Bautista leads Locatelli on Day 2 at Phillip Island, WorldSBK Independents shine again in Australia

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 00:27 GMT

The morning of the second day of testing once again provided a mixed up order, while a late red flag disrupted running

The second morning of the Official Test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was disrupted by a red flag as reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) topped the times by less than a tenth ahead of his rivals. The Ducati rider’s best time on the morning od Day 2 was six tenths quicker than his best Day 1 time with riders immediately on the pace when the session got underway.

Bautista posted a best time of a 1’30.272s, beating his best from Day 1 by six tenths, while it was also faster than Toprak Razgatlioglu’s (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) fastest time of Day 1 by three tenths of a second. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) took second place after setting a 1’30.344s; only 0.072s down on Bautista. Italian rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) was third, 0.229s down on his teammate, as he continued to shine.

Six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took fourth spot, 0.444s down on Bautista, on his ZX-10RRR as he worked on tyre life and making the bike more manageable particularly in sector three. Razgatlioglu, still looking at improving rear grip, was fifth while German Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) took sixth spot as the top Independent rider. Oettl had been inside the top four during the majority of the two-hour Free Practice 1 session but dropped to sixth place.

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was seventh despite a late technical problem at Turn 7 after lapping a 1’30.930s, with Lecuona the last rider in the 1’30s bracket. Home hero Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was eighth ahead of four more Independent riders. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) took ninth spot, Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the fastest BMW rider in tenth and Gardner’s teammate, Dominique Aegerter, was 11th.

Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) had a crash at Turn 8 with around 18 minutes left in the session which brought out the red flags, while Czech rider Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) had a crash at Turn 2 in the early stages of the session which limited his running; Konig completed only five laps in the two-hour FP1 session. Konig’s crash came when he lost the front of his bike while shifting down as the bike pushed on.

The top six from FP1, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 1’30.272s

2. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) + 0.072s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.229s

4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.444s

5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.485s

6. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +0.566s

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