Locatelli leads Bassani in Australia Warm Up, Race 1 winner Bulega crashes at Turn 3

The opening Sunday of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign provided plenty of drama at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) continued to show his speed Down Under as he led Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) by just 0.012s. It sets up a showdown for the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round with some of Race 1’s front runners down the order.

Locatelli has been quick throughout the Official Test and the Australian Round, including a podium in Race 1, and he showed he’ll be in contention come the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 on Sunday. His 1’29.064s was just ahead of Bassani in second, who will be hoping this performance means he’s made a step forward with adapting to his ZX-10RR and not just a flash in the pan. His teammate, Alex Lowes, claimed third in the 10-minute session, with the top three separated by 0.095s.

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the lead BMW rider on Sunday morning as he posted a 1’29.229s, with the Dutchman aiming to repeat is flying start from Saturday. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) bounced back from a difficult Race 1 with fifth on Sunday morning, two tenths behind Locatelli. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) rounded out the top six.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) has been quick on ‘The Island’ and the #21 kept this up in Warm Up, as the finished in seventh place and only 0.006s away from Aegerter in the top six. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) was eighth with home hero Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), aiming for more luck today after he was taken out in Race 1 on his birthday, completing the top nine; Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was 10th.

Jonathan Rea’s (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) struggles continued as he was 16th in Warm Up, nine tenths away from top spot. He was the last rider within one second of teammate Locatelli’s time. Meanwhile, Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) started Sunday with a bump. After running wide on the exit of Turn 2, ‘Bulegas’ crashed at Turn 3. He didn’t set a lap time in Warm Up, but he was able to ride his bike back to the pits.

The top six from WorldSBK Warm Up, full results here:

1 Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) 1’29.064s

2. Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.012s

3. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.095s

4. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.165s

5. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.185s

6. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.282s

A NEW ERA HAS BEGUN: watch the Tissot Superpole Race at 13:00 Local Time (UTC+11) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

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