Tricky wet conditions throughout the day at Magny-Cours but rookie Garrett Gerloff masters the conditions to top Friday running
Wet conditions provided tricky conditions for Friday’s MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action with three of the top four riders having incidents at the end of Free Practice 2, with Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) topping the combined classification at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round.
Gerloff put in a late lap in Free Practice 2 to stop Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) having a clean sweep on Friday as the American rookie topping the session by just 0.015s ahead of Rea. Rea had an off-track excursion in FP2 when he almost came off his bike at the Turn 6-7 Nurburgring chicane; Rea able to stay mounted to his Kawasaki and recover back to the track.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) made it two Independent riders in the top three as he finished in third place as the Italian continues to impress throughout 2020. Home hero Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was in fourth place for the day as Rinaldi edged out his rival in the battle for Independent honours.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was in fifth place with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in sixth; Sykes going top of Free Practice 2 briefly before a crash under braking for the Turn 5 Adelaide hairpin shortly after with the British rider able to get up without assistance.
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was classified in seventh place for the day despite a crash in Free Practice 2 at Turn 15, just ahead of Leon Haslam (Team HRC) in eighth place. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) completed a strong day for the BMW outfit with ninth place, edging out Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) in tenth place.
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was in 11th place, edging out Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) in 12th with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 13th; the Spanish rider had been in the top five in the first practice session. Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) continued his comeback from injury with 14th place, ahead of Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR).
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) bounced back from a Free Practice 1 crash to finished in 16th for the day while Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finished the day down in 18th place out of 21 competitors, finishing just ahead of rookie Xavier Pinsach (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura).
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.015s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +0.084s
4. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.582s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.722s
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Official Team) +0.887s