Bautista buoyed by near-lap record pace in Misano WSBK test

Alvaro Bautista says he is encouraged by the pace he demonstrated aboard his Ducati in this week's two-day World Superbike test at Misano.

Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.It Racing – Ducati

The Spanish rider set the pace on both days of running at the Italian track on Wednesday and Thursday, which was attended by 12 riders representing Ducati, Yamaha, BMW and Kawasaki.

Bautista was the only rider to dip beneath the 1m34s bracket on Wednesday, recording a 1m33.983s to beat nearest rival, GRT Yamaha man Garrett Gerloff, by four tenths of a second.

On Friday, Bautista improved to a best time of 1m33.574s, less than two tenths away from Jonathan Rea's Misano pole time last year. Gerloff was again the Ducati rider's nearest rival on a 1m33.686s.

"For sure I’m happy because the laptime is fast," Bautista told the official WSBK website. "The best lap here [last year] was a 1m33.4[16]s with a qualifying tyre. Today I did [my best time] with the SCX, the tyre you can use for the race. Last year everybody used this tyre for a race.

"[On Wednesday] when I saw the laptimes, I thought if I can make some laps in the 1m33s, it’s a good result.  I did one lap under 1m34s, and this was already good. [On Thursday] we worked more on the details and we improved the laptime from yesterday, also the [race] pace.

"I did a good amount of laps under 1m34s. This is more important than one very fast lap. I’m happy because I didn’t have any predictions about the laptime."


Lucas Mahias was third-fastest on Friday aboard his Puccetti Kawasaki, a little under half a second behind Bautista, followed by WSBK rookie Philipp Oettl on the satellite GoEleven Ducati.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi was fifth on the second works Ducati with a best time of 1m34.316s, a tenth faster than former teammate Scott Redding - representing the works BMW squad alone following Michael van der Mark's injuries.

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Neither Yamaha nor Kawasaki had their factory riders present at Misano, while Honda skipped the test entirely.

The next pre-season running takes place on March 25-26 at Barcelona, where Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ducati and BMW are all expected to have their full factory teams present.

That will be followed by the two-day official Dorna test at Aragon on April 4-5.


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