The first session of the weekend for WorldSBK got underway with surprises throughout
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s final European round of the season has ignited at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, with FP1 starting action at the Pirelli Portuguese Round. With the sun shining, times were straight down to business, and it was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who topped the times to give him a boost over his rivals as he looks to consolidate fourth overall in the Championship, whilst none of the ‘titanic trio’ featured inside the top two.
Off the back of a solid second place in Barcelona, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was right on the pace as he put in a strong lap time at the end of the session, the only rider in the 1’40s, setting a 1’40.965s. The Italian was ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who had sat inside the top five for the majority of the session before taking top spot with just over five minutes to go and then being demoted back to second. He had the advantage over Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), who was leading the way for most of the session before being pushed back by his fellow Yamaha rider into third. Razgatlioglu signed off the session in style, as he got major air over the rise between Turn 8 and Turn 9. The two were split by just over a tenth and a half, whilst it was Portimao specialist Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who secured fourth position, whilst Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the second Ducati in FP1, managing to take fifth.
Completing the top half dozen was Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who was ahead of rival Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in seventh, whilst it was Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who took eighth. Making it all five manufacturers represented inside the top ten, Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) was ninth and was inside the best sector times in the final sector with second, whilst teammate Iker Lecuona took tenth, just ahead of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). There was a big crash for Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who crashed hard at Turn 3 but was up on his feet.
Top six after WorldSBK FP1 at Portimao, full results here:
1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.965s
2. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.117s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.284s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.391s
5. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.547s
6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.721s
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