Light rain characterised the first morning of activity for the Czech Round, the eighth event of the 2023 WorldSBK season.
Riders were forced to enter the track on rain tyres and then got familiar with slicks (but in wet conditions) in the last 15 minutes of the session. FP2, on the other hand, was lit by bright sunshine, which also favoured a noticeable rise in temperature.
Michael Rinaldi worked well on the set-up, also trying a different set-up during the session. The Italian rider was not looking for a lap time but found confidence lap by lap, closing in fourth position with a crono of 1’30.560, less than two-tenths from the best lap of Razgatlioglu.
A small technical issue, promptly fixed by his team, forced Alvaro Bautista to spend a few minutes in the box at the start of the session. The WorldSBK classification leader returned to the track (without ever changing tyres) and finished with the sixth fastest time, 93 thousandths behind his team-mate.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It was a special day because the track was half wet and half dry in the morning session. In the afternoon instead, we were able to work better. We are all very close but that is a characteristic of the circuit. That’s why it will be important to work on the details to be able to do a good qualifying first. I feel better: I can say I am at 95%”.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“Today was a bit difficult for us, first because of the track conditions and then because of an issue we had in FP2. We weren’t able to ride as consistently as we would have liked but we still managed to gather important data ahead of tomorrow. Hopefully, we can work in FP3 in the best weather conditions”.
An extremely convincing Friday for Nicolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team. The Italian rider finished both FP1 and FP2 in first position with a 2-tenths advantage over Huertas (Kawasaki) in the combined standings.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP)
“A positive day for us. The feeling with the bike was very good right from the first laps and that makes me very confident. At Imola, despite the sensations were not perfect, we managed to bring home two podiums and some very important points. Tomorrow we will continue to work to try and do even better”.