World Superbike race one started with blossom and green flags billowing in the Italian wind, ahead of tomorrow's probable rain.
World Supersport Superpole was hoping to avoid the red flags of the Superbike session and qualifying favourites Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel were hoping to carry on their battle unimpeded.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi opened the Superpole session by setting fire to his Ducati Panigale, summoning the red flags. The restart only shortened the session to twenty four minutes. Three and a half minutes into the restart, Sandro Cortese and Leon Camier crashed out at turn four and brought the red flags back out. Camier was taken to the medical centre.
Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel improved on their times from yesterday, while third-quickest Raffaele De Rosa improved but was unable to beat Randy Krummenacher and Ayrton Badovini, ending qualifying fifth-quickest.
Jonathan Rea improved on his times from yesterday, heading to Superpole in the top spot. Chaz Davies was unable to improve, but remained second-quickest while his Ducati teammate Alvaro Bautista passed Tom Sykes for third quickest overall. Tommy Bridewell sneaked in under the 107% qualifying limit in just thirty minutes of practice, reduced with a red flag break in the middle.
Press releases from some of the teams after the first day of practice at Imola:
Reigning World Champion Rea on top again with Davies and Sykes close behind
Jules Cluzel was quickest in the afternoon's session, but was unable to beat Federico Caricasulo's time from this morning.
With the top eleven riders all improving on their mornings' times, Jonathan Rea increased the pace by a quarter of a second, with Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes the only riders within half a second of his time. Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu were within three quarters of a second while Michael van der Mark was the only other rider within a second.
Federico Caricasulo leads Randy Krummenacher and Jules Cluzel topped the morning's session, ahead of the Kawasakis of Lucas Mahias and Ayrton Badovini.
Jonathan Rea opened the weekend on top, ahead of the Ducatis of Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista. Unfortunately, at the scene of his great comeback from injury in 2018, Eugene Laverty ended his weekend with red flags and an ambulance trip, breaking both his wrists in a crash he luckily walked away from.