Sykes leads Rea by 0.039 on Day 1 at Donington

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Tom Sykes led the way as the seventh round of the 2016 Superbike World Championship got underway at a sunny Donington Park today.

However, the Yorkshireman’s Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea pushed him hard as the day went on, improving his time to just 0.039sec behind Sykes’ best lap of the day.

Davide Giugliano was also on form, setting the day’s third fastest time ahead of the injured Alex Lowes, who is riding despite breaking his collarbone in a crash at Sepang two weeks ago.

Chaz Davies posted the fifth fastest time of the day with a time set in the morning session after the Welshman was ruled out for the majority of FP2 following a technical issue with his Panigale R which resulted in a swift ejection for Davies as the bike burst into flames.

Leon Camier rounded out the top six ahead of Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savador and the Althea BMW of Jordi Torres.

Making his debut in the World Championship for PATA Yamaha, Cameron Beaubier secured a spot in SP1 with the ninth fastest time of the day ahead of an equally impressive ride from Milwaukee BMW’s Karel Abraham in tenth.

Winner last time out, Nicky Hayden, was eleventh ahead of Markus Reiterberger, Luca Scassa, Alex De Angelis and Michael van der Mark.

Josh Brookes rounded out the day 16th fastest. 

Friday practice times

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing