Alvaro Bautista dominated the opening day of World Superbike action at Phillip Island, while main rivals Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea struggled.

Languishing down the order following FP1, both Bonovo Action BMW riders Loris Baz and Garrett Gerloff made immediate improvements as they bettered their time from FP1. 

After setting a low 1m 31s lap to finish top of Practice 1, Bautista also found more pace early on as he broke into the 1m 30s for the first time this weekend.

Making it a Ducati 1-2-3 were Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Phillip Oettl, while Razgatlioglu remained off the pace. 

A technical issue meant Scott Redding had to watch the beginning of FP2 from pit lane.

The British rider initially headed out onto the circuit before immediately returning to the BMW garage.

2023 World Superbike Phillip Island, Australia - Free Practice (2) Results
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati1:31.032s
2Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+0.534s
3Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+0.826s
4Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark Ducati Team+0.915s
5Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMW+1.091s
6Dominique AegerterSWIGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+1.097s
7Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+1.098s
8Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+1.151s
9Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+1.177s
10Remy GardnerAUSGRT Yamaha+1.213s
11Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94 Yamaha+1.259s
12Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+1.268s
13Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+1.492s
14Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+1.521s
15Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+1.584s
16Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+1.594s
17Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+1.623s
18Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+2.233s
19Tom SykesGBRPuccetti Kawasaki+2.556s
20Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+2.666s
21Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+3.090s
22Eric GranadoBRAMIE Honda Racing+3.552s

The only rider within half a second of Bautista, Rinaldi was still over three tenths down on his teammate while Alex Lowes was the first non-Ducati in fourth - +0.847s. 

Like Razgatlioglu, Rea was also finding it tough in FP2 as the Kawasaki rider was unable to go any quicker than P15 for a significant period of time. 

Continuing his impressive form from FP1, Andrea Locatelli then split the Ducati top three as he moved ahead of Oettl. 

Although he started to make improvements during the final 15 minutes, Razgatlioglu was losing huge chunks of time to Bautista in every sector.

Razgatliolglu momentarily moved up to 13th before making that P10 on his next lap, however, more than a second remained between the top two from last season. 

As Rea also found time - not enough to get within a second - Bautista then moved the benchmark time forward once again after setting a time of 1:30.623s. 

Bautista’s lap put him more than six tenths clear of Rinaldi, while Danilo Petrucci was up to third aboard his Barni Ducati machine. 

On course to challenge Bautista, Locatelli then lost three tenths in sector three before crashing at turn ten.

World Superbike weekend Schedule (UK time)


Free Practice 3 - 23:50-00:20

Superpole - 02:10-02:25

Race 1 - 05:00


Warm-up - 23:30-23:45

Superpole Race - 02:00

Race 2 - 05:00

Bautista tops opening World Superbike practice of 2023

Just as they ended the final of pre-season testing, Bautista and locatelli could barely be separated atop the leaderboard.

The reigning world champion once again got the better of the Pata Yamaha rider, but this time by 0.037s, while Iker Lecuona, who suffered a big moment at turn 4 before crashing at turn ten moments later, also ended the session within a tenth of his fellow Spaniard.

Continuing the theme of every test in pre-season, Bautista put together a stunning run of consistent pace which included a stint of 20 laps at the beginning of FP1.

2023 World Superbike Phillip Island, Australia - Free Practice (1) Results
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati1:31.032s
2Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+0.037s
3Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+0.097s
4Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+0.272s
5Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+0.369s
6Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+0.378s
7Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+0.427s
8Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+0.528s
9Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+0.581s
10Remy GardnerAUSGRT Yamaha+0.623s
11Dominique AegerterSWIGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+0.823s
12Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+0.933s
13Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+0.940s
14Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+0.948s
15Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94 Yamaha+1.045s
16Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark Ducati Team+1.072s
17Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+1.386s
18Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMW+1.625s
19Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+1.754s
20Tom SykesGBRPuccetti Kawasaki+1.983s
21Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+2.849s
22Eric GranadoBRAMIE Honda Racing+3.747s

Six-time WorldSBK champion Rea was nearly three tenths down on Bautista’s time as he finished fourth, while Rinaldi was fifth ahead of Michael Van Der Mark, who made it five different manufacturers inside the top six. 

Like on day two of the Phillip Island test, Razgatlioglu failed to match the pace shown by  both Rea but in particular Bautista, instead finishing half a second down in eighth.