Jonathan Rea heads up the order on Friday practice at Donington Park two-tenths of a second ahead of Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes as Chaz Davies crashes out.
The Kawasaki pair traded top lap times throughout FP3 at the British circuit as the pace sharpened on the drying track which tempted many riders into pushing the limits of grip.
Rea became briefly unstuck as he ran into the gravel trap at Redgate but responded emphatically on his next lap by notching up the fastest lap of anyone with a 1m 28.003s. That put the reigning World Superbike champion 0.204s clear of Sykes as Rea aims to surpass Carl Fogarty’s all-time series wins record this weekend.
Davies missed out on fighting at the front after a heavy crash at Redgate 15 minutes into the session, after catching a slide he went into a tank-slapper and suffered a left ankle injury. The Welsh rider missed the remainder of FP3, to see him bumped down to 16th on the combined times, but he has been declared fit to race after being assessed at the medical centre.
Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori impressed at Donington Park by taking third spot on the combined times ahead of local favourite Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha, while Savadori’s teammate Eugene Laverty claiming fifth place.
Michael van der Mark bounced back from lowside fall at the top of Craner Curves to take sixth place for Pata Yamaha just in front of Leon Haslam for Puccetti Kawasaki.
Loris Baz secured his first automatic Superpole 2 spot by taking eighth place for Althea BMW as wildcard Bradley Ray, a double race winner at Donington Park in BSB earlier this year, jumped to ninth place late on for Buildbase Suzuki.
Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri claimed the final Superpole 2 slot in a frantic finish to FP3 which saw Pedericini Kawasaki stand-in Luke Mossey narrowly miss out in 11th ahead of Toprak Razgatliouglu for Puccetti Kawasaki.
Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier produced a solid showing on his return from injury after breaking three ribs in Aragon with 13th place ahead of Pata Yamaha wildcard Niccolo Canepa and Orelac Racing Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado.