DAY 2 REPORT: Bulega stuns with incredible lap record pace for P1, Rea second as Bautista finishes 16th

Thursday, 25 January 2024 17:25 GMT

There was no stopping rookie Nicolo Bulega at Jerez as he lapped in the 1’37s, finishing more than half-a-second clear of his rivals

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) was once again the rider to beat at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto as he lapped considerably quicker than the lap record pace. The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rookie was unstoppable on Thursday, as he was on Wednesday, as the only rider to lap in the 1’37s bracket across both days to claim top spot for the second consecutive day after he lapped around four tenths under the existing lap record and secure P1 by more than half-a-second.

LAP RECORD PACE: a 1’37.8s for Bulega, Bautista in 16th

Bulega recorded a 1’37.809s in the first few hours of the session, a time which would remain unbeaten throughout the day. For comparison, the pole lap record set in 2019 is a 1’38.247s, with Bulega more than four tenths quicker than this as the rookie’s potential was shown once again. Teammate Alvaro Bautista had been quick in the opening stages of the test but dropped down the order to finish in 16th, lapping in 1’39.583s, and completing 80 laps, losing places in the final hour of the test as other riders found late gains.

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven), like fellow rookie Bulega, impressed again. He claimed fifth on his Independent V4 R, 0.935s down on Bulega, although his day was interrupted by a crash in the opening sector of the lap in the afternoon. Despite this, he completed 61 laps. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) ensured Ducati had four bikes in the top ten as he took P9 with a 1’38.907s. ‘Petrux’, who was again trying a new, lower, seat, completed 73 laps. There were two other Independent Ducatis on track. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) was seventh as he continued adapting from Moto2™ to WorldSBK with 91 laps to his name and a best time of 1’38.852s after finding gains towards the end of the day, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) was 15th on his sole day of testing. He racked up 89 laps with a best time of 1’39.504s.

REA SECOND, GARDNER QUICK AGAIN: a good test for Yamaha

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) was 0.536s down on Bulega’s best time at the end of Day 2. The #65’s 1’38.345s was only a tenth away from his own lap record from 2019 but wasn’t enough to claim P1 for Yamaha as he continued working on his new bike. Teammate Andrea Locatelli ensured both factory Yamahas were in the top ten as he added 73 laps to his total, with a best time of 1’38.943s. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) continued to show his speed as he took eighth, just a tenth behind Iannone, in P5 as he posted a best time of 1’38.871s, with Gardner  re-confirming items tested on Day 1 with some back-to-back comparisons. Elsewhere, Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) was 12th after his first test days on the Yamaha YZF-R1, finding a second between his best time on Day 1. With another 58 laps recorded and a 1’39.039s as his best time, the German was one of the most-improved riders, looking at lap times, between days as his mileage on his new bike increased.


Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) put in a stunning late 1’38.572s to claim third place and demote Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to fourth. Redding completed 77 laps as he surged up the order in the final minutes of the day, while Razgatlioglu added another 78 to the collection for BMW. Razgatlioglu’s teammate, Michael van der Mark, was 13th with 76 laps to his name, posting a best time of 1’39.224s. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) secured P6 with a late lap to move up the order. The American’s best time was a 1’38.832s and he added 74 laps to his total. In terms of the BMW test team, Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Smith added 56 and 48 laps respectively, with the latter having a technical issue in the early stages of the day.

LOWES THE LEAD KAWASAKI RIDER: P11 for the Brit as Bassani takes P14

After a disrupted day on Wednesday while unwell, completing only 31 laps, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took part in the full day on Thursday. He was one of the busiest riders on track as he completed 82 laps and posted a best of 1’38.989s. The #22 wanted to spend today focusing on race pace and used tyre performance, particularly towards the end of a race distance. Teammate Axel Bassani was three places and half-a-second behind Lowes, although his time of 1’39.413s was around six tenths quicker than he set on Day 1. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 18th on his factory ZX-10RR, completing 76 laps with a best time of 1’40.100s.


Day 1 was challenging for Honda with both Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge both outside the top ten, and that continued on Day 2. Vierge was the lead Honda rider with a 1’39.915s and 73 laps completed while Lecuona posted a 1’40.237s in is 49 laps. Lecuona, who changed the bike a lot on Day 1 as it wasn’t working as expected, completed the fewest number of laps of the full-time WorldSBK riders at the test.

MANZI ON TOP: Italian leads the WorldSSP field, four manufacturers in the top four

2023 WorldSSP runner-up Stefano Manzi (Pata Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took top spot in the World Supersport field with a 1’41.338s, completing 64 laps. He was three tenths clear of Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in second as he continues his comeback from arm surgery, while Adrian Huertas ( Racing – Ducati) took P3. With Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in fourth, four different manufacturers were inside the top four at the end of Day 2.

The top ten from Day 2 at Jerez:

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) 1’37.809, 69 laps

2. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) 1’38.345s, 78 laps

3. Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’38.572s, 77 laps

4. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’38.638s, 78 laps

5. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) 1’38.744s, 61 laps

6. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’38.832s, 74 laps

7. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) 1’38,852s, 91 laps

8. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’38.871s, 76 laps

9. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’38.907s, 73 laps

10. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) 1’38.943s, 73 laps

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