Bautista in top form as he dominates final day of testing, rookies shine

After finishing fastest in Portimao, WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista once again showed why he’s the favourite heading into this weekend’s season-opener.
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023
Alvaro Bautista, Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023

Fast from the outset of day two, Bautista clocked an early time of 1:30.272s to send a signal to his WorldSBK rivals.

Four tenths clear of what Toprak Razgatlioglu managed on Monday, Bautista was unable to improve as the day went on, however, it was a lap time that proved too good for the competition to match.

In a class of his own, Bautista looked the most comfortable rider ahead of this weekend’s opening round as work on the set-up of his Panigale V4 R continued. 

Second and just +0.072s down on Bautista was Andrea Locatelli, who continued his strong pre-season.

Fourth overall in FP2, Locatelli’s time put him second on combined times throughout the two days, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished third - two tenths down on Bautista.

Looking to join the top three and make it a four-way title fight, Rinaldi has been mightily good throughout testing and appears set for his best season ever in Superbikes.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi Australian WorldSBK. 21 February
Michael Ruben Rinaldi Australian WorldSBK. 21 February

There was a small blip for the Italian rider as he crashed at turn 10, the same corner that caught out Razgatlioglu on day one. 

Quiet on the final day of pre-season testing were both Jonathan Rea and Razgatlioglu, with the former finishing close to half a second down on Bautista. 

2023 World Superbike Phillip Island, WorldSBK - Day Two Test Results (FP2)
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati1:30.404s
2Dominique AegerterSWIGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+0.335s
3Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+0.592s
4Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+0.642s
5Remy GardnerAUSGRT Yamaha+0.669s
6Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+0.796s
7Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+0.859s
8Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark Ducati Team+0.947s
9Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+0.971s
10Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+1.003s
11Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+1.014s
12Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+1.081s
13Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+1.208s
14Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+1.214s
15Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+1.288s
16Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+1.539s
17Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMW+1.725s
18Tom SykesGBRPuccetti Kawasaki+1.777s
19Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94 Yamaha+1.946s
20Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+2.592s
21Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+2.625s
22Eric GranadoBRAMIE Honda Racing+3.222s

After crashing on day one, Rea once again fell with 30 minutes remaining at turn 4, the same corner that was his undoing on Monday. 

For Razgatlioglu, no attempt at a fast lap was made which resulted in the Yamaha rider finishing down in tenth place - sixth on combined times.

Top rookie went the way of Dominique Aegerter, after the two-time WorldSSP champion was in fantastic form on day two.

Second in FP2, the Swiss rider finished out the test in fifth place as he continued to test items and a new electronics package for GRT Yamaha.

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