News 2 Feb 2023

WorldSBK champion Bautista sets the pace in Portugal

Improved P7 for GYTR GRT's Gardner as testing continues at Portimao.

Image: Supplied.

Reigning Superbike world champion Alvaro Bautista has narrowly edged Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea to set the pace at Portimao testing, with the top four contenders all under the lap record in Portugal.

Just .009s separated Bautista (Aruba.It Racing Ducati) and Rea at the conclusion of the two days at the undulating 4.592km circuit, with the Spaniard able to top the charts with a 1m39.035s despite a small crash on the morning of day two.

Day one pace-setter Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing Ducati) was third quickest overall, just 0.109s behind his teammate. Former champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx) completed the leading quartet with a 1m39.411s, placing him .406s from the number one and over two-tenths clear of his teammate Andrea Locatelli in P5.

Team HRC’s Iker Lecuona completed the two days sixth quickest, leading top rookie Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) in P7, the Australian’s best effort coming on day two in the form of a 1m40.202s

Also featuring inside the top 10 were Xavi Vierge (Team HRC), Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) – who notably posted his fastest on day one – and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetii Racing), as Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.It Racing Ducati) was the quickest of the Supersport World Championship riders in attendance with a 1m42.636s.

Also at Portimao, Australia’s Oli Bayliss completed his first outing with the D34G Racing team, posting a best lap of 1m44.978s for P9 in the WorldSSP times.