Day one of the Acerbis Catalunya Round for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was a day of two halves as the mostly dry weather in the morning made way for mixed conditions in the afternoon; the track conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya slowly improving after a shower soaked the track. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) ended the day fastest after posting the best lap time in the dry Free Practice 1 session.
The combined classifications meant Razgatlioglu topped Friday’s running after a flurry of quick laps at the end of Lap 1 changed the order rapidly. The Turkish rider led a Yamaha 1-2-3 as teammate Michael van der Mark and American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finishing the day in third place.
All three riders were running as the session came to a close and kept improving their lap times with Gerloff putting in a stunning lap for third place right at the end of the session; allowing him to finish the day nearly a second clear of teammate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team); the Italian in 14th place.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had led the majority of the running in the opening practice session of the day but was one of a handful of riders who did not take to the track in the last few minutes of the session; the Spanish rider finishing the day in fourth place ahead of reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Bautista’s Team HRC teammate, Leon Haslam, finished the day in 18th place but was running towards the front of the field in the wet Free Practice 2.
Rea had appeared to be unhappy during the early stages of Free Practice 1 but found lap time as the session progressed and ended the day in fifth place, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth place as KRT finished with both bikes inside the top ten as they celebrated their home race. Rea ended the Free Practice 2 as the fastest rider in the wet session.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished the day in eighth place as BMW, who were strong in a test at the circuit in July, continue to show good pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Teammate Eugene Laverty finished the day in 12th place, just two tenths outside the top ten.
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was classified in ninth place for the day’s running, around seventh tenths away from Razgatlioglu’s pace, with Redding looking to start clawing back some of Rea’s 36-point Championship lead. Teammate Chaz Davies was in 11th place but with little to separate the two Ducati riders on the timesheets.
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was inside the top ten after Friday’s two practice sessions but was another who showed strong pace in the mixed conditions in the afternoon, finishing sixth in the second practice session although the Frenchman crashed in the latter stages of the session at Turn 7. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the day in 13th place after edging close to the top ten, finishing half a second away from Baz in tenth.
Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) was 15th after his first day of WorldSBK action after showing promising pace early in the opening session but falling down the order as others improved their lap time. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was 19th for the day with Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) in 20th on his WorldSBK debut, and rookie Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) completing the order.
Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) was declared unfit for the weekend following a crash in Free Practice 1 after he came off his bike, with the Argentinean taking to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a right wrist fracture (radius and scaphoid). Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) crashed during the wet running at Turn 4; finishing the day in 17th place. Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) suffered a crash in the wet running in Free Practice 2 at the Turn 4 right-hander causing the session to be Red Flagged; Scheib taking to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash and later declared unfit with a right acromioclavicular joint injury and taken to a local hospital for further assessment.
#WorldSBK at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya - Friday.
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) 1’42.140s
2. Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.169s
3. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) +0.338s
4. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +0.373s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.474s
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +0.495s
Mahias storms to the top in mixed conditions
in WorldSSP on Friday
Lucas Mahias tops the timesheets after two Friday practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
The FIM Supersport World Championship teams and riders were greeted with dry running in the morning and a damp track in the afternoon as the Championship made its debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the inaugural Acerbis Catalunya Round. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) topped the combined timesheets after setting the pace in the morning Free Practice 1 session.
Mahias posted a time of 1’45.682s to top the timesheets on the opening day of running in Montmelo as he looks to keep his Championship hopes alive across the Catalunya Round weekend. The French rider was less than a tenth clear of Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) at the top of the standings, although Viñales did top the second practice session ahead of Mahias. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was third in the standings after the two practice sessions.
Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who can clinch the WorldSSP World Championship title at the Catalunya Round, finished in fourth place overall for the day, with the Italian three tenths away from Mahias’ pace. South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in fifth place, matching Locatelli’s time, while Corentin Perolari (GMT94) completed the top six.
Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was seventh with Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha), replacing the injured Jules Cluzel, in eighth place; Smith making his return to WorldSSP as a substitute rider. 2019 WorldSSP300 World Champion Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was ninth in the classification with Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) completing the top ten in the James Toseland-run team; Webb surviving a trip through the gravel in the first session to post the tenth best time.
Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) was 11th fastest after the two sessions but briefly found himself leading the timesheets in Free Practice 2. He finished ahead of Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) with the Italian finishing the day as the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider. Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) was 13th with Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) in 14th and Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) rounding out the top 15.
Miquel Pons (Dynavolt Honda) was the lead Honda rider in 16th place as he edged out teammate Patrick Hobelsberger in 17th place. Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) was in 18th place after showing impressive form in recent rounds; the Hungarian will look to return to the top ten throughout the weekend.
#CatalanWorldSBK WorldSSP at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya - Friday.
1. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 1’45.682s
2. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) +0.059s
3. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.231s
4. Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.258s
5. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +0.289s
6. Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.461s