Davies leads the way after impressive day one

by Robert Jones

Chaz Davies made a much needed return to form at Laguna Seca, as the Welshman topped the timesheets in Friday’s Free Practice. 

It was a slow start to the day for Davies with sixth place in Free Practice One, but the Aruba.it Ducati rider roared into life in the afternoon session. 

Davies who was over eight tenths down on the leader Jonathan Rea, chipped five tenths off his time immediately before taking the top spot on a 1:23.387s in the final stages. 

It was a great day for the early pace setter and new championship leader Rea, who looked in a class of his own in the morning session. 

Rea ended the session five tenths clear of Tom Sykes and Toprak Razgatlioglu, who continued their sublime form from Donington Park.

Credit: WorldSBK.com

The four-time champion posted a time of 1:23.419s in the afternoon, to take second ahead of Alvaro Bautista, who made significant improvements during the day. 

Like his teammate, Bautista was slow in getting up to speed, but the Spaniard went from strength to strength in Free Practice Two and put in the second most amount of laps behind Razgatlioglu with 49.

Bautista last competed at Laguna Seca in 2013, and with unfamiliar circuits coming up, Bautista will need a strong weekend to keep pace in the championship fight with Rea. 

Sykes took a very promising fourth overall ahead of today’s Superpole and race one. Sykes has been making great strides forward on the new BMW S 1000 RR and will look to build on his record which includes three wins at the Californian track. 

Fifth was Leon Haslam on the second factory Kawasaki, ahead of Frenchman Loris Baz who continues to impress since his return in Jerez

Baz had his best weekend of the year at Donington Park, and once again showed huge potential on day one to finish as the top Yamaha.

Seventh was Razgatlioglu, ahead of the Pata Yamaha duo Alex Lowes and Michael Van Der Mark. Rounding out the top ten was Jordi Torres on the Pedercini Racing Kawasaki

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