Championship leader Alvaro Bautista was fastest on Friday. He was quicker in the afternoon session with a best time of 1’33.825s.
Toprak Razgatlioglu was second with a 1’34.154s set in the morning session. Third place in the combined classification goes to Danilo Petrucci. The Italian’s Rookie’s fastest time came in FP2 as he posted a 1’34.276s. Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished fourth overall with a 1’34.283s. He was one of the riders who was able to improve in FP2.
The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back underway with round five and the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round from the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, and a frenetic Friday has come to a close with plenty of reason for the Ducatisti to be cheering. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was on fire throughout the day and despite P3 in the morning, he was the only rider to dip into the 1’33s in the whole day with a strong afternoon session.
Just down the road from where they’re based, Ducati were on a mission and Alvaro Bautista was keen to demonstrate his prowess at Misano. The Championship leader was third in the morning and led most of FP2 as he finished top overall. With three wins for Ducati at the track and a frighteningly consistent race pace after a stunning 12-lap run at the start of the session, Bautista remains the favourite for the weekend ahead, but perhaps a big threat will come from the other side of the garage. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi has been in formidable form on Friday with second in FP1 after leading the majority of the session, whilst he was second for most of FP2 behind teammate Bautista, being pushed down to P4 at the end. Come the end of the day, the #21 finished fourth and has put himself in a prime position for the races to come.
In Yamaha blue – for the rest of this year anyway – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) came out the blocks fighting on Friday and topped the opening session of the weekend, and it stood until Bautista beat it in FP2 at the end of his first run. Razgatlioglu was a little bit adrift when the temperatures came up in the afternoon and was outside the top three for most of it, but nonetheless finished the day in second.
Taking third at the end of the day and second in FP2, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) is planning to be a star at home. His first outing at Misano in WorldSBK has proved to be a positive one as he blasted up the order on his final flying run, going nearly a second quicker than his FP1 time.
In green, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was in good form too and was top Kawasaki across both sessions on Friday. The #22 was up in third and demonstrated a strong pace from the start, even if he couldn’t get within half a second of Bautista’s top time. He improved in FP2 and finished fourth overall, as did teammate Jonathan Rea but the six-time World Champion was down in eighth position for most of the session and despite a time attack at the end of the session, the #65 wasn’t able to improve and will have a little bit of work to do for Saturday and Sunday, with ninth at the end of day one.
WorldSBK action resumes on Saturday with FP3 from 09:00 (Local Time), followed by Tissot Superpole at 11:10 and Race 1 at 14:00.
WorldSBK Combined Results after FP2
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’33.825s
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.329s
3. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.451s
4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.458s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.652s
6. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.785s
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati | 1’33.825s
“Today I had a combination of feelings because this morning during FP1, we were using the tyre I normally don’t like, to manage the quantity throughout the whole weekend. The feeling with the bike was very difficult, so it was like a different bike from the test. Track conditions were not like during the test, but anyway the feeling with the bike was very difficult. I think it was due to the tyre combination because in the afternoon, I used the tyre that normally I like, especially in the front, and it seemed like it was a completely different bike, and I felt really good. We also tried some setups on the bike, in the gear, to make the bike a bit longer on the gear because there was a point where I reached the limiter due to having fewer RPM. So we have to adapt at every track now. And we tried it, it was good and I’m happy. The feeling with the bike was fantastic. I did all the practice with the same tyres, so I did more than the race distance with the tyres, and the pace was good, the feeling was good, and I’m happy with the feeling today.”
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