Jonathan Rea kicked off Round 10 of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship at Motorland Aragon with the quickest time in opening Friday free practice, ahead of Honda’s Iker Lecuona.
The Ulsterman, who has just three more events ahead of him before bringing his long relationship with Kawasaki to a conclusion ahead of his move to Yamaha, was in promising form on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR around a venue where the lion’s share of WorldSBK testing takes place.
He commanded a sizable advantage over the opposition for much of the morning with his benchmark of 1m 50.309secs before Team HRC Honda’s Lecuona popped in a surprisingly rapid time towards the end of the session.
Coming across the line with team-mate Xavi Vierge - who also showed strongly in sixth - Lecuona, who has been busying himself with several MotoGP outings with Honda recently, was just 0.032secs adrift of the six-time WorldSBK Champion.
Fresh from signing a new Barni Ducati deal for 2024, Danilo Petrucci was the best of the Ducati contingent in third, while Garrett Gerloff picked up where he left off from Magny-Cours by making it four manufacturers inside the top four on the Bonovo Action BMW M 1000 RR.
One rider on the hunt for a new ride for 2024, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was fifth fastest, ahead of Vierge, while the two primary title candidates Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista made a steady way to seventh and eighth respectively.
Elsewhere, Andrea Locatelli and Phillip Oettl completed the top ten, while Florian Marino - making his first WorldSBK appearance in five years - was a solid 13th fastest on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR he has assumed from the absent Alex Lowes.
|2023 Aragon WorldSBK | Motorland Aragon | Free Practice 1 Results| Round 10 of 12|
|1||Jonathan Rea||🇬🇧||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 50.309|
|2||Iker Lecuona||🇪🇸||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 50.341|
|3||Danilo Petrucci||🇮🇹||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 50.651|
|4||Garrett Gerloff||🇺🇲||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 50.692|
|5||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||🇮🇹||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 50.760|
|6||Xavi Vierge||🇪🇸||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 50.882|
|7||Toprak Razgatlioglu||🇹🇷||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 51.045|
|8||Alvaro Bautista||🇪🇸||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 51.329|
|9||Andrea Locatelli||🇮🇹||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||1m 51.334|
|10||Philipp Oettl||🇩🇪||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 51.395|
|11||Dominique Aegerter||🇨🇭||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 51.937|
|12||Loris Baz||🇫🇷||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 51.999|
|13||Florian Marino||🇫🇷||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 52.057|
|14||Bradley Ray||🇬🇧||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||1m 52.190|
|15||Lorenzo Baldassarri||🇮🇹||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||1m 52.296|
|16||Michael van der Mark||🇳🇱||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 52.400|
|17||Tito Rabat||🇪🇸||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 52.413|
|18||Remy Gardner||🇦🇺||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||1m 52.605|
|19||Scott Redding||🇬🇧||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 52.676|
|20||Isaac Vinales||🇪🇸||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 52.806|
|21||Axel Bassani||🇮🇹||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m 52.852|
|22||Hafizh Syahrin||🇲🇾||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 53.743|
|23||Eric Granado||🇧🇷||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||1m 53.975|
|24||Oliver Konig||🇨🇿||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m 54.382|
|25||Gabriele Ruiu||🇮🇹||B-Max Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||1m 59.931|