The first of two days of testing for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field got underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and it was reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who led the way on Day 1.
He was two-tenths clear of 2022 polesitter Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) at the end of the day’s running although Bautista’s lap time was set in the morning while Lecuona’s best time came in the final stages of the day’s action.
Bautista’s best time of the day came on his 20th lap in the morning when he posted a 1’40.500s to top the timesheets. It was a strong day for the Bologna-based manufacturer with Bautista’s teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, in third place and around four-tenths down on Bautista.
Ducati had new parts on the rear suspension to try with the aim of improving stability and grip, while there was also development on the front of the bike to achieve faster corner entry.
Both Team HRC riders featured inside the top five at the end of day one with Iker Lecuona in second and Xavi Vierge in fifth place.
Honda were mostly comparing the new items tested recently at MotorLand Aragon to ensure they were working at more circuits, with this including chassis bracing and an exhaust. They also continued to test some electronic settings as well as smaller items, while also looking at setup and trying to understand the machine.
Independent rider Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) leading the way for BMW. The American posted a 1’41.150s late in the session to move into fourth place.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) had a disrupted day of running following a crash at Turn 2 in the morning, but he was able to take the fifth spot in the classification. The 2021 Champion posted a 1’41.433s to finish in sixth.
Both Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and teammate Alex Lowes opted to not run on Day 1 of 2 at the test. – www.worldsbk.com