News 24 Feb 2023

Bautista commences WorldSBK championship fastest

Strong form of Bulega continues in WorldSSP at Phillip Island.

Image: Russell Colvin.

A 1m30.623s saw Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista commence the 2023 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) with the quickest free practice time today at Phillip Island, with Italian Nicolo Bulega leading the way in WorldSSP.

Bautista’s best effort came in this afternoon’s session, placing him over fourth-tenths clear of Pata Yamaha Prometeon’s Andrea Locatelli, the Italian posting his quickest time in FP1 and falling at turn 10 in the second outing.

Making it two Ducatis inside the top three, Michael Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati) completed today third quickest courtesy of a 1m31.157s set in the second session. An improvement for Team HRC’S Iker Lecuona saw him fourth overall, notably falling in the first session.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea was fifth, ahead of Dutchman Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) and Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven). Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) made improvements from the test to finish in terms of position to finish the day P8 as Danilo Petrucci eighth and former world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon) completed the top 10.

Australian Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) completed the first two free practice sessions as the 11th fastest rider, notching a 1m31.655s in FP1.

Image: Supplied.

Continuing the strong form he displayed earlier in the week, Bulega led the way in WorldSSP free practice today and posted a best lap of 1m32.852 in the second session.

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Stefano Manzi was quickest in the FP1, ultimately finishing in second place overall and 0.510s from the benchmark set by his countryman Bulega.

Adrian Huertas (MTM) was a further 0.379s adrift in third, leading Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Ducati), the Italian suffering a fall in the final session. VFT Racing Yamaha’s Nicholas Spinelli completed the top five.

Positions six to 10 featured Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reporta Corse), Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) and Valentin Debise and Australia’s Oli Bayliss, who completed 41 laps and finished the day with a best time of 1m34.236s – 1.384s from Bulega at the top.

Detailed results