The Spanish rider is immediately very fast and precedes Lecuona and Rinaldi. A fall slows down Razgatlioglu. Rea and the Kawasaki remain in the garage. Gerloff’s fourth fastest time with BMW is surprising
March 31, 2023
Alvaro Bautista confirms his state of grace and ends the first day of practice in the lead at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. The Spaniard’s time (1’40”500), set in the morning, is only 92 thousandths higher than the fastest lap of the track that belongs to Tom Sykes (1’40”408) and this says a lot about the competitiveness of the World Champion, who among other things is also testing the new tires brought by Pirelli, namely a new SC0 for the front and a new SCQ at the rear . Two soft tires that can be used in the hottest races, but not only. As for the SCQ, the goal of the Italian tire manufacturer is to extend its life, so that it can be used permanently in sprint races.
If Bautista only has to refine the set-up of his Panigale V4, his teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, author of the third fastest time almost half a second behind Alvaro, is hard at work testing a new rear suspension and to improve the front of his bike, perhaps also thanks to the new Pirelli tyre. In the first races, the Ducati Italian complained of premature wear of the front tire, and this cost him if not the victory at least the podium in Indonesia.
Iker Lecuona second and Xavi Vierge fifth confirm Honda’s constant progresswhich seems to have benefited a lot from the changes to the frame and swingarm already tested at Motorland Aragon. On the other hand, the fourth time set by Garrett Gerloff with the unripe M1000RR is surprising, even if we must remember that the Texan conquered his first career podium on this track, when he was racing for Yamaha. And speaking of the home of the three tuning forks on this first day, despite a crash at turn 2, the fastest on the R1 was Toprak Razgatlioglu, followed closely by former GP Remy Gardner, Andrea Locatelli and Dominque Aegerter. The two officials said they were happy with the new electronic settings tested today, and for tomorrow they promised a time attack that could take them to the top of the final classification of these Catalan rounds.
Tenth and eleventh time for the two BMW officials Michael Van der Mark and Scott Redding, who precede Danilo Petrucci. So many things to try for the Barni Spark Racing Team rider who is looking for a less “advanced” position on the saddle and more suited to his physical size. Axel Bassani is placed behind the Terni. For him and for the Motocorsa Team there are many things to try to reduce the gap from the officials. He continues work in the Motoxracing garage with Bradley Ray who set the fourteenth time, half a second behind Bassani. The two Mie Honda riders Syahrin and Granado and the Czech Oliver Konig were also on the track, while the two official Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowe, who will test tomorrow, did not take to the track.
Among the Supersport riders, Bulega leads, ahead of Yari Montellarecovering from the scapula injury, and to the two Orelac Racing VerdNatura team riders De Rosa and Fuligni.