Razgatlioglu fastest in damp-but-drying Assen FP1, Bautista surges to third late on with Rea P5

Friday, 19 April 2024 09:26 GMT

WorldSBK Free Practice 1 was a largely quiet affair until the final 10 minutes as riders took advantage of the best conditions in the closing stages

The third round of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship got underway with Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) leading the way at the TT Circuit Assen. With overnight rain leaving the track in less-than-ideal conditions, the best times of Free Practice 1 came in the last 10 minutes as the Pirelli Dutch Round got underway, with Razgatlioglu leading Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Alvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati).

With a damp track greeting the field to start the 45-minute session, times rapidly came down in the closing stages of Free Practice 1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had been first throughout most of the session, but he was in the box when times improved, although he was back on track with around six minutes remaining. With a couple of minutes remaining, ‘El Turco’ posted a 1’35.777s to snatch top spout from Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who had taken advantage of the drying track to provisionally go first before Razgatlioglu demoted him. In the final stages, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati) moved up to third with a 1’36.271s, almost six tenths back from rival Razgatlioglu. He completed one 12-lap stint with his best time coming on the final lap.

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) has shown strong pace throughout 2024 and that continued at Assen with fourth place, having been in the top three at several points during the session as the #87 finished as the lead Yamaha rider. He was just under a tenth clear of Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) in fifth, with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) claiming sixth; like Gardner, the American had gone into the top three in the closing stages but was demoted by Rea, Gardner and Bautista.

It was a good session for BMW with Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) making it three M 1000 RR machines in the top seven, with the #60 finishing 0.721s down on his teammate. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) claimed eighth spot ahead of a duo of Italians, with Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) in ninth and Nicolo Bulega ( Racing - Ducati) tenth. Bulega had a moment into Turn 1, and he took a trip into the gravel although he remained upright at all times.

The top six from WorldSBK Free Practice 1, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1'35.684s

2. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.290s

3. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati) +0.587s

4. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.598s

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.604s

6. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.702s

Watch every moment from WorldSBK Free Practice 2 at 15:00 Local Time (UTC+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!