The Prosecco DOC Czech Round, sixth event of the 2022 WorldSBK season, begins with positive indications for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team. In both FP1 and FP2 Michael Rinaldi and Alvaro Bautista lapped incisively, closing Friday’s free practice in third and fourth position respectively. Both riders worked hard on both setup and tire solutions ahead of Race-1 and Race-2 for which the SCX rubber will not be available.
After finishing fourth in FP1, in the afternoon session, Rinaldi improved by almost half a second his lap time, closing with a chrono of 1’31.820 and setting the best split times in both the third and fourth sectors.
Remarkable progress also for Bautista: after gaining confidence in the morning with the Most track, on which he had never lapped with the Ducati Panigale V4R, in FP2 the lowered his time by almost seven-tenths (1’31.871) closing 51 thousandths of a second from his teammate and 3 tenths of a second from the best time set by Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I am satisfied because, from the very first laps of FP1, the feeling was immediately positive. Unfortunately, I had to deal with a couple of issues that, both in FP1 and FP2, forced us to lose precious minutes. But these are things that can happen. In the end, we are still third after the first day of free practice and the feeling is good. We need to put all the pieces together to be able to be consistent in all areas of the track.”
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“We took advantage of FP1 mainly to get familiar with this track on which I have never ridden the Ducati Panigale V4R. We worked a lot to try to figure out what the best tire solution might be for the two long races but we still don’t have a definite answer. It was a very different Friday from the others but in the end, I think the base we can continue to work on is pretty good.”
It was an absolute debut on the Most circuit for Nicolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team. The Italian rider, however, proved to be immediately at ease on the new track by lapping with a convincing race pace to eventually close the FP2 in second place with a time of (1’35.032) just 80 thousandths of a second behind Aegerter (Yamaha).
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am very happy with how things went today. As has happened before, today was the first time for me with the race bike on this circuit and I found a good feeling right away. Maybe we struggled a bit at the beginning of FP1 but the team worked very well finding a setup that allowed me to get confidence lap by lap”.