lvaro Bautista leads teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi on Friday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Championship leader was 0.147s quicker than Rinaldi.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati | 1’41.486s
“For sure, I think it has been very positive especially because we were focused on race pace. In the morning, I tried the new spec that Pirelli brought here on the front. I didn’t have really good feedback on the tyre, but the bike was working more or less like normal. We decided to use it for the race distance to see how it was at the end. It was quite consistent, but the feeling was not too good from the beginning. Also, on the rear with the SCX tyre, it was maybe not the best moment to use it, but we wanted to use it just to see how it was for the race distance. I felt a big drop this morning so, in the afternoon, we used the SC1 on the front; I like this tyre. Suddenly, I found a good feeling with the bike and the bike worked like it did in the test or the other rounds. In the rear, with the 800, we did 16 laps and it was better than the SCX in the morning. The grip was not very different, but I think the tyre life was a bit better, I could be more consistent with the lap times. I was able to do many mid-1’42s, which is a good pace especially because this afternoon the conditions were a bit difficult. With this heat, the grip is very low, and you have to be very precise.””I saw the lap times from the other riders and I think my teammate, Rinaldi, can fight for victory. We can’t forget Toprak and Jonathan. Maybe today they were not super fast in race pace but tomorrow and on Sunday they will be there. We have to pay attention to Aegerter. He had a really impressive pace and also Lecuona. They are two riders who can fight, at least, for a podium.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished second on Friday with a fastest time of 1’41.633s set in the morning session.
Jonathan Rea concluded Friday’s running in third place only 0.166s behind Bautista. He was one of many riders unable to improve in the afternoon session.
Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fourth fastest time on Friday with a 1’41.652s. The Yamaha rider set his fastest time in the morning session, as did his teammate Andrea Locatelli who completed Friday’s top six despite a crash in FP2.
Local rider Iker Lecuona was fifth for Honda with a 1’42.068s. Teammate Xavi Vierge was eighth despite a crash in FP1.