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.
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.
|3||Sandro Cortese||Pata Yamaha||1'34.189||1'33.465|
|4||Alex Lowes||GRT Yamaha||1'34.150||1'33.550|
|5||Michael van der Mark||GRT Yamaha||1'33.911||1'33.562|
|6||Marco Melandri||Pata Yamaha||1'34.025||1'33.624|
|8||Eugene Laverty||GoEleven Ducati||1'34.291||1'33.899|
|9||Leon Camier||Althea Honda||1'34.853||1'33.947|
|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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