Bautista storms to P1 in FP3, Gerloff a podium contender as Razgatlioglu P11

Saturday, 9 September 2023 07:51 GMT

The Championship leader moved his way into contention on Saturday morning, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu could only manage P11

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back in action at the Pirelli French Round at Magny-Cours and on Saturday morning, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) reasserted himself as the fastest rider before Superpole with a 1’35.895. He was under the race lap record and not far from the Superpole record and enjoyed a good gap of 0.427s over his rivals.

After taking P6 on day one, a late lap at the end of the session saw Championship leader Alvaro Bautista move into top spot at Magny-Cours, as Ducati certainly seem to have found a step at form. Man of the moment Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) continued to shine for BMW, with a strong FP3 showing that sees him go into the opening race day as one of the favourites for a podium, taking P2. In third place, fastest from FP2 Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) was once again competitive, whilst Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) secured fourth; the most successful rider at Magny-Cours was top British rider ahead of Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who made it two BMWs inside the top five.

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was in sixth place after FP3, as the Italian continued to find pace on his return to Magny-Cours, whilst Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took P7. P8 belonged to Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as the Australian got to grips with the intricate French circuit. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) was ninth but suffered a technical issue right at the end of the session, whilst Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). One of the big talking points was that Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and teammate Andrea Locatelli were 11th and 12th respectively, although they’ll be sure to find pace in Superpole. Brady Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) were both outside the 105% time, with the latter not setting a time at all and losing time in the pits as his team worked on his machine.

Top six after WorldSBK FP3, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 1’35.895s

2. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.427s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.536s

4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.673s

5. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.790s

6. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.931s

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