Aruba Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and reigning champion Jonathan Rea won the hunt for grip using bravery competition at San Juan this afternoon as the dustbowl circuit failed to provide much in the way of traction in second practice.
Bautista and Rea, who was crowned world champion for the fifth time at Magny-Cours last time out, only found relatively small increases in pace over lunch as the dirty track didn’t rubber in as much as anyone would like and times are still two seconds slower than those set in free practice two last year. The surface has been relaid in parts after breaking up during last year’s race weekend.
Rea was second quickest today, swapping the status of fastest rider with Bautista over the 50 minute session.
Surprise package Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Ducati) was third overall, with another Ducati rider, Chaz Davies,fourth.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) bounced up fifth fastest, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) sixth and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) eventually seventh.
Haslam got spat off his ZX-10RR and was narrowly avoided by Razgatlioglu but re-mounted after sit down in the gravel.
Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha), Alex Lowes (Yamaha) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) completed out the top ten.
Jordi Torres, who was in the top five this morning, couldn’t find a large enough pace gain and slid to 11th with local hero Tati Mercado in 12th place.
Loris Baz, who will be disappointed with his speed, was down in 13th but ahead of Marco Melandri. Alessandro Delbianco finished ahead of Ryuichi Kiyonari.
The two riders who were seriously injured at Imola, Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier, were not taking too many risks and finished at the foot of the timesheet.