Britain’s Chaz Davies heads the WSBK field on opening day
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) has set the fastest lap in the Free Practice combined times today at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1′23.293s, edging second place Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) by only 21 thousandths of a second. The Welshman, who has raced here in three different championships (AMA, MotoGP and WSBK) has shown great speed and consistency on the opening day of action.
Other factory Aprilia rider Marco Melandri was third, ahead of points leader and reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and an impressive Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who was able to finish within 0.3 seconds of the leader and to edge teammate Eugene Laverty in what was his first day on the challenging 2.238-mile circuit.
Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) completed the top 10.
The Spaniard lost the front end of his RSV4 machine at the corkscrew in the early stages, with the crash leading to a red flag situation. Elias, the former Moto 2 World Champion, then proceeded with the help of the trackside marshals to shake the sand and gravel from his Aprilia before returning to the track for the final 22 minutes after some speedy from his team.
For the riders placed 11th to 20th on combined times they will take part in Superpole 1 with the top 2 in that session progressing to join the already seeded top ten.
Eleventh overall after today, and narrowly missing out on a top ten placing, was Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), only 0.004 seconds ahead of the best classified EVO rider Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team Ducati). Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) adapted well to his new machine ending the day 18th overall.
It was also a good day for Team Hero EBR who narrowly missed out on Superpole by 0.014 with Geoff May taking 22nd after an encouraging day for the all-American outfit.
Results: 1. Davies (Ducati) 1′23.293 average 156.028 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1′23.314; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1′23.397; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1′23.462; 5. Lowes (Suzuki) 1′23.573; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 1′23.629; 7. Rea (Honda) 1′23.638; 8. Haslam (Honda) 1′23.922; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 1′23.934; 10. Elias(Aprilia) 1′24.402; 11. Baz (Kawasaki) 1′24.514; 12. Canepa (Ducati) 1′24.518; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 1′24.799; 14. Barrier (BMW) 1′24.827; 15. Iddon(Bimota) 1′24.916; 16. Badovini (Bimota) 1′25.133; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1′25.497; 18. Camier (MV Agusta) 1′25.599; 19. Staring (Kawasaki) 1′25.970;20. Morais (Kawasaki) 1′26.073; 21. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1′26.080; 22. May (EBR) 1′26.087; 23. Pegram (EBR) 1′26.302; 24. Rizmayer (BMW) 1′26.506;25. Yates (EBR) 1′26.999; 26. Ulrich (Honda) 1′27.169; 27. Sebestyen (BMW) 1′27.226