Buriram WSBK: Bautista beats Rea in Friday practices

New World Superbike star Alvaro Bautista continued where he left off at Phillip Island and topped both Friday practice sessions in the second round of the season at Buriram.

Buriram WSBK: Bautista beats Rea in Friday practices

In scorching heat, as the temperature reached 35°C and went even higher in the afternoon, Bautista was able to narrowly outpace Jonathan Rea.

The Kawasaki rider led the way for most of both sessions - he was on top for 40 minutes in FP1 only to be beaten by Bautista with a 1m33.597s and then a subsequent 1m33.089s, which left the Spaniard with a 0.199s gap.

In FP2, Rea was again the early pace-setter but Bautista was able to beat his own morning benchmark halfway through, and the Ducati rider never gave the lead up again.

He ended up with a 1m32.971s, while Rea could only improve on his morning time by 0.019s.

The duo was followed by four Yamahas in the combined order, with rookie Sandro Cortese, despite ending his FP2 with a fall, taking third, nearly half a second slower than Bautista.

Pata Yamaha teammates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark complete the top five, the Dutchman beating Cortese's GRT teammate Marco Melandri by 0.012s.

Rea's teammate Leon Haslam had a slow start to the weekend, as he was one and a half seconds off the pace in FP1, and while the Briton made a big improvement in the afternoon, he was still over eight tenths adrift in seventh.

GoEleven Ducati's Eugene Laverty, the top Honda and BMW of Leon Camier, and Tom Sykes completed the top 10.

Chaz Davies, who continues to struggle on the new Ducati and had a mechanical problem in FP1, was 11th.

Practice times

Pos. Rider Bike FP1 FP2
Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'33.089 1'32.971
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'33.288 1'33.269
Sandro Cortese Pata Yamaha 1'34.189 1'33.465
Alex Lowes GRT Yamaha 1'34.150 1'33.550
Michael van der Mark GRT Yamaha 1'33.911 1'33.562
Marco Melandri Pata Yamaha 1'34.025 1'33.624
Leon Haslam Kawasaki 1'34.556 1'33.797
Eugene Laverty GoEleven Ducati 1'34.291 1'33.899
Leon Camier Althea Honda 1'34.853 1'33.947
10  Tom Sykes BMW 1'34.029 1'34.022
11  Chaz Davies Ducati 1'34.244 1'34.093
12  Markus Reiterberger BMW 1'34.933 1'34.327
13  Jordi Torres Pedercini Kawasaki 1'34.741 1'34.520
14  Michael Ruben Rinaldi Barni Ducati 1'35.688 1'34.550
15  Leandro Mercado Orelac Kawasaki 1'35.199 1'34.666
16  Ryuichi Kiyonari Althea Honda 1'34.967 1'34.783
17  Thitipong Warokorn Kawasaki Thailand 1'35.927 1'34.945
18  Toprak Razgatlıoglu Puccetti Kawasaki 1'35.208 1'34.971
19  Alessandro Delbianco Althea Honda 1'36.972 1'35.727
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