Nicolo Bulega leads FP2 but needs “something more” | Alvaro Bautista: “Today was a bit strange”

Nicolo Bulega fastest from Alvaro Bautista on Friday afternoon at Misano.

Nicolo Bulega
Nicolo Bulega

It was a Ducati one-two on Friday afternoon at their home Misano WorldSBK round with rookie Nicolo Bulega leading reigning champion Alvaro Bautista by 0.4s.

Bulega improved by more than 1.5s over his FP1 best, but Toprak Razgatlioglu’s morning time remained the fastest of the day and the young Italian admits he needs ‘something more’ on Saturday.

“During FP1 I didn't feel very comfortable on the bike. I had some issues with how the bike was. For FP2 my team did a great job but we have to find something more for tomorrow," Bulega said.

“In the last part of braking into the corner, it is a bit difficult to stop the bike. The rear is still pushing a little bit but we improved the bike a lot from FP1 to FP2. I can expect to improve even more for tomorrow.

“It’s important that I know this track very well, even if I don’t know it with a Superbike.”

Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista

Bautista, who leads the standings by just six points from Razgatlioglu, labelled it a ‘strange day’ as he worked on setup and tyre choice, including a new front solution introduced by Pirelli. 

“Today was a bit strange. We started the morning trying the new front tyre from Pirelli but I didn’t have the right feeling in the braking area,” Bautista said. “The bike was struggling to stop and to get into the corner.

“In the end we went back to our standard front tyre but in the afternoon we tried the new rear tyre. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same feedback that I had in the test. The bike was exactly the same, but my feeling was different.

“It was more difficult for me so I asked the team to make some changes to help me with that. For the last exit I had used tyres and I did my best lap time even with 15 laps old tyres. To do a 1m 33s is good.”

Ducati wild-card Michele Pirro was 16th after a fall.

"First, I am happy to return to Superbike after a few years,” Pirro said. “I've been trying to find the feeling; I've lapped a lot on this track, but practically only with the Desmosedici GP. I hope tomorrow I can take one more step forward".

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