Magny-Cours WSBK: Gerloff outpaces Rea in wet Friday practice

GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff set the pace in wet Friday practice for the penultimate round of the World Superbike season at Magny-Cours, snatching the top spot at the last minute from Jonathan Rea.

Both practice sessions at the French venue were held in wet conditions and, although the track never dried out enough for slick tyres, the fastest 10 times of the day were all set in the afternoon.

After topping morning practice with a time of 1m49.356s, Rea also stayed at the front for much of FP2, progressively improving his time from 1m53.140s to 1m50.381s in the first half of the session.

With 21 minutes left on clock, Go Eleven Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi displaced him from the top of the charts with a time of 1m50.489s before lowering the benchmark further to 1m50.122.

Rea snatched back the top spot with the first sub-1m50s lap of the session 10 minutes later, before putting himself further clear of his rivals with a series of fastest laps.

With his final effort of 1m48.991s – the fastest time of the weekend so far – Rea appeared to have done enough to seal Friday practice honours on a weekend he could wrap up his sixth world title. 

But Gerloff managed to fire in a time of 1m48.830s moments after the chequered flag was dropped, ending the day the quickest of all.

Rea had to settle for second position, just 0.015s down on the GRT Yamaha rider, while Rinaldi finished third, being the only other rider to dip into the 1m48s.

Loris Baz finished fourth quickest for Ten Kate Yamaha, while Alex Lowes was classified another tenth adrift in the second of the factory Kawasakis.

BMW rider Tom Sykes’ ran as high as second in the latter stages of FP2, but his time of 1m49.717s was only good enough for sixth following a late flurry of quick laps.

Ducati’s Scott Redding, who remains Rea’s closest challenger in the title fight, finished seventh, more than a second down on both Gerloff and Rea.

Honda’s Leon Haslam and BMW rider Eugene Laverty finished eighth and ninth respectively, while the top 10 was completed by the factory Yamaha of Michael van der Mark.

Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) were 11th and 12th respectively, both setting their quickest times in the afternoon session.

FP1 results:

11 Jonathan ReaKawasaki 1’49.356  
276 Loris BazYamaha 1’50.707 1.351
366 Tom SykesBMW 1’50.995 1.639
454 Toprak RazgatliogluYamaha 1’51.320 1.964
512 Xavi ForesKawasaki 1’51.569 2.213
622 Alex LowesKawasaki 1’52.114 2.758
745 Scott ReddingDucati 1’52.177 2.821
821 Michael Ruben RinaldiDucati 1’52.338 2.982
960 Michael van der MarkYamaha 1’52.603 3.247
1091 Leon HaslamHonda 1’52.640 3.284
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FP2 results:

131 Garrett GerloffYamaha 1’48.830  
21 Jonathan ReaKawasaki 1’48.845 0.015
321 Michael Ruben RinaldiDucati 1’48.914 0.084
476 Loris BazYamaha 1’49.412 0.582
522 Alex LowesKawasaki 1’49.552 0.722
666 Tom SykesBMW 1’49.717 0.887
745 Scott ReddingDucati 1’49.899 1.069
891 Leon HaslamHonda 1’49.956 1.126
950 Eugene LavertyBMW 1’50.022 1.192
1060 Michael van der MarkYamaha 1’50.467 1.637
117 Chaz DaviesDucati 1’50.643 1.813
1254 Toprak RazgatliogluYamaha 1’50.926 2.096
1312 Xavi ForesKawasaki 1’50.959 2.129
1436 Leandro MercadoDucati 1’51.187 2.357
1553Valentin DebiseKawasaki 1’52.274 3.444
1664 Federico CaricasuloYamaha 1’52.388 3.558
1720 Sylvain Barrier Ducati 1’52.485 3.655
1819 Alvaro BautistaHonda 1’52.730 3.900
1934Xavier PinsachKawasaki 1’53.474 4.644
2013 Takumi TakahashiHonda 1’54.144 5.314
2197 Samuele CavalieriDucati 1’57.493 8.663
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