Assen WSBK: Sykes fastest on Friday, Bautista sixth

BMW rider Tom Sykes set the pace on Friday practice for this weekend's Assen World Superbike round, heading up a top five split by only 0.031 seconds.

Assen WSBK: Sykes fastest on Friday, Bautista sixth

Sykes beat former Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea by three thousandths of a second with a time of 1m35.414s, which he set after the chequered flag fell in the afternoon session.

Rea was the pace-setter for most of Friday as he led from his first representative lap until the finish in FP1, and was trading the lead with teammate Leon Haslam in FP2.

Haslam ended up just 0.01s slower than Rea in third as the second BMW of Markus Reiterberger and local hero Michael Van der Mark (Yamaha) ended up a close fourth and fifth respectively.

Points leader Alvaro Bautista, whose Ducati has had its rev limit cut by 250rpm for this weekend following the Spaniard's dominant start to the year, was sixth-fastest, but was only 0.133s off the pace.

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Puccetti Kawasaki's Toprak Razgatlioglu was narrowly beaten by Bautista in seventh, followed by Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha).

The top 10 was completed by Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Yamaha), the latter having a crash at Turn 9 in FP1.

Honda, which has only had one top 10 finish in the first three rounds of the season, had its rev limit increased by 500rpm, but that didn't yield any significant improvement as Leon Camier was a lowly 13th.

Hector Barbera, standing in for the injured Leandro Mercado at Orelac Kawasaki after his Supersport bike was stolen last week, kicked off his WSBK career in 16th place.

Combined practice times

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes  BMW 18 1'35.414  
2 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 20 1'35.417 0.003
3 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam  Kawasaki 21 1'35.427 0.013
4 28 Germany Markus Reiterberger  BMW 19 1'35.442 0.028
5 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 20 1'35.445 0.031
6 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 16 1'35.547 0.133
7 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 19 1'35.554 0.140
8 11 Germany Sandro Cortese  Yamaha 16 1'35.703 0.289
9 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 16 1'35.813 0.399
10 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 19 1'36.183 0.769
11 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty  Ducati 20 1'36.197 0.783
12 81 Spain Jordi Torres  Kawasaki 23 1'36.235 0.821
13 2 United Kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 19 1'36.457 1.043
14 33 Italy Marco Melandri  Yamaha 17 1'36.765 1.351
15 23 Japan Ryuichi Kiyonari  Honda 21 1'37.262 1.848
16 80 Spain Hector Barbera  Kawasaki 21 1'37.395 1.981
17 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi  Ducati 19 1'37.405 1.991
18 52 Italy Alessandro Delbianco  Honda 18 1'37.901 2.487
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