The reigning World Champion was once again on top, but Iker Lecuona was again shining brightly
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands for the Motul Dutch Round, with Saturday’s action commencing with Free Practice 3. The first of two race days got underway with the final session before the Tissot Superpole session, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) having the advantage and leading the field into the remainder of the day’s action, whilst Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was impressive again in second despite a second crash of the weekend.
Times came in from the start, although not comparable to the times set throughout Friday. There was plenty of drama throughout too, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) suffering a technical problem with smoke billowing out of his Ducati at Turn 10. In what was a slightly shaken-up order, times came in and with just over five minutes to go, it was Iker Lecuona who was leading the way, however the Spaniard crashed at Turn 9 in the closing moments. There was more drama further down with Sammarinese rookie Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) running off at Turn 7, going through the gravel and then back onto the circuit.
Come the end of the session, Toprak Razgatlioglu was the rider to beat as he ended the session on top, ahead of Iker Lecuona, who returned to his box but was far from impressed after his front-end fall; he placed fourth overall on the combined timesheets. Third place and top Independent, Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) was mightily impressive in third, putting him sixth overall in the combined times. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was fourth and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), the 15-time Assen winner, in fifth.
Completing the top half-dozen was Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who was top momentarily halfway through the session, whilst Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took eighth. After his technical issue, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was left mired down in ninth, whilst it was Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) who completed the top ten – the first rider to improve their time in comparison to yesterday, placing him 13th overall. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was top BMW in 11th.
Top six after FP3, full results here:
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’34.540s
2. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +0.206s
3. Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) +0.352s
4. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.382s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.419s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.527s
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