The final day of testing for MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship teams and riders at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve came to a close on Wednesday after some incredible, lap record pace from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the pair lapping the 4.592km circuit in under 1’40s using Pirelli’s new SCQ tyre.
Record breaking pace at Portimao
Rea was the first rider to dip below the 1’39s bracket just before the midway point of the session with a 1’39.851s but reigning World Champion Razgatlioglu was able to better more than two tenths with just over an hour of testing remaining; the pair split by just 0.235s. Razgatlioglu’s time of 1’39.616ss beat his own pole time from 2021 by almost 0.5s. Razgatlioglu set six lap times in the 1’39s bracket, using the A557 tyre used throughout 2021, across five different runs, on laps 28, 45, 48, 49, 53 and 61, while Rea set one lap time in the 1’39s.
It meant Razgatlioglu, who had been working on electronic setup changes with his team, finished the two-day test, and his first of 2022, on top of the timesheets by 0.235s ahead of Rea after completing 66 laps. The six-time Champion completed 87 laps on his ZX-10RR as he continued to test new items and components on his ZX-10RR, using the SCQ tyre for his best time.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the top three as he continued to adjust to life back at Ducati. Despite a Turn 8 crash that brought out the Red Flags, the Spanish rider was able to add 68 laps to his tally for the test with a best time of 1’40.055s, set on Pirelli’s SCX tyre. Bautista has been able to try a new swingarm on his Ducati Panigale V4 R and a smaller fuel tank to suit his stature throughout the test as well as trying Pirelli’s SCQ tyre to be used throughout the 2022 campaign.
Keeping the top 3 close
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in fourth place as he looked at his outright performance on the ZX-10RR after hailing Tuesday’s running as one of his best days in Kawasaki colours. Lowes added 83 laps to his tally for the two-day test with a best time of 1’40.335s. The British rider also wanted to try the SCQ tyre throughout the test with the tyre supplier bringing new solutions of the tyre compared to what was available at the Jerez test.
Around three tenths before Lowes was Italian rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who completed 77 laps as he and his team worked on some new parts as well as the setup of electronics on his YZF-R1. Locatelli’s best time was a 1’40.674s as he prepares for his second campaign in WorldSBK.
Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) headed up the Independent riders on day two of the test despite an afternoon crash at the highspeed right-hander of Turn 1. The German rider was okay following the crash that brought out the Red Flag although cost him some valuable track time ahead of his rookie season. Oettl, who had been looking to improve his Ducati’s set up for him, completed 63 laps on Wednesday with a best time of 1’41.061s, putting in a late lap to jump up to sixth in the standings. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to try a new swingarm on his Ducati Panigale V4 as well as the new SCQ tyre from Pirelli, with the Italian completing 52 laps for a best time of 1’41.143s.
Rounding out the WorldSBK field…
French rider Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) was able to get his hands on some new parts for his Yamaha YZF-R1, components that had been used in 2021 by the factory squad, including a new fairing and screen. While testing these items, Ponsson racked up 51 laps with a best time of 1’42.374s.
Rookie Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) rounded out the WorldSBK field on his second day of action on his Ducati bike, with the Sammarinese rider adding 54 laps to his tally. On his first time with a WorldSBK machine, and his first time on track since an injury sustained at Magny-Cours, Bernardi posted a best lap time of 1’42.961s.
Bulega doubles up in WorldSSP
WorldSSP rookie Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) topped the timesheets for the second day running on his Ducati Panigale V2 machine with the Italian manufacturer returning to WorldSSP for 2022. Bulega first tested the bike in November at Jerez and added another 48 laps of experience to the bike in Portugal, with a best time of 1’43.876s. Another rookie, Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing), was second in the standings on day two of testing with the Austrian racking up 58 laps with a best time of 1’45.511s. Nicholas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team), testing in place of Oli Bayliss who fractured his ankle in a crash on day one, added 46 laps to the team’s tally over the course of the Portimao test with a best time of 1’46.946s.
WorldSBK times at the end of day two:
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’39.616, 66 laps
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’39.851s, 87 laps
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.055, 68 laps
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.335s, 83 laps
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’40.674s, 79 laps
6. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) 1’41.061s, 63 laps
7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.143s, 52 laps
8. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) 1’42.374s, 51 laps
9. Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’42.961s, 54 laps