Day-one of the Catalunya WorldSBK test got underway in similar fashion as that of Misano ten days ago, with GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff setting the fastest time. 

The American, who has so far looked back to the type of form we saw in 2020 as a rookie, put a time of 1:41.918s on the board to lead at the halfway mark. 

Although Gerloff started and closed out the morning session fastest, there was plenty of change in between as Alvaro Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jonathan Rea and Michael Rinaldi all spent time at the top of the leaderboard. 

Fresh off his 2022 GRT Yamaha team launch on Thursday, Gerloff was immediately on the pace, suggesting the Texan could be a favourite for the podium places during the opening few rounds. 

Once the afternoon action got underway, Ducati rider Bautista shot to the top of the times. 

World Superbike Test Catalunya-Barcelona, Spain - Friday Results (Final)
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati1:40.824s
2Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+0.238s
3Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+0.405s
4Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+0.536s
5Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+0.699s
6Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+0.840s
7Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti Kawasaki+0.864s
8Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+0.895s
9Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+1.041s
10Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMW+1.118s
11Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+1.189s
12Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+1.301s
13Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+1.352s
14Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha+1.604s
15Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+1.605s
16Luca BernardiSMBarni Spark Ducati Team+2.247s
17Ilya MikhalchikUKRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+2.801s
18Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+3.402s
19Loris CressonBELPedercini Kawasaki+4.439s
20Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+4.715s

Rea and Razgatlioglu joined him inside the top three, which was somewhat of a deja vu moment following last month’s Portimao test which all three dominated - Razgatlioglu was quickest that time around. 

Bautista spent the first couple of hours quickest before Gerloff replaced the Spaniard at the top with a time of 1:41.255s. 

Behind Gerloff and Bautista, world champion Razgatlioglu managed to jump ahead of Rea by a tenth of a second. 

While Razgatlioglu and Rea had a mini battle for third, Bautista and Gerloff resumed their battle for top spot before Bautista went on to set the only sub 1m 41s lap of the day. 

A stunning time of 1:40.824s put the former MotoGP rider over four tenths clear of Gerloff, while seven tenths clear of Razgatlioglu. 

That lead then became two tenths as Rea completed several fast laps during the final few minutes.

It was a difficult day for BMW as raw pace was severely lacking throughout. Quickest during the morning running was Loris Baz, who had to overcome an early technical issue aboard his M 1000 RR. 

Things weren’t much better for factory rider Scott Redding, who himself was over a second off the top times. 

In what was the first pre-season test where most of the grid was in attendance, day-one in Catalunya served as the most representative test day so far this season. 

Last in the 2021 manufacturers’ standings, Honda’s rookie pairing showed good speed during the morning, however, the improved lap times during the afternoon led to Xavi Vierge finishing close to nine tenths away, while Iker Lecuona was 1.3 seconds slower than Bautista. 

While Vierge was the top rookie overall, GoEleven Ducati rider Philipp Oettl was the top rookie from a satellite team point of view.