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WorldSBK Estoril: Redding takes charge in opening practice

Scott Redding used all his previous race experience at Estoril to top the opening WorldSBK free practice in Portugal, having to fend off a veritable Yamaha armada behind him.

Redding, who engaged in some back and forward with Jonathan Rea in the early laps, last raced at Estoril in 2012 on a Moto2 Kalex and he was immediately quick out of the blocks.

But he was slowly hunted down by a pack of R1s which was led by the fast-learning rookie Garrett Gerloff who finished only four-tenths behind the works Ducati rider on a 1’37.619.


Ten Kate Yamaha's Loris Baz had been sniffing about the top five all session and cemented third place with his last lap of 1'37.680 which pushed Toprak Razgatlioglu, on the works R1, down to fourth on a 1'37.731.

Michael van der Mark, on yet another Yamaha, bagged fifth place just 0.098s behind his team-mate while Jonathan Rea interrupeted the Iwata flow in sixth with a 1'37.832.

Wildcard Jonas Folger, who has also raced here before, took seventh on yes an R1, with Alex Lowes' Kawasaki in eighth and 1.317s off the pace.

Yamaha-mounted Federuci Caricasulo - so that's six R1s in the top ten - bagged ninth with a time 1.1.357s off the pace while Chaz Davies completed the top ten.

Alvaro Bautista has won 125 and 250GPs at Estoril, mustered 11th place but was only 0.084s in front of team-mate Leon Haslam, who has not won any races at Estoril.

Tom Sykes, Xavi Fores and Michael Rinaldi rounded out the top 15 with Eugene Laverty one place further back.

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