friday free practice at Aragon after pulling out a third of a second despite the Welshman's impressive pace.
Click here for full WSBK FP2 results from Aragon

Tom Sykes has taken top spot from Chaz Davies in Friday free practice at Aragon after pulling out a third of a second but the Racing Ducati produced some ominous consistency with his pace.

Having fought off his Kawasaki team-mate Rea for victory in race two in Thailand last time out, Sykes returned to the front with a blistering 1m 50.712s to clear the chasing pack by a considerable margin, with Davies over a third back in second and Michael van der Mark almost double that margin in third.

Despite being knocked back into second, Davies caught the eye with a string of consistent 1m 51s laps during the middle third of the session to demonstrate a strong race pace.

A late cluster of fast laps saw the top ten shake up considerably as riders vied for a direct place in Superpole two for qualifying, with the biggest casualty being Sylvain Guintoli who failed to dial in a hot lap as the chequered flag fell.

Late blasts from Davide Giugliano and IodaRacing Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori completed the top five places which pushed reigning champion Jonathan Rea into sixth.

Honda's Nicky Hayden struggled to run with the pace increase but held his nerve for seventh on the timesheet as Leon Camier, Xavi Fores and Alex Lowes completed the top ten.

After a relatively slow start to the afternoon session van der Mark was the first rider to better Davies' top FP1 time, chipping off a tenth of a second, before Markus Reiterberger surprised the paddock by briefly holding top spot with a 1m 51.735s on just competitive debut at Aragon.

The German's joy was short-lived as Davies blasted clear by over 0.6s to reclaim the fastest time to leave the rest of the WSBK field trailing. The Welsh rider enjoyed a consistent stint of low 1m 51s laps and with conditions likely to be similar for this weekend's races he demonstrated what pace the Ducati Panigale R could potentially produce.

As the session ticked down into the final ten minutes attention shifted to those inside the top ten, which guarantees a place in SP2, with a series of late improves to shake up the timesheet seeing the likes of Hayden, Guintoli, Lowes and Giugliano all needing final lap flyers to make into the top ten.

Sykes duly made his late blast up the timesheet to take top spot but it was the 2014 World Superbike champion who missed the jump, ending the session 14th overall behind Alex de Angelis, Jordi Torres and Reiterberger, with VFT Ducati stand-in Matteo Baiocco completing the top 15.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, Thai WSBK, 2016
Sykes, Aragon WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Hayden,Thai WSBK 2017
Davies,Thai WSBK 2017
De Angelis,Thai WSBK 2017
Hayden, Thai WSBK 2017
Rea, WSS race, Thai WSBK 2017
Rea, WSS race, Thai WSBK 2017
Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
vd Mark, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Hayden bike, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Alex lowes and vd Mark, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Hayden, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Hayden, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes and vd Mark, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017

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