A shaken-up order in WorldSBK means we could be in for a crazy Superpole session, as FP3 gave more than a fair share of surprises
Free Practice 3 at the Autodrom Most on Saturday morning was super important; a fully dry session on the first of two race days gave valuable information to all riders as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship gears up for round eight. The final Free Practice session of the Acerbis Czech Round welcomed an array of riders at the top throughout the 30 minutes session but in the end, it was Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) who led the way.
It was a frantic session with 90 seconds to go, as riders put in fast laps. Garrett Gerloff was on a mission and went top at different points of the session. Despite Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) charging up the order and being briefly ahead of the American, Gerloff responded and the 27-year-old took top spot despite not being fastest in any of the individual sectors. Redding clinched second for a surprising BMW 1-2, whilst 2021 World Champion Razgatlioglu – who is the most successful rider at the Czech venue with four wins – was third, just 0.073s adrift. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) made it formation flying for Yamaha, one place behind his teammate, whilst Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) was top Ducati in P5.
Making it three BMW M 1000 RRs inside the top six, Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was in good form as the BMW looked to be working in the cooler morning temperatures. We could be set for one of the most unpredictable grids of the season. Having been top for much of the first part of the session, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) looked silky smooth on his way to P7. In eighth, there was reason to smile as Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was inside the top ten, giving Honda some promise ahead of Tissot Superpole. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) took ninth, whilst it was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in tenth and the lead factory Ducati, one place ahead of struggling teammate Alvaro Bautista.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was mired down in 14th but still top Kawasaki, with it unlikely that he or Bautista really put in a true time attack. After a mechanical issue caused a crash yesterday, Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was back in action but down in 18th.
Top six after WorldSBK FP3, full results here:
1. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’31.689s
2. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.007s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.073s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.224s
5. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +0.268s
6. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.337s
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