Bulega vs Razgatlioglu in FP3, Bautista P8 as Rea’s struggles continue

The first race day of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has finally arrived and what a way to start the day at Phillip Island. The 20-minute FP3 session welcomed WorldSBK machines out onto track for their final track action before Tissot Superpole and like throughout testing, it was Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) vs Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) at the top, with it being the Italian triumphing this time.

Ducati riders came to the fore, with Nicolo Bulega setting new lap records as the track conditions allowed for big pushes for the first time during the weekend. Joining that club was Razgatlioglu, who, after staying in the box for the first ten minutes of the session with just one exit, went up into P2 but behind ‘Bulegas’. He was just ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), with the Italian being the top Yamaha. Then, Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took P4 ahead of teammate Remy Gardner, who was fifth at home in the final session ahead of Tissot Superpole.

Then, another BMW, this time with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), who made a big step forward in comparison from yesterday. Fastest on Friday, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took P7 and was the last rider to set a 1’28, just 0.274s from Bulega’s time, although that itself was slower than during the Official Test earlier in the week. Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) was in P9 with another strong showing, just ahead of Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in P10 and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) in 11th. Jonathan Rea’s (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) struggles continued as he could only manage P13 on what he is calling “Day 0.”

It was a difficult start to the day for a couple of Brits as Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) suffered a huge highside at Turn 12 coming onto the Gardner straight; he was eventually able to get up and walk away. Moments later, Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) highsided on the exit of Turn 6 but was able to walk away too.

Top six after FP3, full results here:

1. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’28.716s

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.003s

3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.007s

4. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.124s

5. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.221s

6. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.256s

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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