Four riders under Portimao lap record as Alvaro Bautista tops test

Alvaro Bautista finished the Portimao WorldSBK test fastest despite a turn seven crash, while Jonathan Rea, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Toprak Razgatlioglu also went underneath the existing lap record.
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati WorldSBK Portimao 2023
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati WorldSBK Portimao 2023

Bautista's record pace began early this morning as the WorldSBK champion immediately broke the official lap record, which was set by Rea during the Tissot Superpole session last season.

A 1:39.589s was set by the Spaniard before a stunning time of 1:39.035s saw the Ducati rider go six tenths clear of Rinaldi.

Fastest at the halfway stage, Bautista failed to improve further although his time remained good enough for top spot.

However, it was by the slendest of margins as six-time Superbike champion Rea went within +0.009s of beating Bautista to top spot. 

Third fastest behind the duo of Bautista and Rea, Razgatlioglu was then pushed down to fourth as Rinaldi’s impressive pre-season continued. 

Razgatlioglu and Rinaldi also managed to break the official lap record, with Andrea Locatelli the first rider unable to do so in P5.

In fine form heading to Phillip Island later this month, Bautista’s stunning level of performance, which saw him better his competition in both time attack and race runs, endured a smal blip as he crashed during the afternoon session at turn seven.

Razgatlioglu was another one of the big names that suffered a crash over the course of the two-day test, which came on the opening day of action. 

Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge led Honda’s charge as they finished sixth and seventh respectively, while it was another difficult test for BMW.

After watching Danilo Petrucci and Dominique Aegerter lead the way during the Jerez test, Remy Gardner claimed top rookie as he finished an impressive eighth.

There was also a strong showing from 2013 world champion Tom Sykes, with the Puccetti Kawasaki rider rounding out the top ten behind Alex Lowes.

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