WSBK: Jonathan Rea sets out his stall at Assen

Kawasaki World Superbike star Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki World Superbike star Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea made an ominous start to the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen as he topped free practice on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.

Rea, who leads the standings by 50 points from Chaz Davies, set his best lap in 1m 35.383s to edge out Ducati rider Davies by a tenth-of-a-second, with Tom Sykes in third.

Superpole qualifying takes place on Saturday morning, with race one scheduled for 12 noon BST.

Double world champion Rea said: “I am really satisfied with today as we managed to set up the bike a little bit in the morning and confirm some suspension items we have been testing recently, in Motorland Aragon and Portimao.

“Once we confirmed those, in the afternoon we decided to make a long run with some of the new Pirelli tyre options that they brought for both the front and the rear. I rolled out of that simulation after half distance and came into the pits.

“We tried another set of tyres and went back to the morning settings, which had different final gear ratios and were a little bit softer in the suspension. I felt a little bit more comfortable then,” added Rea.

“I made a pretty much a full race simulation at a pace I feel quite satisfied with.

“After gaining that knowledge I know exactly the critical areas to improve to be strong at the end of the races. As far as Fridays go, today’s has been a positive one.”

Rea has won five races and claimed a runner-up finish in six starts this season to take control of the World Championship.

Eugene Laverty was seventh quickest on the Milwaukee Aprilia.