The Friday’s free practices for the Estoril Round, the third event of the 2022 WorldSBK season, concluded at the Circuito Estoril (Portugal) with very positive indications for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team.
Alvaro Bautista closed both sessions in P2, working his way up to race distance in FP1 before finishing FP2 with a time of 1’36.463, 173 thousandths off the best lap-time set by Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
After some difficulties experienced in the morning session, especially in braking areas, Michael Rinaldi and his team worked well on the set-up in FP2, managing to lower the FP1 time by a second and finishing in P5 with a lap-time of 1’37.189.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“It was a very positive Friday. It was the first time for me with the Ducati Panigale V4 R on this track. As a result in FP1, we worked on the details to try to find the best feeling in the shortest time possible. We also worked well to understand what the best tire might be for tomorrow’s race. To be honest, though, I have to admit it won’t be an easy choice. In any case, the feeling is very good and we have great confidence.”
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It was an intense day. This morning in FP1 we worked using the data we collected in last week’s test at Mugello while in FP2 we focused on tomorrow’s and Sunday’s races. I am satisfied with the step we made between the morning and the afternoon but we are still missing something to stay with the front guys, especially in terms of race pace.”
It was the absolute debut for Nicolò Bulega at the Estoril Circuit. For this reason, the Italian rider lapped in FP1 to get familiar with the track and his Ducati Panigale V2.
In the afternoon session, Bulega tried to push more effectively, lowering his morning time by more than seven-tenths to finish seventh (1’40.905).
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP)
“I am quite satisfied with what we did today. It is clear that we took some time to get to know the track, but that was part of our work program. In the afternoon the feeling improved and that gives us confidence. The gap to the leaders, with the exception of Aegerter at the moment, is not wide”.