Bautista fastest on first morning of Catalunya test, Razgatlioglu crashes

Thursday, 30 March 2023 13:01 GMT

The reigning Champion was just a tenth away from the outright lap record on the first morning in Spain, while Toprak Razgatlioglu crashed at Turn 2

Testing for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship got underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Thursday morning with reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) on top of the timesheets after four hours of running. The Spaniard posted a lap time just a tenth slower than the outright lap record to secure his place in top spot, while it was a dramatic morning for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) after he finished in fourth place despite a Turn 2 crash.

Bautista was one of the first riders to hit the track when the green flags waved at 10:00am Local Time (GMT+1) and he was quick straight out of the blocks. He posted a 1’40.500s to record the fastest time of the morning, a time that was just one tenth away from Tom Sykes’ (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) outright lap record from the Tissot Superpole session in 2021 when he was with BMW. 2022 polesitter Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was second after he posted a 1’41.276s and he was around a tenth ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) in third place.

2021 Champion Razgatlioglu was fourth fastest after he set a 1’41.619s, more than a second down on Bautista’s time, but he had a crash at Turn 2 which disrupted his running in the morning before he returned to the track around 45 minutes later. Razgatlioglu’s teammate, Andrea Locatelli, moved into fifth place right before the mid-point of the day as he posted a 1’41.879s to demote Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) to sixth.

Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the fastest BMW rider on the first morning of the test as he posted a 1’31.935s, almost 1.5 seconds down on Bautista’s time but within eight tenths of second-place Lecuona. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took eighth despite technical problems at Turns 9-10 in the morning, with the two-time WorldSSP Champion helped back to the pits by Rinaldi. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) took ninth spot in the morning with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) rounding out the top ten.

In WorldSSP, Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) took top spot after posing a 1’44.846s in the morning, finishing 1.3 seconds ahead of Raffaele De Rose (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in second spot. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team), making his return from injury sustained in Australia, completed the top three in WorldSSP.

Watch more WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!