WorldSBK Portimao: Razgatlioglu rules at the rollercoaster in FP2

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu took charge of WorldSBK’s Friday running at Portimao thanks to a 1’40.720 lap in FP2.

A late effort from Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea put the Ninja ZX-10RR in second with championship leader Alvaro Bautista rounding out the final practice session’s top three. Aruba.it Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi and GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff maintained their places at the top of the standings overall, however, thanks to their FP1 efforts.

A warmer afternoon saw a delayed start to FP2 after red flags in the support class action. Iker Lecuona set the opening pace with a 1’41.524, the Honda rider already fastest on his second lap than his morning best before KRT’s Rea hit the front, 0.098s ahead. Ducati’s Bautista sat third from the second Kawasaki of Alex Lowes - the Brit also bettering his FP1 target - while Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani rounded out the top five.

Bautista struck for second 0.019s shy of his title-rival before the number 19 took charge overall next timer around. A 1’41.223 now the session benchmark with Rinaldi’s morning best still a quarter of a second clear.

Ducati’s dominance continued as the Italian joined his teammate to lockout the top of the standings. Marvin Fritz suffering a high-speed slide from 23rd on the YART wildcard before fellow Yamaha, Razgatlioglu went fastest overall with a 1’40.720.

The halfway stage found BMW’s Scott Redding running eighth from Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli and Bonovo’s Loris Baz with Motorrad teammate Michael van der Mark heading the final Bonovo of Eugene Laverty just outside of the top ten. Gerloff rising to join his fellow Yamaha rider in ninth next time around.

The closing stages saw Razgatlioglu trailing Rea on track as the Kawasaki looked to improve his pace before losing out in the final sector. The six-time champ striking for second as the chequered flag prepared, just under half a second shy of his Turkish rival with Bautista, Rinaldi, Lecuona and Lowes completing the top six. Bassani finished FP2 in seventh from Gerloff, GoEleven’s Philipp Oettl and Redding.

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