WorldSBK: Bulega Best In Free Practice Two At Catalunya (Updated)

WorldSBK: Bulega Best In Free Practice Two At Catalunya (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Rookie sensation Nicolo Bulega posted the best lap time during World Superbike Free Practice Two (FP2) Friday afternoon at Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, in Spain. Riding his Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R, the reigning Supersport World Champion turned a lap time of 1:40.907 to lead the field of 23 riders.

American Garrett Gerloff finished the session 16th with a best lap time of 1:42.413 on his Bonovo Action BMW M 1000 RR.

 

WSBK FP2

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Bulega and Bautista set to battle it out in Catalunya

 

Nicolo Bulega (11). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Nicolo Bulega (11). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Rookie sensation Nicolo Bulega continues to amaze with the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati leading the way from his teammate Alvaro Bautista.

Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fastest time in FP1 and was third fastest on the combined times just ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark.

The busiest rider on track was Andrea Locatelli with 41 laps with his teammate Jonathan Rea also focusing on race simulations.

In near perfect conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders, Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista, led the way in WorldSBK. It was the rookie sensation Bulega who set the pace on the opening day with Bautista two tenths of a second adrift. Ducati has won seven races in a row in Catalunya and will be aiming to continue that form in tomorrow’s 20 lap race.

During practice teams focused on understanding tyre consumption in the afternoon. With new development options available from Pirelli the aim for riders and engineers was to understand the best solutions available to them. The Pata Prometeon Yamaha team split their resources with Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli using different tyre combinations. Both completed race simulations to end the day fifth and sixth fastest.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was third fastest on the combined times. Having been competitive at the recent two day Supported Test the Turkish rider is confident of fighting at the front throughout this weekend.

Championship leader Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had issues in the morning that limited his running. The 33 year old completed 27 laps and ended the day 14th fastest.

P1 | Nicolo Bulega | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati

“It was a good first day because my feeling with the bike was good. I tried both SCX tyres and I’m still not very sure of the decision for the race. We have to check some data and try to understand which can work better for the race. My race pace was also fast in the afternoon but we need to try and improve because our rivals will try something to catch me.”

P2 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati

“In the morning the bike felt similar to other times that I have ridden it this season. I am trying to give my best feedback to the engineers and explain what I feel on the bike. The bike felt much better in the afternoon and it helped me to ride as I wanted to. I’m really happy and now it’s time to keep going in this direction. We have another day tomorrow and hopefully we can improve my feeling step by step. In the afternoon I tried the SCX and the new development tyre and I didn’t feel a really big difference in the performance level. The drop is not really big. Until now I couldn’t ride the bike as I wanted to. I’m happy for Nicolo because it shows that the bike is working well. His performance is a good reference.”

P3 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“I focused on the long run in the afternoon. It looks like the Ducati is very strong but we know that at this track the Ducati is always very strong. I tried my best today but we are still working with the bike to help with grip. We did a long run,13 laps, and the times were mainly 1m41 and then 42’s. The rear grip improved for us and is better than before now. I hope we are fighting with Ducati but it looks like Ducati’s pace is very strong. But maybe the race is different. In general I’m happy but we need to improve the bike grip.”

WorldSBK Combined Results after FP2

1. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.907s

2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.247s

3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.292s

4. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.338

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.493s

6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +0.566s

 
Huertas aims for the win from pole position

Adrian Huertas claimed his second consecutive Superpole in the Supersport class. A mid-session red flag, caused by a technical problem for Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), led to a delay but once the action resumed the Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team rider asserted his dominance to take pole position by 0.274s.

Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) complete the front row of the grid.

The Catalunya Round also marks the first round of World Championship action for QJMotor. The experienced rider Raffaele de Rosa (QJMOTOR Factory Racing) spearheads their entry.

P1 | Adrian Huertas | Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team

“Today was a really good day. This morning we had some issues but the team worked hard and we were able to solve everything and we improved a lot. The most important thing is that we can manage the tyre a lot and this is really important for tomorrow. I’m happy to get pole position for my home round but the races are more important. We are going for the win.”

WorldSSP Tissot Superpole Results

1. Adrian Huertas | Ducati | 1’44.197s

2. Can Oncu | Kawasaki |  +0.274s

3. Stefano Manzi | Yamaha | +0.333s

 
Historic first pole position for Kove

History was made in the Supersport 300 class as Kove claimed the first World Championship pole position for a Chinese manufacturer. It was a new Superpole lap record from Julio Garcia Gonzalez (KOVE Racing Team) with the 17-year-old claiming his first Superpole success. 

Tomorrow’s opening race of the season will see three different manufacturers on the front row with Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Retro Traffic Kawasaki) and Matteo Vannucci (Pata Yamaha AG Motorsport Italia) joining Garcia in the top three. 

A late session yellow flag cost the riders an opportunity to set fastest times in the closing minutes with reigning World Champion Jeffrey Buis (Freudenberg KTM-PALIGO Racing) unable to improve on the 11th fastest time.More on worldsbk.com

P1 | Julio Garcia Gonzalez | KOVE Racing Team

“I’m really happy because this is my first pole position and the first pole position for Kove. This is a new bike but I am really enjoying working with the team. The new Superpole schedule is strange because the day goes really fast. We only have one Free Practice session now but I quite like it! Tomorrow, I believe that a win is possible. I’ll push hard for it!”

WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole Results

1. Julio Garcia Gonzalez | KOVE | 1’55.313s

2. Daniel Mogeda | Kawasaki | +0.044s

3. Matteo Vannucci | Yamaha | +0.093s 

 
WorldSBK resumes its action on Saturday with FP3 starting at 9:00 (Local Time), followed by Tissot Superpole at 11:00 and Race 1 at 14:00. Meanwhile, WorldSSP continues with a Warm Up at 9:50, followed by Race 1 at 15:15. WorldSSP300 also returns, beginning with a Warm Up at 9:30 and Race 1 at 12:45.

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