After the first two hours of track action in the opening round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) remained ahead of the pack thanks to his morning session lap time of 1’30.189.
Second quickest, on a day when the track best was so nearly matched before any qualifying tyres had been thought of, was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). Seven riders went under the existing lap record on day one.
As well as the factory riders, Panigale privateer man Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) was third quickest, one up on the official Kawasaki of
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the first rider in the lists to have improved his morning time, albeit still fifth, ahead of fellow lap time improvers in the afternoon Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia).
On the new Honda Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) posted a morning time that was good enough for eighth in the rankings. The final two guaranteed places in Superpole 2 on Saturday went to Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) was 11th, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 12th and the luckless Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 13th, after a technical problem in the morning session.
Series rookie Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 14th from the 21 riders on show.
Wild card Josh Brookes (ERMotorsports Yamaha) placed 18th.
By Gordon Ritchie