Argentina WSBK: Razgatlioglu leads Redding in practice, Rea fifth
World Superbike championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu led the opening day of the Argentina round on his Yamaha from Ducati’s Scott Redding, with Jonathan Rea fifth on his Kawasaki.
The opening 45-minute session of the Argentina WSBK weekend was delayed by over half an hour due to technical issues, while a sandstorm at the San Juan venue on Thursday meant a lengthy clean-up operation was needed on Friday morning.
Due to the sand on track, lap times were around 10 seconds off of where they should have been.
But as the track cleaned up, lap times improved dramatically, with championship leader Razgatlioglu topping the morning out with a 1m38.524s.
The Yamaha rider was 0.501s clear of Ducati’s Scott Redding, who still has an outside shot at the championship coming into this weekend’s penultimate round at 54 points back from the Turk.
Razgatlioglu’s nearest title rival Rea slotted his Kawasaki into third in FP1 with a 1m39.068s, beating teammate Alex Lowes and a late charge from the Orelac Kawasaki of Isaac Vinales.
Lowes led the opening stages of FP2 during the afternoon with a 1m39.971s, and it would take just over 10 minutes before Razgatlioglu’s time from the morning was bettered.
Kawasaki rider Lowes would be the first to duck under Razgatlioglu’s FP1 benchmark with a 1m38.420s.
But this only stood for a few minutes, as Razgatlioglu return to the top of the order with a 1m38.397s – which he would improve on with 15 minutes remaining to a 1m38.372s.
In the closing stages of the session, he went on a run of successive fastest laps that would culminate in a 1m37.872s.
This put him 0.246s clear of Redding, with Lowes on the lead Kawasaki completing the top three.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi ensured both factory Ducatis occupied top five places at the end of Friday in fourth ahead of Rea - who suffered a crash at Turn 6 in FP2 - while the returning Chaz Davies was sixth on the Go Eleven Ducati.
He headed fellow customer Ducati rider Axel Bassani, with the Crescent Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli heading GRT Yamaha counterpart Garrett Gerloff.
Leon Haslam was the fastest of the Hondas in 10th ahead of teammate Alvaro Bautista.
|4||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'38.433||0.561|
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|7||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'39.636||1.112|
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