Aragon WSBK: Razgatlioglu leads Davies in Friday practice

Toprak Razgatlioglu topped the timesheets for Yamaha in Friday practice for the opening round of the 2021 World Superbike season at Aragon.

Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes held the top spot for much of FP1 in the morning, setting an early benchmark of 1m50.677s on the new ZX-10RR before posting a 1m50.498s to move further clear of the field.

Six-time champion Jonathan Rea moved up to second to make it an early 1-2 for Kawasaki, and it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes of the session that the duo were dislodged from the top of the times.

In the end it was Razgatlioglu on the Yamaha R1 who went quickest, breaching the 1m50s barrier with his final effort of 1m49.952s.

Chaz Davies finished three tenths behind Razgatlioglu in second on his first race weekend with the Go Eleven team, having been moved from Ducati’s factory outfit to make way for Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

GRT rider Garrett Gerloff made it two Yamaha bikes in the top three with a time of 1m50.442s, as Lowes settled for fourth on the lead Kawasaki after failing to improve on his early-session benchmark.

Rinaldi jumped to fifth in the final classifications on the best of the factory Ducatis, ending up eight tenths off the pace, while Rea’s early effort of 1m50.834s was only good enough for sixth.

2013 champion Tom Sykes was BMW’s top finisher in seventh on the new M1000RR, two spots ahead of new teammate Michael van der Mark - who has joined BMW in 2021 after a lengthy stint at Yamaha.

Both factory Hondas made it to the top 10 in FP1, with Leon Haslam finishing eighth and Alvaro Bautista 10th. 

Davies topped the second practice in the afternoon, but his time of 1m50.400s was over four tenths slower than Razgatlioglu’s benchmark and even slower than Davies’ own lap from FP1.

However, there were several riders who improved on their times in FP2, with most notably Rea setting a time of 1m50.690s to end up second-quickest in the session and fifth overall.

Scott Redding, who didn’t feature in the top 10 in FP1, managed to gain nearly half a second in the afternoon to end up third in FP2 for Ducati, just ahead of Honda duo Bautista and Haslam.

Andrea Locatelli, hired by Yamaha to replace van der Mark, finished 17th and 11th in the two sessions with a best time of 1m51.781s.

Van der Mark, meanwhile, suffered a big shunt at Turn 8 in FP2, which then had to be red-flagged to allow marshals to replace the air-fence barriers at the crash site.

FP1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'49.952
2 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 1'50.260 0.308
3 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 1'50.442 0.490
4 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 1'50.498 0.546
5 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'50.741 0.789
6 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'50.834 0.882
7 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 1'50.842 0.890
8 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'50.907 0.955
9 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 1'50.966 1.014
10 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'51.049 1.097

FP2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 1'50.400
2 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'50.690 0.290
3 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 1'50.780 0.380
4 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'50.814 0.414
5 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'51.000 0.600
6 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 1'51.037 0.637
7 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'51.179 0.779
8 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'51.202 0.802
9 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 1'51.231 0.831
10 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 1'51.238 0.838
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