The top two in the title took their tussle to FP1 in Catalunya, whetting the appetite for the weekend ahead
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship burst into life at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Hyundai N Catalunya Round. Round nine of the season welcomed the riders out onto the circuit for Free Practice one with blissful sunshine beating down on the Barcelona venue. Leading the way, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) got the better of Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), with the top two doing battle at the head of the timesheets.
Jonathan Rea led for most of the session having set the early pace with teammate Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with Rea remaining at the top of the standings until the close of the session, with his fastest time from his first, long run seeing him through. Toprak Razgatlioglu was growing throughout the opening track time of the weekend as he got re-accustomed to the Barcelona-Catalunya venue, slotting into second and just over a tenth and a half. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) started his weekend off strongly too, being the top BMW in third place, ahead of Alex Lowes Up in fifth place, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was just behind Lowes as both back-up their teammates inside the top five.
Sixth place was Leon Haslam (Team HRC), just over three tenths behind Rea at the head of the field. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took top Ducati honours in seventh, with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) just behind in eighth. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was exactly half a second off the pace in ninth, whilst Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) impressed in tenth, just missing out on top Independent honours. It was a disaster for Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who was only 13th, one place ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) and then Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven).
Top six after FP1 in WorldSBK, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’42.419s
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.159s
3. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.189s
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.279s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.296s
6. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.324s
FP2 for WorldSBK starts at 15:00 local time (GMT+2) and you can enjoy it all with the WorldSBK VideoPass!