ASSEN, Netherlands – Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes led the way during the first day of World Superbike qualifying at TT Circuit Assen.
Sykes topped the time sheets courtesy of a 1:57.190 lap-time, 1.634 seconds faster than current championship leader Sylvain Guintoli of Aprilia Racing Team, who scored his maiden World Superbike victory on the wet at Assen last year.
The two riders finished same way in the morning’s free practice, dominating the field on day one at the TT Circuit Assen.
Eugene Laverty ended QP1 in third position, showing renewed confidence after the unfortunate race day at Aragon. The Toomebridge-born rider finished ahead of Marco Melandri, who proved to be more at ease on the wet than his team mate and double-race winner at Aragon Chaz Davies, 14th at the checkered flag.
After a small crash in the morning’s free practice at turn five, Davide Giugliano was fifth followed by Ayrton Badovini – who lost control of his 1199 Panigale at turn 16 with three minutes to go.
There was bad news for Pata Honda Team following Leon Haslam’s free practice crash at turn seven. Haslam was taken to hospital in Assen where X-rays confirmed fractures to both his tibia and fibula in his lower left leg. The 29-year-old British rider is being transferred to hospital in Groningen where a specialist will operate later today to pin Leon’s leg.