After a misty start to the day, the skies really opened up for Friday afternoon’s first day of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Prosecco DOC UK Round at Donington Park. While Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) led Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) at the head of the field, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) remained fastest from the morning session.
FP2 ROUND-UP: seven riders brave the conditions, Razgatlioglu and Bassani improve
Razgatlioglu and Bassani were on the circuit together, with the #54 ahead of Bassani, with the Italian giving his style a look around his ‘second home’ of Donington Park. Both riders improved on their morning time but dry running was hampered by a large rain shower. After almost 20 minutes in the box with no one on the circuit, the action changed again on the track with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) heading into the rain with Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) also taking a risk . Both completed lap times good enough for the top four in FP2, while it was Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) in fifth. Two other riders hit the track, with Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) back in action and Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) right behind him.
BRITS SHINE OVERALL: Rea ahead, Ray in contention?
Taking advantage of a difficult time for everyone, Jonathan Rea is the rider in good form and leads the field on the overall timesheets. Rea set a 1’27.627 and stayed in the pits for FP2, though only finished 0.012s clear of Razgatlioglu. Teammate Alex Lowes was fifth overall, ahead of fellow countryman and first-day headline-grabber Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), whose #28 looked good at a circuit he has a great history with . Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was seventh overall and top BMW, while teammate Scott Redding took 13th and did not go out in the afternoon, one place behind Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) and two places ahead of Gerloff’s teammate, Loris Baz.
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BAUTISTA RESERVED ON DAY 1: thinking of the long game?
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) will certainly want a solid season running on a rather bogey circuit for him and Ducati in recent years. Team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi also headed but was ninth in the combined time. However, Ducati’s leading effort came courtesy of German rider Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven), who finished third and looked competitive in the morning, even in difficult conditions. Completing the day for Ducati, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was 14th on his return to Donington Park.
HONDA ALSO QUIET: Lecuona and Vierge make it through Day 1
While the Independent Hondas of Syahrin and Granado braved a wet FP2, it was dry running only for the likes of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge, as they set 17 laps each in the morning. Far from perfect conditions, they finished the day in 11thth and 17th respectively, but there aren’t any conclusions to draw on the weather playing havoc.
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NOTES TO MENTION: Gardner crashed while playing in the rain
Other housekeeping features included a crash for Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in the final corner this morning and he was only 16 years old.th at the end of the day, two places higher than teammate Dominique Aegerter. Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) is 19th but felt the wrath of Iker Lecuona in FP1, after getting in the way of his compatriot in the Foggy Esses. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is 21 years oldSt and Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) is 24th.
Top six after day one at Donington Park in WorldSBK, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’27.627s
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.012s
3. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +0.130s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +0.154s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.230s
5. Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) +0.430s
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