With a fire delaying proceedings only a few minutes into the second free practice session, the ending was even more strange. With over twelve minutes left, after a drain at turn four was risking leaking on the track, the session was red flagged. The broken drain cover that caused the worries was unable to be repaired quickly and, after forty-five minutes, the remainder of the day's proceedings were called off.
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Imola:
Rea overhauls Sykes on Day 1
Imola (Italy), Friday 9 May 2014 - As the opening day of on track action at Imola draws to a close, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) heads into tomorrow’s final free practice session ahead of Tissot-Superpole as the fastest rider in the combined classification.
Jonathan Rea was quickest at the point the day's proceedings were red flagged for a burst drain at turn four, with 12'40 remaining of the session. Tom Sykes was four hundredths of a second off his time, with the Aprilias of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli hot on their heels.
This may well be the first time sewage on the track is the cause of a red flag in international racing.
Kenan Sofuoglu returns to the sharp end by leading free practice by over a third of a second over Kev Coghlan and this morning's fastest man Lorenzo Zanetti.
Davide Giugliano headed off Jonathan Rea and Sylvain Guintoli to put the Ducati on top of the morning's session in Italy.
Lorenzo Zanetti was quickest throughout most of the session and maintained this pace ahead of Florian Marino and Michael Van Der Mark.
2014 World Superbike, World Supersport and FIM Superstock 1000 calendar (provisional)
At long last, the FIM and Dorna have released a calendar for the World Superbike and World Supersport classes for 2014. The calendar features fourteen World Superbike events, but it is still very much a provisional list, with three of the fourteen still subject to contract, and the final race still marked as to be confirmed, with neither the location nor the country known.
Napoleon Bonaparte, former Emperor of France and large army afficionado, once said “in war, luck is half in everything,” and this weekend, riders in both classes would understand the sentiment. While weather also played a factor on Sunday, it was increased heat instead of rain for a change.