Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) is one of the key figures in WSBK transfer poker after the surprising transfer of Scott Redding from Ducati to BMW. Many voices expect the little Spaniard to switch back to the Italian factory team, but MotoGP dropout Danilo Petrucci is also seeing chances with the Reds.

Rea ahead of Toprak and Redding in the first free practice

It was Scott Redding who lapped the 3.933 km long circuit with 15 corners on Friday morning, a quarter of an hour before the end of FP1, with a time of 1’38.045 the fastest. The announcement of his move from Ducati to BMW had been the sensation of the previous day. Not even those who usually pretend to hear the grass grow had expected this. That is why the evening before a motorsport portal of the more questionable kind had reported the Englishman as almost fixed at Honda and in his place at Ducati Alvaro Bautista. Despite a very promising duo with Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark, things turned out differently and now, at the end of the season, they may even become a trio. While “Magic Michael” is fixed for 2022, the negotiations with Sykes are supposedly still in progress, according to the blue-whites. In any case, Redding has been more aggressive again since Most, and apparently the new future has spurred him on.

Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM BMW) in the pits – after a catastrophic first half of the season with only one ray of hope, the fast German hopes to find his team on the road to success. Maybe he’ll make it in the middle of the Rioja area.

Jonathan Rea accelerates
It was the Northern Irishman who literally pulverized the previous best time of the Englishman, who was still competing for Ducati, in the last five minutes. With 1’37.629, the world championship leader burned his Kawasaki ZX-10RR into the asphalt, a time that was almost half a second better than the previous provisional best time. Redding tried to increase, but he and Toprak failed because of the new record of the reigning world champion. The Yamaha aces Locatelli and Gerloff, as well as Alvaro Bautista on the best Honda, were also good from the start. Towards the end of the first free practice, Chaz Davies was a bit faster and pushed the fast Spaniard out of the top six, while Sykes on the best BMW was only eighth ahead of Rinaldi. Below are the times from FP1 before it continues in the afternoon.

P, No, Rider, Bike, Time(,Gap), LL, km/h
1, 1, REA Jonathan, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’37.629, , 18, 294
2, 54, RAZGATLIOGLU Toprak, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’37.752, 0.123, 19, 292
3, 45, REDDING Scott, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’37.793, 0.164, 23, 287
4, 31, GERLOFF Garrett, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’38.082, 0.453, 19, 277
5, 55, LOCATELLI Andrea, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’38.097, 0.468, 22, 288
6, 7, DAVIES Chaz, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’38.229, 0.600, 20, 292
7, 19, BAUTISTA Alvaro, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’38.531, 0.902, 19, 290
8, 66, SYKES Tom, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’38.536, 0.907, 17, 283
9, 21, RINALDI Michael Ruben, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’38.542, 0.913, 18, 290
10, 22, LOWES Alex, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’38.564, 0.935, 18, 283
11, 60, VAN DER MARK Michael, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’38.710, 1.081, 19, 286
12, 94, FOLGER Jonas, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’38.993, 1.364, 19, 280
13, 53, RABAT Tito, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’39.048, 1.419, 20, 273
14, 47, BASSANI Axel, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’39.110, 1.481, 18, 283
15, 91, HASLAM Leon, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’39.257, 1.628, 15, 290
16, 44, MAHIAS Lucas, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’39.802, 2.173, 14, 278
17, 3, NOZANE Kohta, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’40.197, 2.568, 20, 277
18, 36, MERCADO Leandro, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’40.716, 3.087, 18, 276
19, 23, PONSSON Christophe, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’40.872, 3.243, 18, 283
20, 6, URAMOTO Naomichi, Suzuki GSX-R1000R, 1’41.017, 3.388, 18, 273
21, 14, URIBE Jayson, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’42.760, 5.131, 21, 278
22, 84, CRESSON Loris, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’42.783, 5.154, 19, 283

Nach der Absage der 8 Stunden von Suzuka

For Kawasaki, it should be an attempt to defend the title after the scandalous race of 2019. Instead of Toprak, Lucas Mahias was supposed to complement the two drivers on the Greens factory team this time. With Jonathan Rea, the multiple winner Alex Lowes and the Frenchman, a real dream team has been announced. But as in the previous year and in MotoGP, the possibly most important race in Japan will not be held this season due to Corona. Instead, the final of the FIM-EWC World Endurance Championship will now take place on October 9th in Most. In this respect, it is unlikely that one of the WorldSBK pilots, regardless of which team, will be there. According to the current calendar, there will then be two more rounds of the near-series World Cup, although no one is seriously counting on races in Argentina and Indonesia at the moment. After yesterday’s cancellation of the MotoGP round in Malaysia, changes in the WSBK can be expected in the near future.

Lucas Mahias (Puccetti Kawasaki Racing) is back after his hand injury – but in FP1 the fast Frenchman didn’t go as he wanted, as this photo shows.
Toprak Razgatlioglu as a Kawasaki factory rider in the 8 Hours of Suzuka, where he was not used in the race at the end. The Turk is said to have been very disappointed, and his mentor and manager Kenan Sofuoglu even raved. Shortly thereafter, Razgatlioglu signed with Pata Yamaha for the 2020 season (© FIM-EWC ).

WorldSBK Navarra schedule

Circuito de Navarra

The route map of Navarre, where the first WorldSBK race in history will start on August 22nd, 2021. With 9 right and 6 left turns, the Circuito de Navarra, like most of the other routes, is clockwise on the calendar. The racetrack was completed in June 2010 and is 3.933 km long and the start-finish straight is 800 meters.

>WSBK Navarra Preview see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© WorldSBK).