Aragon WSBK: Razgatlioglu edges out Bautista to pole by 0.006s
Toprak Razgatlioglu narrowly defeated Alvaro Bautista to take pole position for the 2022 World Superbike curtain-raiser at Aragon, as Jonathan Rea had to settle for third.
The laptimes in qualifying were more than a second quicker than anything witnessed in practice this weekend, with Loris Baz’s benchmark from FP3 already usurped in the first five minutes of the session.
It was reigning champion Razgatlioglu who set the early pace on the Yamaha R1, going straight to the top with a rapid lap of 1m48.666s.
Bautista held second position early on with his 1m48.744s effort on the Ducati, while testing pacesetter Rea was another tenth adrift in third with a time of 1m48.878s.
After a quick trip to the pits in the middle part of the session, Rea was the first of the leaders to head out on track, finding four tenths over his previous lap to snatch the top spot from Razgatlioglu.
However, the Kawasaki rider’s reign at the top proved to be short-lived as Bautista went even quicker on his next flying lap, before Razgatlioglu fired back with a time of 1m48.267s to claim pole position by just 0.006s over the Spaniard.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi jumped to fourth late on aboard the factory Ducati, albeit half a second down on the polesitter, with Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes and Andrea Locatelli on the works Yamaha joining him on the second row.
MotoGP convert Iker Lecuona produced a solid laptime to put his Honda seventh on the grid on his WSBK debut, just ahead of another impressive debutant Ilya Mikhalchik on the factory BMW.
Substituting for the injured Michael van der Mark, Mikhalchik outqualified both his works teammate Scott Redding as well as Bonovo MGM BMW rider Baz, who had been rapid all week in both testing and practice.
Redding was nearly 1.5s off the pace in 16th place in his first appearance for BMW after two seasons at Ducati, while Baz enjoyed a much better outing as he qualified 10th behind the top independent bike of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati).
Garrett Gerloff couldn’t match the pace of the works Yamaha bikes and ended up 11th in the order with a time of 1m49.541s, although he did qualify eight places ahead of GRT teammate Kohta Nozane.
Aragon WSBK - Qualifying results:
|4||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'48.755||0.488|
|View full results|
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