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The Magny Cours round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship got underway on track today, with #tomsykes eventually third fastest and Jonathan Rea fourth on their #kawasakiracing Team Ninja ZX-10Rs.
After two dry practice sessions of an hour each Sykes proved to have few chances to improve on his already impressive morning lap time in the afternoon session, due to a technical issue with his rear brake system. Despite his reduced lap count in the second session Sykes still finished third quickest from a field of 26 riders.
Rea, working towards an ideal set-up to tackle the middle section of the 4.411km long Magny-Cours racetrack at the end of day one, is also well inside the leading mix in fourth place. Jonathan is just 0.077 seconds from Sykes on the other official #kawasaki machine, with both riders confident of finding further improvements if Saturday provides a dry track surface.
Should the second day of track action prove to be wet then Sykes and Rea have the FP3 practice session, before Superpole 2, to make preparations for the first race of the weekend. The green light is scheduled for 13.00 local French time and race duration is set to be 21-laps.
Both riders have won races at Magny-Cours in the recent past and will be looking to do the same this time round as they each aim to become world champion for the second time. Rea currently leads Sykes by 47 points as they sit 1-2 in the championship rankings.
Tom Sykes, stated: “I had some issues with the rear brakes sticking on this afternoon and I only did a few laps because of this. I still feel we are ready for the race because we have good consistency. I never tried for one really quick lap, which is a shame because I wanted to see how the bike felt. There were some things we wanted to try, including a different tyre option, but we never got to. But the good thing is we are ready for the race if the weather stays dry. If tomorrow is wet we can start again with our set-up in FP3.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is quite close in the lap times but I am still getting comfortable on the bike. I had some rear chatter but generally the bike feels good in some sections of the track. I am losing some time in the middle of the lap, which is similar to last year. I feel quite good in the first chicane and even in the next part, but there is definitely room for improvement. I am not sure about the weather forecast for tomorrow, but it will be a shame if it is wet because everybody has done a lot of track time in the dry now. The weather will be what it will be and we will be ready.”
Behind the official #kawasaki entries, wild card rider Matthieu Lagrive (Pedercini #racing Kawasaki) was 12th fastest at his local circuit, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 16th. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini #racing Team) placed 19th. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini #racing Kawasaki) rode his Ninja #zx10r to 24th, with Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini #racing Team) 25th.
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