Nicolo Bulega shines again at Phillip Island test, ‘but podium is not my target’

Nicolo Bulega has played down expectations heading into his first round as a WorldSBK rider.

Nicolo Bulega, Australian WorldSBK, 20 February
Nicolo Bulega, Australian WorldSBK, 20 February

After stunning performances at Jerez and Portimao, Nicolo Bulega continued his impressive pre-season by challenging Toprak Razgatlioglu at the one-day WorldSBK test at Phillip Island.

Less than one tenth separated Razgatlioglu and Bulega, as the latter showed why many expect him to be a contender for the podium, and even victory this weekend.

A crash at turn 4 scuppered Bulega’s running time but the Italian was able to remount and return the damaged bike to the garage.

Speaking after the one-day test, Bulega said: “I’m happy with this test because, from this morning, during the day, I improved my feeling with the bike, especially with used tyres.

“In the end, I didn’t do a long run but some laps together and I had a good pace. This is the most important thing at this test.

“In the last test I had at Portimao, I was very fast with new tyres, but I had to work a little bit on used tyres. I’m very happy here because I improved this a lot.”

Bulega’s pace throughout pre-season testing has been nothing short of sensational, whether it's’ over one lap or race simulations.

With Alvaro Bautista not showing the speed expected, Bulega has led Ducati’s charge in all three tests.

However, the reigning WorldSSP champion is not expecting to fight for victory this weekend.

In fact, the podium is not ‘my target’ either, said Bulega following the final day of pre-season testing.

“I don’t have goals for this weekend, just to try to do my best and I will see what I can do,” said Bulega. “I hope for a podium but it’s not my target.”

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