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WorldSBK Indonesia: Rinaldi recovers to set the pace in FP1

Aruba.it Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi opened his second round account by leading the WorldSBK times in free practice one at Mandalika on Friday.

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and Ducati teammate Alvaro Bautista completed the top three, less than two tenths of a second covering the trio after the opening 45-minute session in Indonesia.

A hot and humid Lombok Island found track temperatures already up to 42℃ as the morning practice fired up under 62% humidity. GRT Yamaha’s Remy Gardner led the opening times with a 1’35.192 effort as he enjoyed his first taste of the Lombok layout aboard the Superbike before Phillip Island hero Bautista hit the top half a second ahead.


Rokit BMW’s Scott Redding sat third with ten minutes dispatched, Bonovo’s Loris Baz the next in line before a crash at turn ten derailed his progress on the M1000RR. Honda’s Iker Lecuona - already suffering from illness as the weekend began - endured his own turn 16 fall moments later as Razgatlioglu took charge overall with 1’34.669 pace.

GMT94’s Lorenzo Baldassarri was the next crash, at turn five, as Dominique Aegerter and Danilo Petrucci came together in a near miss on their respective GRT Yamaha and Barni Ducati machines with half an hour to go. Rinaldi claimed fifth with his initial hot lap before the crash fest continued, the Italian grounding the Panigale at turn ten five minutes later.

Kawasaki trio Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and Puccetti’s Tom Sykes were yet to hit the track at the halfway point of the opening session. Lowes the first to leave the pitbox with 20 minutes on the clock as he made his way to fourth thanks to a 1’35.5 before Rea completed the ‘big three’ with his first shot.

Razgatlioglu attempted to extend his advantage as the closing ten minutes began until the final sector negated the effort. Andrea Locatelli circulating a second adrift of his Pata teammate in seventh, with Rinaldi and a trio of BMW’s - in the form of Michael van der Mark, Redding and Gerloff - behind.

Locatelli and Rinaldi advanced two positions apiece with three minutes remaining before the Ducati man upped the ante overall with a 1’34.613. Xavi Vierge placing the second Honda up to sixth, then fifth with his final two attempts.

Rinaldi maintained command as the chequered flag dropped. Razgatlioglu splitting the Aruba duo from second with Rea trailing Bautista in the top four. Gardner completed the fastest six runners on his debut with Locatelli, Lowes, GoEleven’s Philipp Oettl and van der Mark completing the top ten.

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