Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista was the fastest in the first session as testing got underway at Misano
The first morning of testing at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” was topped by Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as the majority of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field travelled east from Spain to Italy for a two-day test. Bautista was setting all-time lap record pace towards the end of the first morning, with track conditions optimal despite the threat of rain during the build-up to the test.
Bautista’s best lap time came in his sixth stint of the morning and he posted a 1’33.035s, using Pirelli’s SCQ tyre, to lap around three tenths quicker than the existing all-time lap record at Misano, set by Bautista in last year’s Tissot Superpole session. Bautista was more than six tenths clear of 2021 Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in second place after the Turkish rider leapfrogged Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in the closing stages of the four-hour morning session. Razgatlioglu’s session was disrupted by a crash at Turn 3 with around 45 minutes left in the morning and he was okay following the crash. Only Bautista, Razgatlioglu and Rinaldi lapped in the 1’33s bracket in the morning, while Bautista and Rinaldi completed 64 and 57 laps respectively in the morning session; the riders with the most laps.
Two BMW riders finished in the top five in the morning, with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) continuing his fine form with fourth ahead of Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. The pair were separated by around two tenths of a second at the end of the morning session, with rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) ending the morning in sixth place and just 0.009s slower than Redding.
Baldassarri put in a late lap towards the end of the session to move ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) with Locatelli demoted to seventh, finishing ahead of a trio of Independent riders. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) finished in eighth after he set a 1’34.869s, just 0.016s clear of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in ninth place. Rookie Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) posted a 1’34.923s to finish the first session in tenth.
There was a red flag in the final hour of the morning session after a crash for Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) at Turn 13, while Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) also had a crash during the session. Bulega went for a check-up following the crash with Baz okay despite his incident.
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