Brno WSBK: Rea tops twice red-flagged Friday running
Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea topped two of the three World Superbike practice sessions at Brno, as Friday's running was twice red-flagged due to incidents at Turn 5.
Yonny Hernandez had a crash in FP2 and, with the former MotoGP rider's Pedercini Kawasaki hitting the wall, the session was suspended "due to safety standards".
The red flag was also shown in FP3 when the engine of Michael Ruben Rinaldi's Ducati blew up and left oil on the track.
Rinaldi's day started promisingly as the Ducati junior rider dominated a wet-but-drying FP1.
He was nine tenths quicker than the second-placed Althea BMW of Loris Baz, followed by Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores and Hernandez.
In FP2, now in dry conditions, Rea controlled proceedings as he took an early lead and stayed ahead as he improved several times.
He held the advantage throughout the session with the gap only shrinking after a couple of late improvements from his rivals after the chequered flag fell.
Tom Sykes ended up completing a Kawasaki 1-2, 0.223s behind Rea, narrowly edging out the Ducati Marco Melandri, Alex Lowes (Yamaha) and Chaz Davies (Ducati).
While Rea's FP2 benchmark of 1m59.448s was unbeaten for most of the final practice, the reigning champion still led for the majority of the session.
Yamaha's Michael van der Mark and Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori temporarily took over after the session was restarted from Rinaldi's incident.
But Rea quickly fought back and ended up narrowly lowering his own benchmark with a 1m59.403s.
Savadori stayed second with Melandri edging ahead of van der Mark, who was last of the four riders to go below the two-minute barrier in FP3.
In the overall order, however Sykes stayed second behind Rea, with Melandri, Savadori and Lowes completing the top five.
Davies was only ninth in FP3 but made it to SP2 in sixth on combined times, ahead of van der Mark and Rinaldi. The final two automatic SP2 spots went to Honda's Leon Camier and Baz.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Puccetti Kawasaki) suffered a crash in FP3 and was 18th overall, only beating the Hondas of Jake Gagne and PJ Jacobsen.
Practice results (combined):
|4||60||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||1'59.978||0.575|
|6||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||2'00.191||0.788|
|13||81||Jordi Torres||MV Agusta||2'01.005||1.602|
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