After the morning's rain, the sun came out for Superpole one. Roman Ramos and Eugene Laverty were favourites to advance to Sueprpole two, but with Xavi Fores behind them, nothing was certain.
Donington, Great Britain
Kenan Sofuoglu led Lucas Mahias at the end of the wet untimed session with Kyle Smith over half a second behind in third place. Australian wet weather specialist Ant West led early on, but once the championship contenders started finding a bit of grip, he could only manage seventh quickest.
The morning's untimed session lasted about three minutes before it started raining. Jonathan Rea got in one quick lap ahead of Tom Sykes before the pace dropped by over fifteen seconds as the conditions worsened. In the rain, Rea was still quickest, with Marco Melandri, Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies, Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier all within a few seconds.
Further rain seems likely all day.
Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first day of practice in Donington:
PJ Jacobsen heads to Superpole with in the provisional pole position with the first 1'30 lap of the weekend. Kenan Sofuoglu, having set the fastest lap of the session six times before Jacobsen took it off him, was second quickest ahead of Gino Rea who put on a convincing show at his home round. Jules Cluzel was fourth quickest, but Lucas Mahias, fifth quickest, was promoted to fourth by his morning's time.
A red flag in the middle of the session, for a crash by Zulfahmi Khairuddin, didn't cause too much of an interruption, halting proceedings by only twelve minutes.
Jonathan Rea headed an all-Kawasaki provisional front row, ahead of Tom Sykes and Donington specialist Leon Haslam. Chaz Davies was fourth quickest in the session, but Marco Melandri, unable to improve on his morning's time, set a quicker time in Free Practice one and remains above his Ducati teammate. Alex Lowes, in spite of a crash at the Melbourne Loop hairpin, was sixth quickest. Roman Ramos and Eugene Laverty just missed out on Superpole Two, ending the day eleventh and twelfth quickest overall.
Almost a quarter of a second quicker than second-quickest PJ Jacobsen, reigning World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu opened the weeekend quickest. Championship leader Lucas Mahias was third quickest, ahead of Kyle Smith and wildcard Joe Francis.
A very sunny opening session ended with Jonathan Rea leading his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes even though Sykes was quickest throughout most of the session. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies were right behind their rivals with Michael van der Mark in fifth, in spite of a late crash. Wildcard Leon Haslam, current leader in the British Superbike championship, ended the session sixth quickest.
A whole host of press releases from the WorldSBK paddock, previewing Donington and paying tribute to Nicky Hayden:
After last week's announcements from the Circuit of Wales and the Hungaroring, there comes news from two more circuits this week. Firstly, that the legendary Belgian Spa Francorchamps circuit is looking to host a MotoGP round. And secondly, that MSV has taken over the lease to run the Donington Park circuit, also possibly opening the door to a return for MotoGP.
The first news is perhaps the most exciting for MotoGP fans. In an interview with the Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure, Spa Francorchamps boss Nathalie Maillet, said she hoped to bring MotoGP back to the iconic Belgian circuit within the next few years. She had spent a day in Madrid speaking to Dorna bosses, Maillet told DH, discussing the possibility of staging a race. "Making the changes needed to host a motorcycle race is not impossible," Maillet told DH.