Yamaha and Honda lead the opening session with Razgatlioglu and Lecuona looking strong from the off
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s 30th anniversary weekend of racing at the TT Circuit Assen is well underway and the Free Practice 1 in the Netherlands saw all riders hit the track and set good lap times from the start. Come the chequered flag, it was an impressive opening session of the Motul Dutch Round to Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), who resisted a late charge from Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) to top the first session.
Toprak Razgatlioglu led the way for most of the session as the Turkish rider got down to business, hunting for a first victory at the iconic Dutch venue, with four tenths of a second over his opposition. It was a fantastic opening session of the weekend for Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), who spent almost all of the session well inside the top six before putting in a blistering lap time in the last four minutes to go second. The Spanish rookie is an exciting prospect at Assen this weekend. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) had a steady session, finishing in third come the end. Halfway through the session, a small part of his bike appeared to fly off at Turn 13, but he otherwise had a relatively uneventful session. Bautista’s teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi was fourth, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who completed the top five.
It's P1 for reigning champ @toprak_tr54 in the first #WorldSBK Free Practice at Assen!— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) April 22, 2022
He's followed by a very impressive @LecuonaIker in 2nd and @19Bautista in 3rd.#NLDWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/81jGKZMi8t
Sixth place went to American Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), with Yamaha looking strong at various points of the session. Backing up Yamaha’s assault, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was seventh at the circuit at which he took his first podium at last year. Eighth went to Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), ahead of an ever-improving Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in ninth and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), who completed the top ten, edging out fellow Independent riders Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) and Roberto Tamburini (Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
Outside of the top ten, Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) had an enormous crash at Turn 15, with a corner entry highside at Turn 15, luckily escaping getting tangled up with the bike as both tumbled through the gravel. Laverty went to the medical centre for a check-up but was on his feet walking away from the crash. On his comeback, Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was 17th, one place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC).
Top six after FP1, full results here:
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’34.466s
2. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +0.418s
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.780s
4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.805s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 0.829s
6. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.918s
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