With the track taking time to rubber in, it wasn’t an indicative session for race pace, but mistakes were punished as big names crashed
The second round of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well underway with the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit hosting the Motul Indonesian Round. In what was a busy session, it was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who topped the opening track action in WorldSBK and continued his strong form from round one at Phillip Island, as he looks to bring success to Ducati for the first time at Mandalika.
There was a crash for Rinaldi on his opening run, one of many high-profile names to hit the ground – the fall was at Turn 10 saw him back on his feet as he returned to the circuit with ten minutes to go, finishing on top and bouncing back strongly. Waiting five minutes or so before heading out to the circuit, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) got out and down to the pace, which was around three seconds off the outright lap record – also set by Toprak – due to the track still being rubbered in. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) leads the Championship and finished the opening session in third. Leaving it late to go out on the circuit, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ventured out with just under 17 minutes to go, ultimately finishing fourth, one place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC), who improved on his final two flying laps.
Setting a fast time in his first run, Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took top Independent honours with P6, one place ahead of second place in the Championship, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK). Alex Lowes, like teammate Rea, left his running until the second half of the session and finishing in eighth, ahead of Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) and Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), with all five manufacturers inside the top ten.
Elsewhere, there were crashes for Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW), who was the first crasher of the day at Turn 10 in a peculiar highside off-line. Additionally, Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) crashed at Turn 16 and whilst he walked away, looked uncomfortable when he got back to the Honda box. The crash happened on his first flying lap, meaning Lecuona didn’t set a lap time. There was also a big crash for Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) at Turn 6, but despite heavily scuffed leathers, he was able to walk away.
Top six after WorldSBK FP1 at Mandalika, full results here:
1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’34.613
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.056s
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.170s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.188s
5. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +0.225s
6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.579s
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