WSBK: Jonathan Rea sweeps board on day one at Aragon

Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki during practice for the third round of the World Superbike Championship at Aragon in Spain.
Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki during practice for the third round of the World Superbike Championship at Aragon in Spain.
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Jonathan Rea will be gunning for a World Superbike high-five at Aragon in Spain on Saturday after topping both free practice sessions today.

The reigning two-time world champion has won the opening four races of 2017 to begin his title defence in style.

Rea is now aiming for his fifth win on the trot in Saturday’s opening race, which is scheduled to take place at 12 noon (BST).

The 30-year-old Kawasaki rider was pushed hard by Ducati’s Marco Melandri in FP2 and needed one final fast lap to knock the Italian off the top spot by one-tenth-of-a-second.

A late rain shower prevented some riders from improving their times, but Rea is perfectly poised ahead of the final practice and Superpole sessions.

His team-mate, Tom Sykes, was third quickest ahead of Chaz Davies (Ducati), while Eugene Laverty was ninth on the Milwaukee Aprilia.

Rea said: “Today we did set-up and tyre checks this morning and then a long run and a fast lap this afternoon. That’s how it worked out. We got up to speed quite fast, honestly, and pretty much reached the limit of what we needed for the bike set-up.

“During the long run we went with the base setting we had in Phillip Island and Thailand, but during that run I realised it may be not the very best for this particular track.

“We had a completely different front setting at the test here in November; one I was more comfortable with. It is just some chassis balance items,” he added.

“I don’t think we can see the full picture of everybody’s potential just from today and I think the race can spring a few surprises. But I am not thinking about the others; I am just trying to make things as good for me as possible.”

Meanwhile, Clogher’s Keith Farmer was quickest in the British Supersport class during free practice at Donington Park.

Farmer is standing in for the injured Luke Jones on the Team Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha.

Leon Haslam topped the BSB times, with Glenn Irwin in eighth and Michael Laverty in 13th after FP2.