Razgatlioglu quickest in rain-disrupted Barcelona WSBK test
Defending World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu topped the two-day pre-season test in Barcelona for Yamaha, leading the Ducati of Alvaro Bautista.
Testing a new electronic package and exhaust system on his Yamaha R1, Razgatlioglu set a time of 1m40.571s early on during Saturday's running before rain showers prevented any meaningful improvement in laptimes.
This put the Turkish rider over three tenths clear of Bautista’s benchmark from Friday, the Ducati returnee having lapped the Spanish circuit in 1m40.824s after recovering from a crash at Turn 10.
Bautista was testing a new swingarm as well several fresh items on the front forks of his Panigale V4 R, as Ducati aims to join Yamaha and Kawasaki in this year's title fight.
Honda ended the Barcelona test on an encouraging note with new signing Iker Lecuona setting the third-quickest time of all, finding more than a second over his personal best from the opening day to post a time of 1m40.033s.
This was fractionally quicker than six-time Jonathan Rea managed on his improved Kawasaki, the Ulsterman ending up fourth-fastest while trialing a number of new components including fuel tank fins on his ZX-10RR.
Rea, like teammate Alex Lowes who finished eighth, elected not to complete any laps on Saturday afternoon after the rain fell at KRT’s home track.
GRT’s Garrett Gerloff continued to test the Yamaha R1 in the wet conditions and his time from the opening day of the test in dry conditions was good enough to put him fifth overall, just ahead of the second factory Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
New BMW recruit Scott Redding ensured all five manufacturers were represented inside the top seven, the British rider posting a best time of 1m41.636 on Saturday morning to edge out the second Kawasaki of Lowes.
Redding suffered technical issues on his BMW on both days of the test, but still managed to rack up 116 laps across the two days as he continued to acclimatise himself with the updated M1000RR after spending the last two seasons riding the factory Ducati.
Lucas Mahias was ninth on the sole Puccetti Kawasaki, while Xavi Vierge rounded out the top 10 on the second of the factory Hondas.
Vierge’s test was cut short early when he suffered a highside at Turn 12 on Saturday, requiring a trip to the medical centre. He was later transported to a local hospital with rib injuries, but was reported to be conscious.
Andrea Locatelli was classified 12th on the second of the factory Yamahas, nearly two seconds down on his teammate Razgatlioglu, while Ilya Mikhalchik was 16th overall on a 1m42.763s while deputising for the injured Michael van der Mark at BMW.
The Barcelona test marked the first time all five WSBK manufacturers shared a track this year, as they stepped up their preparations for the opening round of the season.
A Dorna-supported test is scheduled next week at Aragon, before the Spanish track opens the new WSBK season on April 9-10.
Barcelona WSBK testing times:
|Pos||Rider||Bike||Day 1||Day 2|
|6||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1'41.360||1'41.610|
Yamaha takes covers off bike for WSBK title defence
Lecuona convinced Honda can fight for "top positions"
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