Bautista leads the way in Friday free practice at Phillip Island. Positive P4 for Rinaldi. Bulega quickest in WorldSSP
The first Friday of the 2023 WorldSBK season closed with extremely convincing indications for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team. Alvaro Bautista ended both FP1 and FP2 in first position while Michael Rinaldi (fourth in the combined standings) set the second-fastest time in the afternoon session.
Strong winds at the Phillip Island circuit (Australia) did not seem to affect Alvaro Bautista, who got off to a strong start with the fastest time in FP1. Then in the afternoon, the reigning World Champion took full advantage of the optimal conditions of the circuit, improving by more than half a second and finishing with the fastest time of the day (1’30.623).
It was also a very positive day for Michael Rinaldi who, despite a technical problem promptly resolved by his team, was able to improve on his best time in FP2, ending in second place with a time of 1’31.157.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It was a positive Friday. The feeling with the bike was very good, in line with what I felt during testing. I tried to adapt to the track conditions, which changed a little from morning to afternoon. I am satisfied with the work we have done so far”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it RAcing – Ducati #21)
“It was a satisfying day even though this morning the feeling with the bike was not initially the same as in the tests, mainly due to the wind that hindered me especially in cornering. In the afternoon we also worked on improving this aspect of the bike and things went very well”.
Nicolò Bulega confirmed the positive feeling from the test and after working on the set-up in FP1, in the afternoon session he set the best time of the day 1’32.852.
Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am quite happy with what we did today. I felt very good with the bike, especially on the fast lap. On the race pace, however, we are still missing something to be at the level of our main rivals. However, I must admit that today the temperature was really high and this condition is not the best for us.