WorldSBK FP1: Sykes Fastest as Rain Slows Play

First practice session in Assen gets underway in rainy conditions

After a weather forecast that seemed to hint Day 1 in Assen may be hit by the first real wet weather of the season, FP1 at the TT Circuit Assen got underway with rain falling and a wet track under grey skies. With the forecast for the rest of the weekend still unsure, the usual lack of track action in wet conditions was replaced by a good amount of activity on the circuit and riders were keen to begin working on a wet setup should it be needed for either of the WorldSBK races this weekend.

Riders were initially tentative in testing out conditions around the Circuit van Drenthe, with MV Agusta rider Leon Camier and Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea proving the first pacesetters, and small crashes and incidents characterized the session as the riders sought the limit.

Karel Abraham, Markus Reiterberger, Michael van der Mark and Chaz Davies all crashed during the session, with the Welshman taking a tumble in the dying minutes. Nicky Hayden also had a run off track when the Kentucky rider found the limit, but stayed on the bike and got back on track quickly.

Rea spent most of the session with a clear advantage of over a second and a half, before other riders began to push and improve laps to hunt down the Champion’s time. Teammate Tom Sykes eventually took top honours, going fastest by 0.748 from Rea, followed by the Yamaha pairing of Guintoli and Lowes.

The paddock will be hoping for drier weather for FP2 as entry to Tissot-Superpole 2 counts on Friday times.

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