Bautista irrepressible for P1 in FP3 ahead of Rinaldi, Rea improves, Gardner impresses

Saturday, 3 June 2023 07:46 GMT

It was a busy Saturday morning on track at Misano as the 2023 title race gets ready to warm-up further

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for the fifth round of the year at the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round, with the sun beating down from the start of Saturday. FP3 was a great spectacle once more, with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) on top form again and shining at the top with a stunning race pace.

Continuing with his domination of the weekend thus far, Bautista was on fire again on Saturday morning in FP3. Into the 1’33s and setting a fastest lap of 1’33.352, Bautista did a race simulation with the vast majority of his laps very close to the all-time lap record. Bautista’s pace was relentless, and teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi was second and made it a Ducati 1-2 on Saturday morning. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) struggled on day one after missing the test but got himself up into P3, heading off top Yamaha Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), whilst Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) completed the top five.

Strong in sixth place and with a point to prove, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was in good form, ahead of Friday revelation Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who was seventh on Saturday morning. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was up in eighth, one place ahead of teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu, who stayed in the box for most of the session and didn’t improve his time from FP1. Rounding out the top ten, top Honda rider Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). There was a crash for Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) who went down at Turn 13, but he was OK and back in the box. Tempers boiled over too for Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), with the Spaniard held up at Turn 4 by Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW), and not happy at all with the Frenchman.

Top six after WorldSBK FP3, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 1’33.352s

2. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.245s

3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.603s

4. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.717s

5. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +0.785s

6. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +0.794s

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