PORTIMAO, Portugal – Jonathan Rea stood tall on the opening day of World Superbike practice Friday at Algarve Int’l Circuit.
The Northern Irishman put down the fastest lap of the afternoon at 1:41.931, but he was shadowed by his closest rival in the race for the championship. Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista ended the day second fastest, .078 seconds behind Rea’s Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes was third fastest for Pata Yamaha, .120 seconds behind the pace set by Rea. Toprak Razgatlioglu put in a solid lap to go fourth fastest for Turkish Puccetti Racing, with the second Pata Yamaha with Michael van der Mark fifth fastest.
There were two crashes in the first practice, with Jordi Torres crashing early in turn three and Tom Sykes crashing later in turn 14. Both riders escaped injury.