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WorldSBK Phillip Island: Bautista commands FP2

Aruba.it Ducati ensured a clean sweep in the Friday times at Phillip Island after Alvaro Bautista topped WorldSBK FP2 with a 1’30.623 lap.

The reigning champion commanded the second practice by over half a second from teammate Michael Rinaldi with Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli and Honda’s Iker Lecuona completing the overall top three thanks to their morning times.

Morning hero Bautista struck first and hardest as the afternoon acton began with a sub-1’31 lap on his third effort of FP2. Aruba teammate Rinaldi sat as the closest challenger, three tenths adrift, with satellite Ducati rider Philipp Oettl running third on the GoEleven.


Alex Lowes circulated fourth as the fastest Kawasaki following ten minutes on track, the British rider yet to better his morning time with teammate Jonathan Rea back in the pits after just two laps and 15th in the standings. Scott Redding suffering a similarly frustrating second practice with no time set on the Rokit BMW with 20 minutes gone.

Locatelli broke the mid-session lull in action with a promotion through the times to third, however, his 1’31.721 effort remained seven tenths shy of his morning best as the closing quarter of an hour beckoned. Eric Granado suffered a turn ten off on the MIE Honda from the back of the pack.

Danilo Petrucci made waves as the final ten minutes fired up. The former MotoGP race winner placing his Barni Ducati third in the session times with a 1’31.538 as Bonovo BMW’s Garrett Gerloff and GRT Yamaha’s Dominique Aegerter secured fourth and fifth. Locatelli endured a turn ten off with five minutes to go as he pushed the Pata R1 towards a P2-worthy time, Redding eventually out on track for a final frantic flurry.

Bautista extended his advantage with a 1’30.623 on his 18th lap to sit half a second ahead of his teammate, Rinaldi attempting to dig deep but losing out as the chequered flag dropped while Oettl improved to third in the closing minute. Lowes concluded the day eighth both in the session and the combined efforts with Rea’s FP1 best maintaining fifth despite his lacklustre afternoon, while Redding managed just seven laps across FP2. Tom Sykes’ first day back on the world stage saw the former WorldSBK champion circulating in 20th overall on the Puccetti Kawasaki.

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