WorldSBK Indonesia: Bautista takes charge for FP2

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista upped the WorldSBK pace in FP2, completing Friday at Mandalika firmly in charge.

The sole rider under the 1’34 barrier, Bautista’s 1’33.626 final effort sat half a second clear of Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu with Ducati teammate Michael Rinaldi completing the top three almost a full second behind.

The afternoon kicked off with a bang as initial laps were immediately quicker than the morning’s best. Razgatlioglu once again setting the pace thanks to a 1’35.727 with Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani and Bautista vying for the runner up spot on their respective Ducatis.

GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff improved on his 16th from FP1 with a shot for sixth in the opening minutes, Go Eleven’s Philipp Oettl just 0.02s shy of Aruba’s Rinaldi to complete the top three after their second hot lap efforts.

Hafizh Syahrin brought out the red flag after a highside at turn eight, his MIE Honda left stricken in the middle of the track with 38 minutes left on the clock.

The resuming action saw Honda’s Iker Lecuona, KRT’s Jonathan Rea and BMW’s Michael van der Mark straight out of pitlane as the trio looked to set their first times of FP2. Lecuona immediately striking for third before improving again next time around to take the runner-up position from the returning Xavi Fores on the Barni Ducati.

Razgatlioglu then Rea took turns at the top as the pace dipped to 1’35.654. Lecuona the next to succumb to the Lombok layout with the red flag brought out as the Spaniard required trackside assistance at turn four.

Bautista took charge for the final half an hour with a 1’34.748, six tenths ahead of his Yamaha rival before Razgatlioglu hit back with his next two attempts. 1’34.0 now the time to beat at the halfway point of the 45-minute session with Rinaldi, Gerloff and Rea holding the top five positions.

Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes was up to third as the final quarter of an hour got going. The British rider circulating over a second shy of the outright target. Bassani stealing the position on similar pace next time around with the leading duo still dominant out front.

Gerloff and Honda’s Xavi Vierge were on the move with six minutes remaining. The pair claiming third and fourth respectively as Eugene Laverty crashed out on the Bonovo BMW. Rinaldi and Rea dispatched the previous pair as the best of the rest action continued with the Italian now half a second off his teammate before Bautista shot for overall command with a 1’33.626.

The closing minute saw Bautista retain control from Razgatlioglu, Rinaldi and Rea with Gerloff, Fores, Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli and Vierge heading Bassani and BMW’s Scott Redding in the top ten. Lowes completed FP2 11th from Lucas Mahias, Oettl, Lecuona and van der Mark with Bonovo’s Laverty and Loris Baz in 16th and 17th.

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