WorldSBK Catalunya: Rea tops wet second free practice

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Reigning WorldSBK king Jonathan Rea topped a wet second free practice at Catalunya this afternoon, beating Dutchman Michael van der Mark by 0.158s with Michael Rinaldi in third place on the GoEleven Ducati.

Final fast lap from Garrett Gerloff, Avaro Bautista and Scott Redding all looked like they would topple the Kawasaki man but all three lost out in the final sector.

Honda’s Bautista did steal third from Rinaldi briefly with a couple of minutes left but a final lap from the Italian was enough to theive l it back.

Thanks to the times set in the dry morning session at the first ever WorldSBK full race outing in Barcelona, Yamaha riders took a running flush of the fastest positions.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and American rookie Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) proved to be the top three, with Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) fourth fastest, from Jonathan Rea (KRT) and recent first time race winner, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati).

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) placed seventh to ninth, as Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) completed the first day’s fastest ten riders.

The run of warm and dry weather the WorldSBK riders have enjoyed since the season restarted in August ended on Friday afternoon at Barcelona, with rain leaving a wet and slowly drying track surface.

A fall from Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) saw his bike block the track, and almost catch out the following Rea. The five times champion avoided the potential problem and after the red flag finished up fastest in wet conditions, 14 seconds or so slower than the best times in the dry.

Schieb has injured his AC joint and is in hospital.

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