Misano WorldSBK: Bautista back on Superpole with Ducati

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Aruba.it Ducati celebrated a home Superpole at Misano on Saturday morning as Alvaro Bautista claimed a new circuit record of 1’33.328.

The Spaniard was joined in Parc Fermé by the usual duo as Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea sat second and third, less than two-tenths adrift in another incredibly close battle with KRT’s Alex Lowes fourth.

Clear blue skies, 25℃ air temperatures and mid-30’s on track welcomed the Superbike class as qualifying fired up immediately at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The top three batting for command from the off as Razgatliolgu took initial control with a 1’33.608.

Bautista and Rea trailed the Yamaha in the opening stages with Scott Redding running fourth on the BMW. Italians Michael Rinaldi and Axel Bassani rounded out the top six, covered by half a second, at the halfway stage.

The six-time champion was back at the top with eight minutes on the clock after setting a 1’33.523 on the Kawasaki ZX10-RR, teammate Lowes holding eighth with Honda’s Iker Lecuona narrowly ahead and Andrea Locatelli behind on the second Pata Yamaha.

Xavi Vierge sat tenth on the second Honda from the returning Philipp Oettl and Roberto Tamburini with Loris Baz and the GRT Yamaha’s of Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff completing the top 15.

The second runs saw Bautista straight in the hunt as he struck with a 1’33.328 to take the provisional pole with a new lap record. Vierge improving to claim fourth with three minutes to go, as Christophe Ponsson crashed bringing out the yellow flags.

Lecuona joined his teammate in the top five next time around as Redding dropped to the edge of the second row. Lowes denying his fellow Brit seconds later as he too advanced, this time to fourth.

Locatelli placed the Pata R1 in fifth as his teammate tried but failed to improve out front, Razgatlioglu completing the session in second to the delights of the home Ducati squad, as Bautista claimed his maiden Superpole on his Panigale return.

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