Brilliant Bulega almost 0.5s clear of Razgatlioglu on Day 1 in Barcelona, Rea rebounds from Australia with P5

The two-day Supported Test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field concluded on Thursday with Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) leading the way. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the two-day Supported Test ahead of next week’s Pirelli Catalunya Round, with the #11 lapping 0.454s faster than his rivals on a day that produced several incidents throughout the eight hours of running.

BULEGA LEADS DUCATI’S CHARGE: P1 for the #11 again, Sam Lowes impresses as a rookie again

Bulega added yet another circuit to the list of venues he’s been fastest at in WorldSBK as he set a 1’40.304s using the SCQ tyre and completed 72 laps. The #11 was focusing on keeping his feeling with the Panigale V4 R, while the primary goal was to prepare for the round next week. It was similar for teammate Alvaro Bautista, who finished in third place, 0.725s down on his teammate with an incredible 103 laps to his name. They were joined Michele Pirro from the test team as the Italian helped to develop the power delivery and engine characteristics.

In terms of Independent Ducati riders, Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) was the quickest, the #14 ending up fourth despite a lowside crash at Turn 10 which then caused a technical issue with a faulty sensor at around the halfway point. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was the seventh fastest and just over a second away from Bulega. The #9 had nothing new on his V4 R as he tested Pirelli’s new SCX tyre, and he was ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) in eighth. The #21 crashed at Turn 5 in the afternoon but was still able to finish inside the top ten with a 1’41.692s. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) was 11th; ‘The Maniac’ aiming to recover his feeling at this circuit as it was the first time he’s ridden here on a WorldSBK-spec machine. 

RAZGATLIOGLU TAKES TOP BMW HONOURS: crashes for several BMW riders including the #54

As seen so often in testing, Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the lead BMW rider with second place overall, although he did have a small crash Turn 10 in the morning. He set a 1’40.768s to lap four tenths behind rival Bulega but was still the fastest BMW rider. Teammate Michael van der Mark crashed in the afternoon at the same corner, and he was classified in 15th place. There was also a crash for test team rider Bradley Smith at Turn 5. At the Bonovo Action BMW team, Garrett Gerloff was the quicker of the team’s two riders with ninth place, while Scott Redding was in 19th.

REA BACK TOWARDS THE TOP: third place the #65

Yamaha had a strong opening day of testing, with Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) back on track following his Race 2 crash in Australia and taking fifth spot. The plan for him was to try and find the feeling with the bike he had at Jerez, and he set a 1’41.655s to take P5. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was outside the top ten in 12th, around three tenths off his teammate. Remy Gardner’s (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) strong pace continued as took sixth place, as the second-fastest Yamaha rider, while teammate Dominique Aegerter was 17th. Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) finished in 23rd place ahead of Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) in 24th.


Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) headed into the test on the back of a sensational Sunday in Australia, and he continued to enjoy his place as KRT’s team leader with tenth place at a circuit that hasn’t been particularly kind to Kawasaki in the past. However, his day was disrupted by a Turn 10 crash with just over half an hour left in the session, which brought out the red flags for a few minutes. Teammate Axel Bassani, who was focusing on the upcoming round, was 14th. For the test, he had Marco Melandri by his side although there’s no commitment yet beyond the Catalunya Test. KRT did have some upgrades to try at the test, although they didn’t reveal what they were; only that they couldn’t be seen from the outside. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 20th on his factory ZX-10RR, lapping around 2.2 seconds off Bulega’s best time.

A CHALLENGING DAY FOR HONDA: two tech issues at Team HRC

It was a chastening, and quite frankly bizarre day for Honda, as both Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge had technical issues in the morning. Both bikes stopped at around the same time, causing a disruption to their planned programme; Lecuona left the circuit before the test day concluded although Vierge did return to the track on his other bike. Lecuona was classified 21st with his teammate two places ahead, and you can read more from Honda here. Next door at the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team, Tarran Mackenzie was the fastest out of the two riders with 22nd place, while teammate Adam Norrodin was 28th. The Malaysian’s day was impacted by him running out of fuel a few hours into the test while on track.

The top ten from Day 1, full results here:

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) 1’40.304s

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.464s

3. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.725s

4. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.752s

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +1.351s

6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +1.367s

7. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +1.380s

8. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) +1.388s

9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +1.433s

10. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.498s

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