Guintoli was always in the top five quickest times, but never led the charge, till the very end, and was the only rider to lap in the 1’56’s. Melandri and Sykes were the two dominant riders, with the Yorkshireman climbing to the top of the timing screens with twenty minutes left, with a 1’57.735, and knocked the former MotoGP rider off the provisional pole position.
With ten minutes remaining it stayed Sykes, Melandri and Guintoli, but Haslam decided that he wanted to join in the party, with less than two minutes left to the free practice session. The Smalley rider set a 1’58.273 to place him third quickest, but as Guintoli went faster the Brit was pushed down to fourth. Sykes did attempt a last lap dash, but it was not enough and he ended the session in third with his best time of 1’57.735, followed by Haslam.
Goldbet BMW’s Chaz Davies could not out pace Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano and ended the session four tenths of a second behind the Italian to end the morning seventh fastest. Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty was nearly two seconds off the pace of his French team-mate. The Irish lad’s best lap of 1’58.902 placed him just inside the top ten.
Already injured Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider Leon Camier crashed heavily fifteen minutes into the free practice outing. The Kent rider has sustained an injury to his right foot and ankle which is currently being assessed.
But it was Red Devils newbie, former Moto2 champion, Toni Elias who topped the timesheets at the start of the session. He will be with his new team till the end of the session, after their original rider, Michel Fabrizio is acting as a stand in with Pata Honda for the crocked Jonathan Rea, who has been ruled out this weekend with a broken femur, after crashing out at the last round at the Nurburgring. Elias ended the session just inside the top five with a 1’58.369, with Fabrizio ending in fourteenth.
Rea was not the only rider missing from the free practice timesheets; Kawasaki’s Loris Baz did travel to the Turkish circuit but has been ruled out of the weekend’s proceedings after pre-race medical checks showed that he has damage to his D4 vertebrae, so the young Frenchman is continuing with his recovery. The rider had to miss the last round’s races at the Nurburgring after a massive warm up crash at the German track.
It was not a good free practice for the Ducati Alstare team as both riders, Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini crashed in the session. Both were declared OK at the track, but Checa went to the medical centre for further checks.
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