Sykes settles in first at Portimao free practice

Britain's Tom Sykes was the first rider to adapt to the difficult Portimao track, recording the fastest time in the opening free practice.

Superbikes - Sykes: 'Massive weight off my shoulders'

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Britain's Tom Sykes (AFP)

The Kawasaki Racing Team man recorded a time of one minute, 44.343 seconds to finish top of the standings in the first session ahead of championship rival of Marco Melandri.

The BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider was over one 10th of a second behind Sykes, while Leon Carnier made full use of his FIXI Crescent Suzuki team’s recent technical improvements to clock the third-best time just 0.004 seconds behind Melandri.

BMW Motorrad also claimed the fourth best time through Leon Haslam with satellite BMW team Italia Goldbet’s Ayrton Badovini rounding out the top five.

Free Practice standings

1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'44.343

2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.456

3. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'44.460

4. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.500

5. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.519

6. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1'44.598

7. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.639

8. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'44.708

9. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.839

10. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'44.843

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