Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu topped the opening WorldSBK free practice at Estoril this morning, putting the Pirelli SCX rear tyre to good use for a 1’36.920.
The Turkish rider was less than half a second off his own lap record when he crossed the line with his final effort of 1’36.920 which was enough to push reigning champion Jonathan Rea off the top.
Fellow works Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes was third and 0.684s behind Razgatlioglu and one-tenth down on Rea.
Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) was fourth fastest as he looks to close the gap to Rea at the top of the standings. Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) was the highest-placed BMW rider with fifth, and also made it four manufacturers in the top five in Free Practice 1.
He was followed by Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven), who won at Estoril in 2020, and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) as the two Independent BMW teams had a strong start to the weekend.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was eighth, the American hoping to show the pace he showed here in 2020 as the weekend progresses, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) completing the tip ten.
Alvaro Bautista’s (Team HRC) had an incident-packed session with two crashes; one at Turn 3 and one Turn 7 with the Spanish rider finishing in 12th place. Michael van der Mark’s (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) session was interrupted through technical issues with his machine; delaying the Dutchman’s first lap of the session before he returned to the pits after completing one out lap.