Michael Ruben Rinaldi leads Friday’s practice
Rinaldi was in good shape throughout the first day of action on the track in Italy, leading FP1 after the first 10 minutes with a time of 1m35.518s before rising to 1.35.235s in the second half of the session.
With just five minutes to go, he became the first runner to break the 1.35m mark, circling the circuit in 1.34.956 before finding another half-tenth on his next flyer.
However, it was Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu who finished the morning session in the lead with a final attempt of 1m34.848s, beating Rinaldi’s 1m34.902s lap by just 0.054s.
GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff climbed to third place with his own late rider, demoting Chaz Davies’ GoEleven Ducati, while Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani placed three Ducatis in the top five.
Six-time champion Rea finished a modest eighth place on the Kawasaki, but found six tenths in the opening 10 minutes of the FP2 session to lead the timesheets at the start of Razgatlioglu.
Rinaldi first climbed to the top 18 minutes from the end of the session, before signing by far the best lap of the day, in 1m34.597. But the Italian rider didn’t stop there and managed to go even faster on his next attempt, with the lap of 1m34.334s he managed to stand out from the rest of the peloton.
He ended up finishing the day three tenths faster than Lowes, who in turn managed to lead his more experienced teammate Rea by two tenths of a second.
Razgatlioglu finished fourth in FP2 with a time just below his morning benchmark, with Rinaldi’s Ducati teammate Scott Redding the first rider to miss the window by 1.34 seconds in fifth position.
The British rider only completed 10 laps in the morning after receiving a black and orange flag for a technical foul with his Panigale V4 R, and was only able to add 12 more laps to his FP2 count.
Honda’s Alvaro Bautista finished nearly nine-tenths off the pace in the afternoon in sixth place, ahead of 2013 BMW champion Tom Sykes and Bassani.
Leon Haslam finished ninth on the second factory Honda, while Puccetti Kawasaki rider Lucas Mahias completed the top 10.
Gerloff and Davies were unable to improve their times in FP1 in the afternoon, finishing 11th and 12th respectively.