WATCH: van der Mark tops WorldSBK order as Rea survives huge scare

Michael van der Mark leads the WorldSBK timesheets at Magny-Cours as Round 12 gets underway while champion-elect Jonathan Rea suffers a scare

Michael van der Mark - Pata Yamaha

WorldSBK Magny-Cours – FP1 / FP2 Combined Results

Michael van der Mark turned in the quickest lap time of the day during first and second free practice for Round 12 of the 2019 World Superbike Championship at a soggy Magny-Cours, France.

With a wet, greasy circuit greeting the riders at the start of FP1, the quickest laps came in the closing stages as the French venue dried steadily, if not entirely.

Pata Yamaha’s van der Mark therefore emerged top with a 1m 51.852secs lap – a full 16secs slower than the lap record. As such, with heavier rain hampering proceedings in FP2, van der Mark’s morning efforts therefore stood as the Friday best.

Leon Haslam followed him in second place, followed by Marco Melandri and Leandro Mercado, while Loris Baz and top Honda rider Alessandro Delbianco rounded out an unfamiliar top six order.

Champion-elect Jonathan Rea endured a troubled session as he crashed just as he was set to go quickest, the Kawasaki man settling for a safe seventh in the end.

It came just moments after his title rival Alvaro Bautista suffered the same fate after losing the rear of his Ducati into turn one. The Spaniard ended the day 13th best.

No improvements in FP2 as Rea suffers heart-stopping moment

Though no riders improved on their best laps in FP2, the session was nonetheless topped by Rea – despite having to catch this huge moment.

Lap record holder Tom Sykes followed in second place on the BMW, ahead of Haslam and Ryuichi Kiyonari, the Japanese rider proving the Honda’s performance potential in wet conditions with the fourth best time of the session.