WorldSBK Misano: Pata Yamaha locks out FP1

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu kicked the Misano weekend off at the top of the WorldSBK times with a 1’34.603 pace in Friday’s FP1.

Teammate Andrea Locatelli joined the party to lockout the standings as the Italian showcased his pace on home soil with KRT’s Jonathan Rea completing the top three.

Electrical storms on Wednesday night and a full day of torrential rain on Thursday meant a very green track greeted the paddock as the WorldSBK action fired up on Friday morning. Garret Gerloff and Philipp Oettl were passed fit and back in action for GRT Yamaha and GoEleven respectively after their Estoril falls with Ilya Mikhalchik returning to sub for BMW Motorrad after Michael van der Mark suffered a second injury.

Leon Haslam’s expected Pedercini wildcard was put on hold as the Kawasaki rider concentrates his efforts on the Suzuki 8-hour call up with Alessandro Delbianco standing in on home soil for the Italian race.

Rea set the initial pace as free practice began with a 1’35.489 - two seconds adrift of the overall lap record - before he worked to refine his time. Razgatlioglu and Aruba.it Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi the closest challengers in the opening minutes before the reigning champion and his title rival continued to better as the first inside the 1’34 bracket.

Alvaro Bautista began Ducati’s home race from fourth in the times after two minutes on track. Oettl trailed by a duo of Honda’s in the battle for the top five with Axel Bassani, Locatelli and Gerloff completing the fastest ten with the second KRT of Alex Lowes narrowly adrift.

Scott Redding was yet to set a time after the first quarter of an hour after suffering an electronics issue before heading out with 28 minutes to go. Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty circulating in 12th and 13th on the Bonovo BMW’s with Mikhalchik 21st, as the rain began to make a light appearance and the pack returned to the pits.

Razgatlioglu was the first to test the conditions as he circulated alone at the halfway stage, the Pata Yamaha raising the bar with his tenth revolution and 1’34.603 now the time to beat with his teammate up to fourth, albeit three-quarters of a second back, one lap later.

Kohta Nozane was the first to bring out the yellow flags after a turn 13 crash on the GRT Yamaha with 12 minutes to go. Redding regrouping to 12th and heading a trio of M1000RR’s just over a second adrift of the leaders as the session counted down.

Locatelli claimed the runners up spot with a 1’34.844 and three minutes left on the clock. Xavi Vierge heading Iker Lecuona in fifth and sixth as Luca Bernardi retired the Barni Ducati out of 20th with a technical issue at turn eight. Lecuona returned to the leading HRC rider as the chequered flag came out, just 0.01s splitting the pair with both ahead of Bautista while Razgatlioglu maintained his dominance out front.

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