Rinaldi Vs Rea: Independent star holds Champion at bay in FP2

MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action continued with the Pirelli Teruel Round as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) continued to show impressive pace at MotorLand Aragon with the Italian rider topping both Free Practice sessions on Friday running as he edged out the reigning Champion by just 0.001s.

Rinaldi posted a time of 1’49.840s in Free Practice 1, a good enough time to top the combined timesheets, ahead of five-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) by the smallest of margins as just 0.001s separated the duo after the two 50-minute sessions. Rea’s teammate, Alex Lowes, finished the session in third place as he made it two Kawasaki machines in the top three.

Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished the day in fourth place as BMW started to bounce back from a challenging Aragon Round at the same circuit while his BMW teammate, Eugene Laverty finished the day in 12th place as he also looks to rebound following a difficult weekend last time out.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) was another looking to make a step forward following the Aragon Round and finished the day in fifth place while Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) was in eighth place; Razgatlioglu lapping around eight tenths off Rinaldi’s pace.

Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was sixth fastest after Friday’s action with the British rider chasing his eighth win at MotorLand Aragon while teammate Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) also finished inside the top ten with the ninth fastest time overall. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), looking to take Honda onto the podium in back-to-back weekends, finished the day in seventh place while teammate Leon Haslam was in tenth; capping a strong day for the Honda outfit.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) finished the day in 11th place despite a crash in Free Practice 2 at Turn 8; the Frenchman coming off his bike entering the corner. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a strong performance last time out at MotorLand Aragon and continued that today with 13th in Free Practice, ahead of Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura), Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and teammate Federico Caricasulo.

Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) finished the day in 17th place ahead of Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance); Frenchman Barrier crashing at Turn 10 in Free Practice 1 but able to get out on track for the second session. Roman Ramos (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) was classified in 19th place with Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Honda Team) and WorldSBK debutant Matteo Ferrari (Motocorsa Racing) rounding out the field.
#TeruelWorldSBK at MotorLand Aragon – Friday.

1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) 1’49.840s
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.001s
3. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.507s
4. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.697s
5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.819s
6. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.884s