Just a few days after Round 4 at Barcelona, WorldSBK is already back testing at Misano as the 2023 grid gets ready for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round.
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista topped the timesheet at the end of day one. The Ducati rider completed 87 laps over the day. He was on a lap record pace setting a fastest lap of 1’33.035s, 0.510s quicker than Razgatlioglu. Toprak Razgatlioglu was the second fastest rider with a best time of 1’33.545s. He is the rider who completed more laps on Thursday with 92 laps. Having completed 90 laps over the day, Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi was third overall, 0.673s behind his teammate. Xavi Vierge was the lead Honda rider in fourth with a fastest time of 1’34.043s. Teammate Iker Lecuona ended the day in eighth place. Garrett Gerloff was fifth for BMW, 1.310s off Bautista’s best time. Stepping in to replace injured Michael van der Mark for BMW, Tom Sykes was seventh. Tarran Mackenzie tested for the PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team, making his return to WorldSBK.
The first of two days of testing for the majority of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field concluded with rain interrupting the final part of the day at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was under lap record pace in the morning as he used Pirelli’s SCQ tyre to edge closer to the 1’32s bracket, with Bautista finishing ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) whose day was disrupted by a Turn 3 crash in the morning session.
Reigning Champion Bautista led the way on Day 1 as he set a lap time faster than the existing all-time lap record after posting a 1’33.035s in the closing stages of the morning session while using Pirelli’s SCQ tyre, with his time around three tenths faster than his own lap record set in last year’s Tissot Superpole session. Bautista’s opening day, where he completed 87 laps including 64 in the morning, was spent working on the bike with new their rpm limit as well as looking ahead to the Emilia-Romagna Round. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi took third spot on Day 1, 0.673s behind his teammate, as he worked on a setup comparison using setups from Mandalika and Barcelona as he completed 90 laps.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) took second spot after posting a 1’33.545s in the morning session on the SCX tyre, around half-a-second down on Bautista. Razgatlioglu had a small crash at Turn 3 in the morning on old tyres, but returned to the pits on his bike, while he had a focus on swingarms and linkage that had already been tested before but with modifications. He completed 92 laps on Day 1.
The Misano test is an important one for Team HRC with riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge testing two variations of a new swingarm in order to test the direction. Vierge was the fastest rider on Day 1 out of the two after he completed 87 laps and took fourth place with a 1’34.043s, when he used the SCQ tyre, while Lecuona completed 65 laps. His best time was a 1’34.602s to put him in eighth place, ensuring both Hondas finished in the top ten.
The headline at BMW was the return of Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to BMW to temporarily replace injured BMW rider Michael van der Mark. His programme did not involve new parts but running the bike he finished the 2021 campaign with to compare it to the 2023 machine. Sykes was seventh at the end of the day after setting a 1’34.416s and completing 61 laps.
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