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WorldSBK Portimao: Baz chases Toprak for Friday honours

Ten Kate Yamaha's Loris Baz chased his WorldSBK factory counterpart Toprak Razgatlioglu for top spot on the Portimao timesheets today.

Razgatlioglu’s time of 1’42.103 set in Free Practice 1 was enough to set the pace for the day as he topped the day’s running, ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). Baz was able to top Free Practice 2 as the top Independent rider; his time of 1’42.522 being four tenths off Razgatlioglu’s time from the morning. Razgatlioglu’s teammate, Michael van der Mark, ended the day sixth fastest overall.

 Third fastest was reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he made it two manufacturers in the top three, Rea missing out on second place for the day by just 0.045s to French rider Baz. Rea’s Kawasaki teammate, Alex Lowes, finished in eighth place overall, the first rider to have a fastest time not in the 1’42s bracket.


Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s impressive form continued as he finished fourth for the day, following on from his fourth-place finish at Jerez. The Italian rider was just 0.017s away from matching the time of five-time Champion Rea; Rinaldi continuing to show his rapid pace by being classified as the fastest Ducati rider. 2020. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was the lead factory Ducati rider in fifth place, with his teammate, Chaz Davies, ending the day in 12th.

 In seventh was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as he lapped around six tenths slower than Razgatlioglu’s pace setting time. He was around four tenths quicker than Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as the duo continue to battle it out for the one remaining BMW seat for 2021.

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was the lead Honda rider on Friday as he finished the day in ninth place, around one tenth ahead of teammate Leon Haslam. Bautista had a crash at Turn 5 during Free Practice 2 but he was able to remount his Honda and continue lapping the Portimao circuit as Free Practice 2 continued.

 Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was 12th overall for the day aboard his Yamaha YZF R1 with him and teammate Federico Caricasulo completing the most laps of anyone for the day – with American rider Gerloff completing 42 and Caricasulo 45. The pair were separated by Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR), Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) finished the day in 18th place onboard his Kawasaki ZX-10RR, finishing around 0.030s faster than Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) as the Italian continued his WorldSBK comeback. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was 20th in the combined classification, ahead of Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team), wildcard Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing) and Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team).

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