PORTIMAO, Portugal – Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Motorsport proved the fastest rider on day one at Portimao, with a 1:43.196 second lap taking him ahead of Eugene Laverty of Aprilia Racing.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was third, and completing a sequence of different machines in the top four places, Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was fourth.
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) posted a time to get him into the top five, while Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) continued his run of good form in sixth place.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was seventh and 2011 World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) eighth in a field of 23 riders. Checa was 0.803 seconds from Melandri’s best time.
Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) scored ninth on the provisional grid, while Nürburgring race winner Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia) secured tenth place. Fabrizio’s team-mate Ayrton Badovini was 11th and Ducati privateer Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing) completed the top 12 places. Gorgeous sunshine bathed the first day qualifying sessions, with temperatures almost reaching 30 degrees.