Most WSBK: Razgatlioglu leads Lowes in wet/dry practice

Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu set the pace in a weather-affected Friday practice at Autodrom Most, as the World Superbike Championship made its first visit to the little-known circuit in the Czech Republic.

With rain hitting the track at the start of second practice, all of the day's quickest times came from the morning's first session.

Erstwhile points leader Razgatlioglu grabbed the initiative as the session began, his early benchmark of 1m34.151s putting him a tenth clear of Ducati's Scott Redding - who questioned the safety standards at Most coming into the weekend.

Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea, who retook the points lead from Razgatlioglu with a hat-trick of wins at Assen, sat a distant third at this stage with his best effort of 1m34.913s.

The order at the top remained unchanged until the halfway point of FP1, when Redding displaced Razgatlioglu from the top of the timesheets with a 1m33.633s.

However, the Turkish rider managed to respond in the final 10 minutes of the session, setting a new bike racing lap record at Most with a 1m33.022s.

That time would remain unbeaten all day, with his closest rival Alex Lowes finishing over half a second off the pace after a late effort of his own on the factory Kawasaki.

Redding's previous time was good enough for third, as wildcard Marvin Fritz impressed on the YART Yamaha to end up fourth-fastest, a tenth clear of Assen podium finisher Andrea Locatelli on the factory M1.

Rea settled for sixth despite breaking the 1m34s barrier in the dying moments of the session, as Tom Sykes and Alvaro Bautista were the top finishers for BMW and Honda in seventh and eighth respectively.

Wildcard Karel Hanika was classified ninth on home turf, while GRT's Garrett Gerloff made it five Yamahas in the top 10 with a time of 1m34.155s.

Michael van der Mark finished over a second off the pace on the other factory BMW, while works Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi also had a low-key showing on the Panigale V4 R, ending up in 13th position.

Later in the afternoon, Gerloff topped second practice with a time of 1m35.301s set before the rain shower. After a mid-session lull, several riders returned on wet tyres to get more running under their belt, but no one could threaten Gerloff's time or the overall benchmark set by Razgatlioglu.

Six-time champion Rea was among riders who sat out FP2 entirely. 

There is a change at the MIE Racing Honda team this weekend, with Leandro Mercado skipping the Most event after testing positive for coronavirus. Alessandro Delbianco, who raced a previous version of the Honda Fireblade for the team in 2019, has been called in as his replacement.

FP1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'33.022  
2 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 1'33.622 0.600
3 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding Ducati 1'33.663 0.641
4 17 Germany Marvin Fritz Yamaha 1'33.809 0.787
5 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'33.861 0.839
6 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'33.862 0.840
7 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes BMW 1'34.006 0.984
8 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Honda 1'34.085 1.063
9 98 Czech Republic Karel Hanika Yamaha 1'34.142 1.120
10 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1'34.155 1.133

FP2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1'35.301  
2 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'35.752 0.451
3 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 1'35.941 0.640
4 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Honda 1'37.321 2.020
5 17 Germany Marvin Fritz Yamaha 1'37.794 2.493
6 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'38.064 2.763
7 98 Czech Republic Karel Hanika Yamaha 1'38.105 2.804
8 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark BMW 1'39.053 3.752
9 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam Honda 1'40.649 5.348
  53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 1'47.110 11.809
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