Misano WSBK: Rinaldi dominates Friday practice on home turf

Michael Ruben Rinaldi set the overall pace on Friday at Misano in his third World Superbike weekend as a factory Ducati rider, beating Kawasaki duo Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea.

Rinaldi was on form throughout the first day of track action in Italy, leading FP1 after the first 10 minutes with a time of 1m35.518s before improving to 1m35.235s in the latter half of the session.

With just five minutes to go, he became the first rider to break the 1m35s barrier, lapping the circuit in 1m34.956s before finding another half a tenth on his next flyer.

However, it was Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu who ended the morning session on top with a last-gasp attempt of 1m34.848s, beating Rinaldi’s 1m34.902s lap by just 0.054s.

GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff jumped up to third with his own late flyer, demoting the GoEleven Ducati of Chaz Davies, as Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani made it three Ducatis in the top five.

Six-time champion Rea ended a lowly eighth on the Kawasaki but found six tenths in the first 10 minutes of the FP2 session to lead the timesheets early on from Razgatlioglu.

Rinaldi first rose to the top with 18 minutes to go in the session, before setting by far the fastest lap of the day, a 1m34.597s. But the Italian rider didn’t stop there and managed to go even quicker on his next attempt, with the 1m34.334s lap he managed putting him well clear of the rest of the field.

He eventually ended the day three tenths quicker than Lowes, who in turn managed to outpace his more experienced teammate Rea by two tenths of a second.

Razgatlioglu finished fourth in FP2 with a time that was just shy of his morning benchmark, with Rinaldi’s Ducati teammate Scott Redding the first driver to miss the 1m34s window in fifth.

The British rider completed only 10 laps in the morning after being shown a black-and-orange flag for a technical fault with his Panigale V4 R, and could only add another 12 laps to his tally in FP2.

Honda’s Alvaro Bautista finished nearly nine tenths off the pace in the afternoon in sixth, ahead of the lead BMW of 2013 champion Tom Sykes and Bassani.

Leon Haslam was ninth on the second factory Honda, while Puccetti Kawasaki rider Lucas Mahias completed the top 10.

Both Gerloff and Davies were unable to improve on their FP1 times in the afternoon, ending up 11th and 12th respectively. 

FP1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'34.334
2 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 1'34.628 0.294
3 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'34.848 0.514
4 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'34.909 0.575
5 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 1'35.076 0.742
6 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'35.202 0.868
7 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 1'35.232 0.898
8 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 1'35.287 0.953
9 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'35.328 0.994
10 44 France Lucas Mahias
Kawasaki 1'35.383 1.049

FP2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 1'34.848
2 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 1'34.902 0.054
3 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 1'34.923 0.075
4 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 1'35.391 0.543
5 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 1'35.549 0.701
6 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 1'35.651 0.803
7 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 1'35.733 0.885
8 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 1'35.789 0.941
9 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 1'35.809 0.961
10 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 1'35.831 0.983
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