WSBK: Eugene Laverty leads way from Jonathan Rea on day one in Qatar

Eugene Laverty was fastest overall in Qatar during free practice on Thursday.
Eugene Laverty was fastest overall in Qatar during free practice on Thursday.

Eugene Laverty ended day one in Qatar at the top of the free practice times at the final round of the World Superbike Championship.

The 32-year-old, who is making his final appearance for Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee Aprilia team after learning this week that he would be replaced by Tom Sykes for 2019, set his best lap in 1m 57.323s in FP3.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was second fastest on his Kawasaki.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was second fastest on his Kawasaki.

World champion Jonathan Rea, who missed most of FP1 after a crash, was second quickest overall, with the Kawasaki rider’s best time also coming in FP3 with a lap in 1m 57.506s.

Sykes was third, only 0.008s behind team-mate Rea, with Alex Lowes – fastest in FP2 – slotting into fourth on the PATA Yamaha.

Laverty’s team-mate, Lorenzo Savadori, was fifth – four-tenths off the quickest lap – while Loris Baz completed the top six on the Althea BMW.

Welshman Chaz Davies was down in ninth place on the Aruba.it Ducati, seven tenths adrift of Laverty.