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Bulega and Bautista set to battle it out in Catalunya

Bulega And Bautista Set To Battle It Out In CatalunyaRookie sensation Nicolo Bulega continues to amaze with the Racing – Ducati leading the way from his teammate Alvaro Bautista.

Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fastest time in FP1 and was third fastest on the combined times just ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark. The busiest rider on track was Andrea Locatelli with 41 laps with his teammate Jonathan Rea also focusing on race simulations.

In near perfect conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya the Racing – Ducati riders, Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista, led the way in WorldSBK. It was the rookie sensation Bulega who set the pace on the opening day with Bautista two tenths of a second adrift. Ducati has won seven races in a row in Catalunya and will be aiming to continue that form in tomorrow’s 20 lap race.

During practice teams focused on understanding tyre consumption in the afternoon. With new development options available from Pirelli the aim for riders and engineers was to understand the best solutions available to them. The Pata Prometeon Yamaha team split their resources with Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli using different tyre combinations. Both completed race simulations to end the day fifth and sixth fastest.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was third fastest on the combined times. Having been competitive at the recent two day Supported Test the Turkish rider is confident of fighting at the front throughout this weekend.

Championship leader Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had issues in the morning that limited his running. The 33 year old completed 27 laps and ended the day 14th fastest.

P1 | Nicolo Bulega | Racing – Ducati
“It was a good first day because my feeling with the bike was good. I tried both SCX tyres and I’m still not very sure of the decision for the race. We have to check some data and try to understand which can work better for the race. My race pace was also fast in the afternoon but we need to try and improve because our rivals will try something to catch me.”

Bulega And Bautista Set To Battle It Out In CatalunyaP2 | Alvaro Bautista | Racing – Ducati
“In the morning the bike felt similar to other times that I have ridden it this season. I am trying to give my best feedback to the engineers and explain what I feel on the bike. The bike felt much better in the afternoon and it helped me to ride as I wanted to. I’m really happy and now it’s time to keep going in this direction. We have another day tomorrow and hopefully we can improve my feeling step by step. In the afternoon I tried the SCX and the new development tyre and I didn’t feel a really big difference in the performance level. The drop is not really big. Until now I couldn’t ride the bike as I wanted to. I’m happy for Nicolo because it shows that the bike is working well. His performance is a good reference.”

P3 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
“I focused on the long run in the afternoon. It looks like the Ducati is very strong but we know that at this track the Ducati is always very strong. I tried my best today but we are still working with the bike to help with grip. We did a long run,13 laps, and the times were mainly 1m41 and then 42’s. The rear grip improved for us and is better than before now. I hope we are fighting with Ducati but it looks like Ducati’s pace is very strong. But maybe the race is different. In general I’m happy but we need to improve the bike grip.”

Bulega And Bautista Set To Battle It Out In CatalunyaWorldSBK Combined Results after FP2
1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) 1’40.907s
2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.247s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.292s
4. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.338
5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.493s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.566s

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