Jonathan Rea made a solid start to this weekend’s sixth round of the World Superbike Championship as he slotted into third place on the time sheets at Donington Park on Friday.
The runaway series leader posted his fastest lap in 1m 28.483s as he ended the opening day of free practice behind Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes, who set the pace on the Ninja ZX-10R with a time of 1m 28.172s.
Leon Haslam on the Red Devils Aprilia, Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes were the top six.
Leon Camier, who headed the times in FP1 on the MV Agusta, was ninth fastest as the British rider sealed his passage into Saturday’s decisive Superpole 2 session.
Ulsterman Rea has been streets ahead of his rivals so far this season following his switch to Kawasaki, winning eight of the first ten races to open a huge advantage of 87 points over Haslam.
Rea will be aiming to maintain his sensational form on Sunday at Donington in front of his home fans and although his track record at the British venue has been indifferent over the years, the Isle of Man resident will be confident he can solidify his position further, with the Kawasaki ZX-10R proving a race-winning package at Donington in the past.
In the World Supersport class, wildcard entrant Andy Reid was an impressive sixth fastest in FP2 on the Core Thailand Honda, while in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, Hudson Kennaugh led the way on the Trik-Moto BMW with Josh Elliott (Morello Kawasaki) in third and Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley fifth fastest after the first free practice session.
Marty Nutt was fifth quickest in free practice in the Ducati Tri-Options Cup class.