Four riders smash lap record pace at Portimao, Bautista fastest despite Turn 7 crash

Wednesday, 1 February 2023 13:37 GMT

Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista was fastest on Day 2 at Portimao despite a crash, with Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu also under the lap record

It was a morning of record-breaking pace at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as three riders went under the existing lap record set in last year’s Portuguese Round. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) was the fastest rider on track despite a crash at Turn 7, while Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) also lapped under the lap record.

Bautista had a disrupted morning on the second day of testing after he had a crash at Turn 7, but, prior to this, he was able to set the fastest time of the day with a 1’39.035s; just 0.009s ahead of six-time Champion Rea in second place. It had looked like the ‘Titanic Trio’ would finish 1-2-3 in the morning, but a late lap from Rinaldi moved him into the top three and demoted 2021 Champion Razgatlioglu to fourth place; all four riders lapped faster than the existing lap record. Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha teammate, Andrea Locatelli, rounded out the top five, 0.670s down on Bautista.

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was sixth after posting a 1’39.987s on his CBR1000RR-R machine, despite the Spanish rider having a crash in the final sector in the opening stages of the session. He was not the only rider to hit troubles during the session, with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) having technical issues on the front straight at around the same time as Bautista’s crash, with the red flags briefly deployed following the two incidents.

In WorldSSP, it was Nicolo Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) on top halfway through Day 2 after posting a 1’42.919s; beating the previous lap record set two-time Champion Dominique Aegerter by around a tenth. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) was second with Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) rounding out the top three. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was fourth with French rider Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) in fifth.

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