Bautista Sets Hot Pace In Hot Conditions at Hot Phillip Island WSBK

Bautista tops Friday’s running ahead of Locatelli and Lecuona

The Reigning Champion set the pace and was the only one under 1’31s

Alvaro Bautista was able to improve his time in FP2 to put him 0.446s clear of Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli

P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Racing Team | 1’30.623s

“I’m happy with today because I had a good feeling with the bike, similar to the tests but today, track conditions were a bit different, especially in the afternoon. It was slippery and you had to be very careful because the tyres were sliding everywhere, so you had to adapt to the track conditions. I understood the situation of the track and I could adapt my style to these conditions and, for sure, I had fun even if the track was not in perfect condition. I’m happy because the bike worked well and like in the test. It has been a positive part to the season.

“For sure, in the afternoon, we did a good pace but the conditions we found today will be different to tomorrow and Sunday. So, I think today is not valid to see how the other riders are and with such different conditions. Today, I felt strong but, in any case, I think many riders went quite fast in the conditions. I don’t feel like the favourite, I’m enjoying the bike and we’re doing a good job. We have to take the maximum in all conditions and when the track is difficult.”

A best time of 1’31.069s gives second place to Locatelli beating Lecuona by just 0.060s.

Third place in the combined results goes to Honda’s Iker Lecuona who set a 1’31.129s.

Jonathan Rea took fifth place in the combined standings with whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu was 10th at the end of Friday. Razgatlioglu’s best of Friday was 0.937s off Bautista.

Rea: “I felt very solid in the first session, our pace was good. As soon as the temperature crept up and I did my first out in FP2, I didn’t feel good with the bike at all. I had zero edge grip. We tried a small setup change to go back. We were trying something, and we were curious to go back and check our base setup. Even with our base setup, I had zero grip. We weren’t pushing the tyre, the tyre wasn’t in range of temperature or pressure. It’s also true that our bike isn’t working great on the edge of the tyre. We need to make the bike turn more naturally. That’s going to be a priority tomorrow. When I launch the bike into the corner, I need it to track around the corner and not to use the rear or to slide and correct the line. This is wasting the rear tyre. We’re looking for edge grip tomorrow and some turning.”

Razgatlioglu: “In the afternoon, it was unbelievably hot. The asphalt was 51, 52 degrees. We tried a race simulation. It looks like it wasn’t really fast but also it wasn’t bad. We tried some new setups for the race. Tomorrow looks like the weather will be cooler which will help for the grip. For me, today was not an easy day. I was just focused on my race simulation because this is really important. I need to understand the bike after ten laps and the feeling. We need to understand which tyres are better for the race and this is really important.”

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