Best time for Bautista, who precedes a very fast Locatelli by only 72 thousandths. Rinaldi is third ahead of Razgatlioglu and Rea. Bassani and Petrucci in recovery. Many falls
February 21, 2023
Alvaro Bautista scares his opponents not only with the best lap of the official tests at Phillip Island, but with a series of fast laps that confirm that the Spaniard definitely has an edge on this track
If we add to this Alvaro’s great tire management skillsdetermining factor in the race here at Phillip Island, the resulting overall picture is almost disarming even for the historic adversaries of the world champion, namely Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatliogluwho were also preceded by the two outsiders in these tests Andrea Locatelli and Michael Ruben Rinaldisecond and third respectively.
The rider from Bergamo arrived within 72 thousandths of a second of Bautista while the gap between the Ducati rider and his teammate exceeded two tenths. As regards the upper part of the standings, these official tests confirmed what we had seen in Jerez and Portimao, with Rinaldi and Locatelli closer or even faster than some of the fantastic three. Surprise but only partially the sixth place for Dominique Aegerter and seventh for Phillip Oettl. The Swiss remains a great rider and seems to have adapted quickly to the Superbike. The German of the GoEleven team seems to be able to take advantage of the experience gained in his first year of Superbike and immediately found an excellent feeling with the 2023 version of the V4, which instead Axel Bassani and Danilo Petrucci did not immediately succeed, today tenth and eleventh, who showed clear signs of improvement, despite a contact causing both to crash. Between Oettl and Bassani came Iker Lecuona and Remy Gardner.
The eighth position of the Spaniard from Honda is due to a fast lap, as Iker himself admitted in the press conference, while the Australian showed clear but constant improvements in all four practice sessions. Michael Van der Mark takes the BMW to twelfth place, followed by brand mates Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff, while the other M 1000 RR of Loris Baz is sixteenth preceded by Alex Lowes. Rea’s teammate certainly didn’t shine in these tests and is struggling to adapt to the (few) new features and modifications made to his Ninja.
Seventeenth place for Xavi Vierge, ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Tom Sykes. Work in progress for the Italian to debut this year in the major class, while the Englishman from Kawasaki Puccetti Racing used these tests only to work on his private ZX-10RR, regardless of the stopwatch. The young Oliver Konig and the two MIE Honda Team riders, Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado, close the standings. In addition to the already mentioned Petrucci and Bassani, Sykes was also involved in many crashes, which destroyed his bike, Rinaldi, Rea and Baldassarri, while in FP3 this morning Konig and Vierge had crashed.
In Supersport the fastest was Nicolò Bulega with the Ducati V2. The former Moto2 rider preceded Stefano Manzi with Honda by more than four tenths and Can OIncu with Kawasaki Puccetti by six tenths. Only Italians from fourth to sixth place and they are Federico Caricasulo, Yari Montella and Raffaele De Rosa, all on Ducati. The other Italians are Spinelli ninth and Mantovani thirteenth.
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