Bautista rockets up the order to take P1 on Friday, Razgatlioglu second overall as Gardner impresses

Rain once again played havoc with the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field as Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) claimed top spot in Friday’s combined classification. A mid-session downpour when the red flags were out meant times didn’t improve in the final 20 minutes or so, with the #1 able to hold on to P1. He was just ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in second after the #54 topped FP1 this morning at the TT Circuit Assen.

QUICK BEFORE THE RAIN: Bautista storms to top spot, Razgatlioglu P2

Bautista was third in the morning Free Practice 1 session, and he kept his strong pace up in Free Practice 2, which was red-flagged with around 17 minutes to go due to safety conditions. With the track drying following a morning downpour before rain fell during the red flag, the #1 was able to top the times with a 1’35.473s ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who was fastest this morning. The #54’s best time was a 1’35.684s from the morning FP1 session and was around two tenths down on Bautista. Third belonged to Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as he posted a 1’35.827s in FP2 as his strong form continues, with the Australian 0.354s down on Bautista.

MOVING ON UP: Rinaldi finds gains in FP2, Rea in the top five

One of the big movers in Free Practice 2 was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing), who moved into P1 briefly before being demoted into fourth in the combined classification as he looks to take his Independent Panigale V4 R into podium contention. He was ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) in fifth as he looks to really kickstart his campaign, with the #65 lapping less than half-a-second down on Bautista. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) has had a superb start to his rookie campaign and he took sixth place on his first day back on track after arm pump surgery after setting a 1’35.941s in FP2 before the rain fell.

IN THE MIX? Rounding out the top ten on Friday

Two brothers were next to each other in the classification, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in seventh ahead of Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) in eighth and the first rider in the 1’36s bracket, finishing less than a tenth clear of Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in P9, with the Dutchman ensuring two BMWs were in the top ten. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) rounded out the top ten with a 1’36.216s, just ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) in P11 on his first visit to Assen in WorldSBK.

AIMING FOR GAINS: Gerloff drops down the order in FP2

Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was quick in FP1 as he set a 1’36.386s but he was unable to improve in FP2, finishing down the order in 12th. Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) was the first rider to take to the track in the afternoon and claimed 13th place, with Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) ending the day in 14th. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rounded out the top 15, with the two Team HRC riders directly behind. Xavi Vierge was the fastest Honda in 16th ahead of teammate Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in 17th.

WORK TO DO: Locatelli well off the pace at a track he’s strong at…

One big shock was Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). He finished in 18th place in the combined classification at a track he’s been a consistent podium contender at, improving in FP2 to a 1’37.227s but finishing well down the order. He was ahead of Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 19th, Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) in 20th and Nicholas Spinelli – replacing the injured Danilo Petrucci at the Barni Spark Racing Team – in 21st. The two PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders, Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda), rounded out the field.

The top six from WorldSBK Friday running at Assen, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 1’35.473s

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.211s

3. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.354s

4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) +0.446s

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.449s

6. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) +0.468s

Watch all the action from WorldSBK on Saturday from 09:00 Local Time (UTC+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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