Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz has ended the opening World Superbike session fastest ahead of Jonathan Rea Honda’s Alvaro Bautista.
After a four-month break, World Superbike has returned at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto with Loris Baz ending the first session back on top, despite suffering a mechanical failure towards the end of the 50-minute session.
The Frenchman’s 1:40.249 was good enough to topple Jonathan Rea from the timesheets. Rea’s fastest time was a 1:40.311 and ended the session +0.081 quicker than Alvaro Bautista.
Scott Redding and Chaz Davies both had promising starts to their weekend finishing fourth and fifth with Toprak Razgatlioglu rounding out the top six with a lap time of 1:40.507.
Second Yamaha, Michael van der Mark was seventh ahead of Leon Haslam and WorldSBK championship leader, Alex Lowes.
GMT Yamaha had a strong return to track action with Garrett Gerloff leading team-mate Federico Caricasulo in 10th and 11th while Marco Melandri finished 12th in his first session back since announcing retirement. The Italian is standing in for Leon Camier who ruled himself out of the season due to a long standing shoulder issue.
Leandro Mercado finished 13th ahead of BMW’s Tom Sykes and Maximilian Scheib.
The second BMW of Eugene Laverty was down in 16th, his best time of 1:41.685 was +1.436s slower than Baz’s fastest time.
Xavi Fores and Sandro Cortese finished 17th and 18th aboard their Kawasaki’s ahead of Christophe Ponsson who is running the sole Aprilia on the 2020 grid.
Takumi Takahashi wrapped up the top 20 ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi who ended FP1 in 21st and suffered a strange fall at turn six.
Sylvain Barrier and the final Honda of Lorenzo Gabellini completed the field.
World Superbike returns for Free Practice Two at 15:00 local time.
Featured image: Yamaha-Racing