Bautista closes in on all-time lap record pace in Barcelona despite crash, Lecuona second before Turn 14 fall

Friday, 31 March 2023 11:04 GMT

Bautista and Lecuona were the fastest two riders on the second morning of action in Barcelona but both had crashes which disrupted their running

It was a dramatic second morning of action in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) topped the times and edged closer to the all-time lap record despite a crash, while a red flag was brought out following a crash for Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) at Turn 14. The pair were separated by less than a tenth as the second morning concluded with Lecuona matching Bautista’s pace from Day 1 before his crash.

Bautista set a best time of 1’40.459s, around half-a-tenth slower than the all-time lap record set by Tom Sykes in 2021 in the Tissot Superpole session, but his morning was disrupted by a Turn 11 crash. He returned to the box and was back out on track on his second bike shortly afterwards. Lecuona took second spot after lapping less than a tenth slower than Bautista. His morning ended when he crashed at Turn 14, the final corner of the circuit, which brought out the red flags. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) took third spot as he posted a 1’41.353s.

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) impressed despite carrying an injury on his right index finger as he took fourth spot after posting a 1’41.432s on his Yamaha YZF R1 machine. He was only 0.011s ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in fifth place as he takes part in the Catalunya test for the second day only. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) took sixth spot on his CBR1000RR-R machine after setting a 1’41.646s as he looked to continue his strong form from Day 1.

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was seventh as he continued his strong test with the Italian just over a second away from Bautista’s fastest lap and he was more than two tenths ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth. Lowes’ morning was interrupted by a small crash at Turn 5, with the British rider bringing his bike back to the pits. ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team pairing Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding were once again inseparable as they finished ninth and tenth respectively as they continued to look for steps forward. Elsewhere, there were also crashes for Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) at Turn 5 and Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) at Turns 6/7 on his first timed lap.

In WorldSSP, Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) once again led the way and finished more than a second clear of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in second place. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was third as he continues his recovery from the injury he sustained in Australia.

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