MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy – Jonathan Rea was back in familiar territory on the first day of World Superbike practice at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the top of the timesheet.
The Northern Irishman topped practice with a 1:34.901 during the afternoon practice, which was just barely ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, who was just .003 of a second slower. Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider Marco Melandri was third fastest.
Rea recovered from some technical problems earlier in the day to lap faster than his rivals as World Superbike begins the seventh weekend of racing this year.
Sykes was the quickest rider in the first practice, followed by Rea and Melandri, but the Yorkshireman ended day with an uncharacteristic crash at the end of the second practice.
Melandri finished his day a quarter of a second behind pace setter Rea and just under a tenth of a second ahead of Friday’s fourth best rider – his teammate Chaz Davies.
Leon Camier made it four Britons in the top five, with Spaniards Jordi Torres and Xavi Fores in sixth and seventh, respectively. Michael van der Mark, Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes completed the top-10. Lowes overcame a pair of crashes in the first practice to break into the top-10.