Razgatlioglu tops heated FP2, Rea maintains overall advantage at Navarra
The title rivals continue to knock spots off each other, trading places blow for blow ahead of Saturday action
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s seventh round is well underway as the Pirelli Navarra Round kicks off at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain. The opening day of action was as fierce as ever, although it was Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who held on for top spot, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with the top three in the Championship going into the first of two race days in that very order.
Over at Kawasaki, Jonathan Rea continued his strong pace on from the opening session into the afternoon. However, the increase in temperature left Rea in seventh for the vast majority of the session, whilst his teammate Alex Lowes was just behind his teammate in the afternoon in eighth place. Lowes made good improvements throughout the afternoon as the heat became more of a factor. However, as the chequered flag waved at the end of the day, Rea was still on top overall come the conclusion of action although FP2 saw him one second slower than his FP1 time, whilst Lowes was the other end of the top ten, in tenth.
Toprak Razgatlioglu was in good form in the afternoon heat of Navarra having led most of the second session, despite most of the riders struggling to improve on their morning times due to the higher temperatures and greasier track surface. In the end, Toprak was able to top FP2, although he was second overall. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was once again right in the mix as the Italian continues to grow in stature. He was in third for the majority of the session before finishing fourth at the flag; Locatelli was fifth overall at the end of the day.
Third place on the overall timesheets was Scott Redding, with the British rider picking up his strong pace from the last round at Most. In the closing stages of FP2, it was Redding who was looking strong as he made gains throughout various sector times but returned to the pits with a technical issue in the final minute of the session. His teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi also improved throughout the afternoon, finishing third in FP2 and actually improving his time from the morning, one place behind Redding. Overall, however, it was Redding third and Rinaldi seventh.