SBK: Misano Friday roundup – World Superbike & World Supersport
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) will head into FP3 at Misano tomorrow as the fastest rider on combined times following today’s two 45-minute Free Practice sessions after responding to the improving Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) who took the challenge to his compatriot before being displaced, finishing second. The younger of the two Roman riders, who was limping following his spectacular highside in morning practice, had another crash in the second session as he lost the rear of his Panigale R machine at Turn 8.
With the top-12 riders covered by less than a second, the battle to make it directly into Superpole 2 was intense as minute by minute the positions of the leading riders changed.
At the end of an enthralling, 45-minute second free practice session, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) completed a top-4 featuring only Italian bikes.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and team mate Tom Sykes were fifth and sixth respectively ahead of Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), who both looked very fast and confident in sector one of the newly resurfaced Misano World Circuit.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was ninth ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), wildcard Markus Reiterberger (Van Zon Rehema BMW), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were 11th to 15th respectively.
This afternoon’s session was red flagged owing to a Christophe Ponsson crash; the Pedercini Kawasaki rider’s condition will be reviewed before the start of FP3.
After two closely-contested Free Practice sessions at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’, PJ Jacobsen (CORE” Motorsport Thailand Honda) ended the World Supersport opening day as the joint fastest rider on track on combined times. The American, together with French rider Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) posted identical 1.38.569s laps, close to the outright circuit best set by Michele Pirro in 2010. Jacobsen was credited with the top spot, as his second fastest lap-time was quicker than the one set by Cluzel.
Behind the aforementioned duo, current points leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was only 0.081s behind to end the closest opening day of World Supersport action so far this season in third overall.
Kyle Smith crashed unhurt from his PATA Honda to end the day fourth ahead of Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Lorenzo Zanetti on the second factory MV Agusta in sixth. The Italian rider suffered a technical problem in the final minutes of the second session.
Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki), Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta), Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha) completed the top ten, in which five of the riders were Italian.
Free Practice 3 takes place tomorrow morning at 10:45 local time, with the World Supersport sole qualifying session scheduled to start at 15:55.