Chaz Davies tops opening day of practice at Laguna Seca WorldSBK

Chaz Davies topped the timesheets on Day 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as the Welshman returned to the track on which he did the double last year to lay down a marker as he gets ready to attack the second half of the season.

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies
P1 – Chaz Davies – Ducati

“Being fastest at the end of the first day is always good but we know it doesn’t count for a lot come tomorrow! But so far so good, it seems like we’re on good pace from the first laps and we’re just chipping away. I think we can improve a bit for tomorrow too, and that’s what I’m happiest about.”

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies

Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea ended the day second quickest with two sessions as a frontrunner on Friday, ahead of local hero Nicky Hayden on the Honda Fireblade, who moved up from P12 to P3 in the last few impressive minutes of the session.

P2 – Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki

“I feel even better than last year. The good feeling from Misano has continued here so I’m quite happy. The track is lacking a bit of grip, after many laps on the tyre I suffer a little bit with the entry traction but it’s been a pain free first day. I gave constant effort every lap so we should have good data to put it together and use it tomorrow.”

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea
P3 – Nicky Hayden – Honda

“To be honest, it hasn’t been as smooth as I’d hoped – you know you always hope everything’s just going to go smooth! We’ve had a few more problems than I’d hoped this week with electronics, trying to get all the sections to work in the right way, and it’s been a bit frustrating but there at the end we put in new tyres but I cut it a little close to improve my laptime. We’re going to attack Superpole tomorrow!”

Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden

KRT rider Tom Sykes was bumped out the top three in the last dash after having had a more difficult morning session but ended the day in P4, ahead of FP1’s fastest man Alex Lowes, who rounded out the top 5 for Pata Yamaha.

Alex Lowes
Alex Lowes

Davide Giugliano finished up P6 as the Italian returns to a track with some difficult memories after a crash last year sidelined him for many Rounds of the season, ahead of Althea BMW rider Jordi Torres in P7.

Jordi Torres
Jordi Torres

Lorenzo Savadori was impressive in P8 for IodaRacing Aprilia, ahead of Xavi Forés for Barni Racing on the Panigale R, who ended the day in P9.

Lorenzo Savadori
Lorenzo Savadori

Niccolo Canepa continued stand in duties for Sylvain Guintoli with another good showing to round out the top 10 for Pata Yamaha.

Honda rider Michael van der Mark, after spending most of the morning session at the front, was the casualty of the last minute dash as the Dutchman ended Day 1 in P11 and just missed out on direct entry into Tissot-Superpole 2.

Alex De Angelis was P12 on the second IodaRacing machine, ahead of MV Agusta’s Leon Camier, Milwaukee BMW’s Karel Abraham and second Althea BMW rider Raffaele de Rosa, who is riding at Laguna Seca for the first time as a replacement for injured Markus Reiterberger.

Anthony West finished the opening day of practice in 16th place ahead of Milwaukee BMW’s Josh Brookes.

Entry to Tissot-Superpole 2 is now decided for the top ten, with the last two spots in the fight for the top 12 places on the grid up for grabs through the Superpole 1 session on Saturday.  With a closely packed field, it’s sure to be an explosive battle in qualifying ahead of the two WorldSBK races of the weekend: the lights go out at 14:30 local time (GMT -7) on both Saturday and Sunday as the fight for 50 points begins once again.

WorldSBK 2016 – Laguna Seca – Friday Practice Results
  1. Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati 1:23.622
  2. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 1:23.696
  3. Nicky Hayden Honda World Superbike Team 1:23.866
WorldSBK 2016 - Laguna Seca - Friday Practice Results
WorldSBK 2016 – Laguna Seca – Friday Practice Results