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WorldSBK Aragon: Bautista takes FP2 as Rea remains fastest overall

Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista was back at the WorldSBK sharp end and topping FP2 at Motorland Aragon on Friday.

Maintaining his mastery overall thanks to his FP1 lap time, Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea sat second at the close of the afternoon practice with Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu third. Exactly one-tenth covering the top trio as the opening day concluded.

Cool morning temperatures gave way to a warm and bright afternoon as second practice began after the three hour break. Rea was back running under the 1’50 barrier on his first timed lap of the session, albeit slightly down on his morning effort, with Bautista matching the Northern Irishman’s achievements from three-tenths back. A strong start from Alex Lowes saw the second Kawasaki sitting third and on the bubble of the barrier with his first effort as the rest of the pack shuffled behind, Garrett Gerloff heading his Yamaha cohort Razgatlioglu on the edge of the top five.


Michael Rinaldi was the next to challenge the reigning champion as the Aruba Ducati claimed fifth, just 0.02s faster. HRC’s Xavi Vierge heading the Yamaha and BMW duo of Roberto Tamburini, Kohta Nozane and Loris Baz in the opening top ten with Scott Redding 1.7s adrift of Rea’s leading time after ten minutes on track.

Puccetti Kawasaki’s Lucas Mahias sat out of the initial action following his late FP1 crash before heading down pitlane with half an hour to go. The Frenchman set to be reviewed by championship medics at the close of play due to ‘multiple contusions’ sustained.

A 1’49.706 promoted Razgatlioglu to second as the session heated up, the second pata Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli trailing his countryman in sixth as Ilya Mikhalchik rose to eighth, continuing to impress as he stands in for injured Michael van der Marc on the factory BMW.

Bautista hit the top with 12 minutes left on the clock. The Spaniard’s 1’49.606 still three-tenths shy of Rea’s overall best from FP1 but 0.024s under his current effort. Razgatlioglu exactly one-tenth behind as Gerloff advanced to fourth for a Yamaha double in the increasingly tight times.

A all-Italian affair mid-table saw Tamburini split Rinaldi and Locatelli in seventh on the satellite Motoxracing Yamaha, Eugene Laverty heading Redding further back on the fringes of the top 15.

With little change in the final stages, the top ten maintained their positions. Laverty pushing to 13th with his penultimate lap to close the session narrowly behind Axel Bassani.

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