These just in:
Toprak Razgatlioglu fastest on the opening day of the Estoril Round
Setting a time of 1’36.463 in FP2, the reigning World Champion lead Bautista and Gerloff
Friday highlights – WorldSBK
P1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’36.290
After being second in FP1, Razgatlioglu set his fastest time in the afternoon session.
The reigning World Champion was using plenty of “new stuff” on his bike including some brake cooling ducts, due to the demand on braking with Toprak’s style.
“Normally, MotorLand and Assen are not really strong for Yamaha. Jonny is also always strong. This year, I am trying for a good position. Bautista is very fast. We are very strong at this track and I am, again, fighting for the win. We will see because every race I am fighting for a good position. After Assen, for one week I didn’t ride a bike. After I started a really good training and riding in Turkey. Now I am fully ready and ready to race. Races are always different.”
P2 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’36.463
Bautista improved his FP1 time to set his best time in the afternoon session.
He is in second, 0.173s behind Razgatlioglu.
“I think it has been a very positive day for us. In the morning, I just did some laps to have a reference with this bike. We made some small adjustments, typical adjustments when you go from one track to another. In the afternoon, we made some bigger changes on the bike and it was definitely better for me. It was easier to ride and more comfortable. We tried the front tyre, both specifications, and I didn’t find a big difference so it will be difficult to choose one for the race tomorrow. In any case, it has been very positive and I’m happy with the feeling I have riding my bike. Let’s see tomorrow if we can make some small changes to improve my pace and also the lap time.”
P3 – Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’36.572
Gerloff’s best time came in FP1, whilst he was the only rider not improving in the afternoon session.
He finished 0.109s behind Bautista and only 0.023s ahead of Rea.
“I’m feeling really good. I do really enjoy this track. It has a nice layout, a nice flow to it and it suits the Yamaha R1. All in all, we showed up with the bike kind of set up like last year and I felt good right away. This afternoon, I was working on a long run, I used a new tyre for sure but I just did not put everything together, we could have been closer I guess but I was more focussed to be more consistent in a longer run.”
P4 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’36.595 “the position does not really reflect the progress we made between FP1 and FP2…”
Rea has been more competitive in the afternoon session to end Friday in fourth 0.305s behind Razgatlioglu.
“I think the position does not really reflect the progress we made between FP1 and FP2. I felt quite good with the bike, and we were able to be quite consistent in our run. I was enjoying the track but of course, we need to improve our lap time. Something we need to be working on this season, especially in Superpole, is in one lap, trying to extract the best potential from the Pirelli rear tyre when the tyre is new. It’s more difficult for us than in the past. “
P5 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’37.189
Rinaldi improved his lap time in FP2 after having focussed on continuing the work from a private test last week at Mugello.
He ended Friday 0.899s behind the fastest rider.
“It was a strange Friday for us. Last week, we were in Mugello, and we tested some different things. We decided to keep that base in FP1 to connect the data as we’re in a different track. From the FP2, we started to work for the race weekend. We made a big step and I’m quite happy about that because we kept the positive things of Mugello for here. Now we have to focus on tomorrow. We need to keep improving the set up and the electronics, so the normal job of a race weekend.”
P6 – Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’37.201
Locatelli finished sixth on Friday and was only 0.012s behind Rinaldi.
“I’m happy about today. We worked very well from the FP1. It’s important to work tonight to prepare tomorrow but we have lots of data and I have a good feeling, so we are confident for tomorrow. Also, I’ve been working on a long run to understand if the bike is working well for tomorrow.”
Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) was seventh in the combined timings for his best result on a Friday since he joined the category.
Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) crashed at Turn 10 in the early stages of Free Practice 1 and has then been declared unfit for the rest of the event after sustaining a fracture of the right femur neck. He had made his season debut in the previous round, at Assen, following a leg fracture he suffered in training.
Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) will also miss the remainder of Estoril Round after fracturing his right collar bone in a crash during FP2.
WorldSBK action resumes on Saturday from 09:00 (Local Time), followed by Tissot Superpole at 11:10 and Race 1 at 14:00.
World Superbike | 2022 | R3 | Portugal | Estoril | Friday 20 May 2022
Bautista second and Rinaldi fifth at the end of the first two free practice sessions for the Estoril Round (Portugal). Bulega finishes 7th in WorldSSP.
The Friday’s free practices for the Estoril Round, the third event of the 2022 WorldSBK season, concluded at the Circuito Estoril (Portugal) with very positive indications for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team.
Alvaro Bautista closed both sessions in P2, working his way up to race distance in FP1 before finishing FP2 with a time of 1’36.463, 173 thousandths off the best lap-time set by Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
After some difficulties experienced in the morning session, especially in braking areas, Michael Rinaldi and his team worked well on the set-up in FP2, managing to lower the FP1 time by a second and finishing in P5 with a lap-time of 1’37.189.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“It was a very positive Friday. It was the first time for me with the Ducati Panigale V4 R on this track. As a result in FP1, we worked on the details to try to find the best feeling in the shortest time possible. We also worked well to understand what the best tire might be for tomorrow’s race. To be honest, though, I have to admit it won’t be an easy choice. In any case, the feeling is very good and we have great confidence.”
