Almost 100 laps for Bautista on Day 2 at Jerez as he returns to Ducati

Thursday, 25 November 2021 17:08 GMT

Bautista racked up almost a century of laps on the second day of testing at Jerez, while Bulega, Tuuli, Sofuoglu and Baldassarri got some WorldSSP laps under their belt.

The two-day test at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto came to a close for the single MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rider on track as Alvaro Bautista completed his first days of track action since returning to the Racing – Ducati outfit. Over a two-day test, Bautista was joined on track by Nicolo Bulega, Lorenzo Baldassarri and Bahattin Sofuoglu all on WorldSSP machinery.

Just days after the 2021 season ended in Indonesia, Bautista was back on a bike but this time the Ducati Panigale V4 R as he returned to Ducati for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. Bautista had spent two years with Honda but returns to Ducati for 2022, alongside Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Bautista spent the two-day test re-adjusting to life on the Ducati Panigale V4 R after two years with the Honda CBR1000RR-R. The goal for Bautista throughout the test – with the Spaniard taking to the track on Wednesday afternoon and throughout Thursday, was to continue the adaptation to his bike due to the differences between the Ducati and Honda bikes.

The Spanish rider completed a total of 96 laps on day two at Jerez, posting a best lap time of 1’39.119s. This time was around half-a-second slower than Toprak Razgatlioglu’s (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) pole time at the 2021 Spanish Round; with vastly different conditions when the lap times were recorded.

The Racing Team were also on track in WorldSSP as Nicolo Bulega got his first taste of the Ducati Panigale V2 machine he will use in the 2022 season following his switch from Moto2™. Ducati are returning to the Championship for the first time since 2007, bringing the Panigale V2 into the Championship with Bulega competing for the Racing Team. Bulega completed 61 laps on day of at Jerez as he continued his adjustment to WorldSSP machinery, posting a best lap time of 1’42.952s.

Discussing the test, Bulega said: “I feel really good with the bike and also with the team, especially with the team because they work really well. It was the first test for us, but it was a really good sensation. Everybody worked really well. For me, this was the most important thing for us. Also, my feeling with the bike was good. Yesterday, it was a little bit of a shock for me because I changed everything: the chassis, the engine, it all changed. It was difficult but today, already, it was much better, and the feeling was good. I think we can be happy about this test.”

Bulega was joined on track by MV Agusta Corse Clienti with the team starting their preparations for the 2022 season by testing the engine from the MV Agusta F3 800, on the chassis of the MV Agusta F3 675 which had been used in WorldSSP and scored race wins and podiums. 2021 rider Niki Tuuli was on track throughout the two-day test as he tested some new components for the team, bringing an element of continuity to the test for the team. Tuuli did suffer from a crash on day two at the final corner at Jerez but was okay and able to continue his testing programme.

Tuuli was joined by two riders experiencing their first taste of WorldSSP as Lorenzo Baldassarri and Bahattin Sofuoglu linked up with the MV Agusta Corse Clienti squad. Sofuoglu took part in the test to get used to a bigger bike having spent four years taking part in WorldSSP300, claiming eight podiums and four victories in his two full seasons. Baldassarri got his first WorldSSP action after eight seasons in Moto2™, where he claimed five wins and 12 podiums. The aim for the Italian rider was to undergo a test on Pirelli tyres. The MV Agusta trio completed a total of 69 laps between two bikes with a best lap time of 1’43.292s.

Lap times provided by the Circuito de Jerez

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