Rea pips Bautista, Petrucci as the trio display race lap record pace at Aragon

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 16:29 GMT

After missing the first day of action, six-time Champion Jonathan Rea stormed to the top of the timesheets by less than a tenth

The final day of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship testing concluded at MotorLand Aragon with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) topping the times despite missing the first day. The #65 tested only on Wednesday but he was straight up to speed as he joined Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who topped the morning session, in going under the existing race lap record.

SPLIT PROGRAMME FOR KAWASAKI: one eye on the present, one on the future

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK’s race riders, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, only rode for one day at Aragon but they made use of it with Rea leading Lowes in a 1-3 in the afternoon session, and a 1-5 overall. The pair had a split programme for their sole test day with the #22 focusing on future developments and the 2024 season, while Rea was looking at the present as he looked to prepare best for the final four rounds of 2023. Rea was fastest in the afternoon as he set a 1’49.101s, which was good enough for top spot overall as he went under the race lap record, while Lowes posted a 1’49.791s for fifth. Lowes was the busiest rider on track, completing 130 laps; including 82 in the afternoon alone.

EVENLY MATCHED: Petrucci, Bautista set same lap time as Ducati try new items

Petrucci used the SCQ tyre to set his best time of 1’49.168s to finish the morning session on top, and joint second overall. The #9 spent the afternoon doing some comparison work between brake disks as he looked to find time in this part of the cornering phase to maximise his lap time. The WorldSBK rookie also had some electronic setups to try with engine braking as well as small adjustments to the triple clamp. In total, he completed 47 laps after ending his testing programme early on Wednesday.

At the factory team, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) got his hands on a new front fork that’s been designed with 2024 in mind, while the #1 also worked on some setup ideas they have in mind if the feeling improved compared to yesterday. He finished the day with the exact same lap time as Petrucci, a 1’49.168s, as he added 97 laps to his total. However, at the very end of the day, Bautista crashed at Turn 14. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished the day in seventh with 72 laps under his belt.

HONDA’S RAPID PACE CONTINUES: Lecuona surges into the top four

Honda continued to have three riders on track at Aragon with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) the fastest of the trio. He completed 58 laps, all in the morning as he opted not to go out in the afternoon and set a 1’49.466s to secure fourth overall, with teammate Xavi Vierge in sixth as he put another 87 laps in on Wednesday. Tetsuta Nagashima was also on track as part of the test team and rounded out the WorldSBK field but did add a valuable 80 laps to Honda’s test programme, with the Japanese rider improving his time, like the majority of the field, in the closing stages of the test.

VAN DER MARK ON TOP AT BMW: nothing to separate the quartet of BMW riders

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) led the four BMW riders between eighth and 11thplace. The Dutchman completed 79 laps as he continued gaining fitness following his return from injury while he also tried some new brake ducts. His best time, a 1’50.362s, put him two tenths clear of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) in ninth with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) completing the top ten with a 1’50.655s. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) lost a chunk of running time in the afternoon when he had a mechanical issue but was still able to add 73 laps to his tally and finish in 11th.

BULEGA ON TOP AGAIN: Championship leader fastest in WorldSSP

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) continued to be the faster of the two WorldSSP riders on track ahead of Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team). The #11’s best time of 1’53.941s was set in the morning session and he racked up 37 laps while Mackenzie lapped around three seconds slower. He completed 31 laps on day two.

Full results from day two at Aragon:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.101s, 68 laps

2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 1’49.168, 97 laps

3. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’49.168, 47 laps

4. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) 1’49.466s, 58 laps

5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.791, 130 laps

6. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) 1’49.984, 87 laps

7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) 1’50.094, 72 laps

8. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.362, 79 laps

9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’50.557, 83 laps

10. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.655, 81 laps

11. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’50.935, 73 laps

12. Tetsuta Nagashima (Team HRC) 1’51.026, 80 laps

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Photo credits: LZ Photos Media