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It was an intense day. This morning in FP1 we worked using the data we collected in last week’s test at Mugello while in FP2 we focused on tomorrow’s and Sunday’s races. I am satisfied with the step we made between the morning and the afternoon but we are still missing something to stay with the front guys, especially in terms of race pace.”
Team HRC on the up and up at Estoril
The 2022 Superbike World Championship continues this weekend on Portuguese soil, with round three now underway at the Estoril Circuit. Team HRC riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona have made a solid start to proceedings, rounding out Friday’s free practice sessions in seventh and ninth position overall.
The weekend’s opening session, which ran in warm and sunny conditions (air 25°C, track 34°C) at 10.30 am local time, saw both Vierge and Lecuona start learning what is a totally new track for them both. The pair made good progress aboard their CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADES throughout the session, with Xavi rounding out the 45-minute phase in eighth place, having set a best of 1’37.901, and Iker in fifteenth position with a 1’38.444.
Later in the day, and in slightly hotter conditions, the Team HRC duo were back out for FP2. Lecuona soon improved on his earlier time, with Vierge following suit mid-session. The final phase of the session saw Xavi continue to shave off valuable tenths to round out day one with a best of 1’37.281, while Iker finished just a tenth of a second behind with a fastest time of 1’37.375. These results saw the Team HRC riders place seventh and ninth respectively in the combined standings at the end of day one, both less than two tenths of a second off a top-five placement.
Xavi Vierge 97
“I’m pleased with our first day here, starting with the fact that I’m able to ride without pain. I could focus on learning the track, improving my riding style and increasing my feeling the bike, trying to understand how to improve the setting. During the first two rounds, it was more a matter of trying to avoid feeling too much pain. I’m happy to discover a new track too and it’s one I’m really enjoying. It’s tight with some hard braking points but I really like it. From FP1 to FP2 the team was able to improve the set-up in all areas really, mainly focusing on finding better turning and on the bike’s stability in the braking areas, which is good in view of the races because it’s very easy to make mistakes at this track. Let’s see if tomorrow we are able to improve further, with one eye on the weather forecast”.
Iker Lecuona 7
“I like this track well enough, it’s fun but really narrow for a Superbike. All in all, I can say I’m happy with today’s performance after starting the day struggling with the track’s braking areas. We were able to solve this issue though, which meant in the afternoon I could start working on myself and on the bike’s setup, both of us needing to adapt to this track. In general, I’m still not feeling totally comfortable on the bike; I need to think too much about what I’m doing while riding but we were able to make progress during the day and step by step we are also improving our lap times. P9 on day one, just a few tenths shy of the top five is not a bad start. We need to keep going like this”.
EARLY ESTORIL WORK COMPLETE FOR KRT
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes concentrated on bike set-up as they returned to track action for the first time in almost a month, at the Circuito Estoril in Portugal
The first day at Round Three of the 2022 WorldSBK championship saw Rea and Lowes with a dry track surface to work with as each rider used their time to evaluate overall machine set-up across two 45-minute free practice sessions.
Rea made some changes after the first session and immediately found improvements that translated to better pace in FP2. Rea was fourth overall in the combined practice times at this modern classic 4.182km long circuit close to Lisbon.
A change in set-up for Lowes in the middle of the opening day did not deliver the improvements that were expected and despite setting a faster single lap time in FP2 than FP1 he ended up 11th fastest overall. Alex and his technical crew will now go through their Friday data to find their optimal settings to take on the next challenges Estoril will provide.
The Saturday action for the WorldSBK teams at Estoril will comprise FP3 in the morning, Superpole qualifying and then a full distance 21-lap Race One.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “This morning I didn’t feel so good with the bike set-up. We used the harder rear tyre to clean the track and understand things more exactly. The fact that this year we have one less tyre in our allocation means you have to strategically understand how to manage the tyres. So this morning the idea was to ride with the same rear tyre, clean the track, get the feeling and we managed to set the bike up quite well. In the afternoon I was fast straight away and felt good. We came in, made a pitstop and tried something a little bit different with the bike. The set-up change was good in the heavy braking areas but in areas where I was trail braking, I missed a little bit. It was a good day of understanding the bike. I feel like our pace is right there, no more, no less, with Alvaro and Toprak. Tomorrow, we need to maximise the potential of a new tyre.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It has been nice to get back out on the bike after a few weeks off. I felt pretty good straight away this morning in FP1 but we sort of went the wrong way with the set-up in the afternoon. We were just trying to get a bit of a better feeling, especially trying to enter the corners, but we saw that it was worse. So we’re going to look through things tonight and make a plan for tomorrow. I enjoyed riding the bike and I am looking forward to FP3 already.”