WSB

Rea returns to the top ahead of qualifying

Jonathan Rea puts down a marker in the freezing conditions at Assen by setting the fastest lap so far this weekend

Full FP3 results from Assen World Superbike

Jonathan Rea has laid down a marker in the freezing conditions at Assen by setting the fastest lap so far this weekend in preparation for a vital qualifying and opening race.

Rea, who has nine consecutive second places behind runaway leader Alvaro Bautista so far this year, produced a 1m 35.202s in 3oC temperatures to pull out four-tenths over Tom Sykes in FP3.

The BMW rider, who topped Friday practice, kept clear of Alex Lowes who is looking to bounce back from two crashes yesterday for Pata Yamaha.

Markus Reiterberger set up a promising day on both sides of the BMW team garage by ending the 20-minute FP3 in fourth place ahead of championship leader Bautista on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati. The Spanish rider trailed pace-setter Rea by almost nine-tenths of a second but did keep fractionally ahead of the second factory Kawasaki rider Leon Haslam.

Toprak Razgatlioglu slotted into seventh place for Puccetti Kawasaki ahead of Pedercini Kawasaki’s Jordi Torres and Chaz Davies on the factory Ducati.

Leon Camier broke into the top 10 on the Moriwaki-Althea Honda directly ahead of team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari, while Orelac Kawasaki’s stand-in rider Hector Barbera surged up to 12th place.

Marco Melandri has continued to struggle for GRT Yamaha in 13th place, while team-mate Sandro Cortese opted to not set a time in FP3, with local favourite Michael van der Mark completing just two laps on the Pata Yamaha.

Customer Ducati duo Eugene Laverty and Michael Ruben Rinaldi continued to struggle for pace at Assen at the bottom of the times, while Alessandro Delbianco completed the riders to set a time on the Althea Honda.

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