The Championship leader took to top spot whilst his rivals were right behind him…
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly underway as the paddock arrives at the Circuito de Navarra for the Pirelli Navarra Round. The first session of the weekend fired up with the WorldSBK field heading out to the circuit and for many of them, the first time out on the track. With the sun beating down, a blissful morning saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) head the field as he bounced back to the top of the timesheets as Navarra action started.
There was a flurry of activity in the closing stages of the opening session, with Jonathan Rea leading the way into the closing stages, setting numerous best lap times, eventually ending on a 1’37.629. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was a strong second, 0.123s behind Rea as the top two in the Championship are the top two out of the traps on Friday morning. Following them is Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who led most of the session before finishing in third, 0.164s behind Rea, making it three different manufacturers in the top three. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was fourth and top Independent, whilst making it three Yamahas in the top five was Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), the Italian in contention from the start.
Completing the top half-dozen was Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven), as he got his weekend off to a bright start and was back as top Independent Ducati. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had a strong start to his day in seventh place, whilst Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was in eighth. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) clinched ninth place but will expect to be further up the order in the afternoon, whereas Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed the top ten, the last rider within a second of his teammate’s top time.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was only 15th and suffered a small crash at Turn 9, whilst Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) suffered a technical problem at the same corner; he finished 16th. Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) was back in action in 18th place whilst Naomichi Uramoto (JEG Racing) got his wildcard showing off to a solid start with 20th as Suzuki return to racing action in WorldSBK.
Top six after WorldSBK FP1, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK Team) 1’37.629s
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.123s
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.164s
4. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.453s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.468s
6. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +0.600s
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