Bautista beats Rea in Friday practices

In scorching heat, as the temperature reached 35°C and went even higher in the afternoon, Bautista was able to narrowly outpace Jonathan Rea.

The Kawasaki rider led the way for most of both sessions – he was on top for 40 minutes in FP1 only to be beaten by Bautista with a 1m33.597s and then a subsequent 1m33.089s, which left the Spaniard with a 0.199s gap.

In FP2, Rea was again the early pace-setter but Bautista was able to beat his own morning benchmark halfway through, and the Ducati rider never gave the lead up again.

He ended up with a 1m32.971s, while Rea could only improve on his morning time by 0.019s.

The duo was followed by four Yamahas in the combined order, with rookie Sandro Cortese, despite ending his FP2 with a fall, taking third, nearly half a second slower than Bautista.

Pata Yamaha teammates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark complete the top five, the Dutchman beating Cortese’s GRT teammate Marco Melandri by 0.012s.

Rea’s teammate Leon Haslam had a slow start to the weekend, as he was one and a half seconds off the pace in FP1, and while the Briton made a big improvement in the afternoon, he was still over eight tenths adrift in seventh.

GoEleven Ducati’s Eugene Laverty, the top Honda and BMW of Leon Camier, and Tom Sykes completed the top 10.

Chaz Davies, who continues to struggle on the new Ducati and had a mechanical problem in FP1, was 11th.

Practice times

Alvaro BautistaDucati1’33.0891’32.971
Jonathan ReaKawasaki1’33.2881’33.269
Sandro CortesePata Yamaha1’34.1891’33.465
Alex LowesGRT Yamaha1’34.1501’33.550
Michael van der MarkGRT Yamaha1’33.9111’33.562
Marco MelandriPata Yamaha1’34.0251’33.624
Leon HaslamKawasaki1’34.5561’33.797
Eugene LavertyGoEleven Ducati1’34.2911’33.899
Leon CamierAlthea Honda1’34.8531’33.947
10 Tom SykesBMW1’34.0291’34.022
11 Chaz DaviesDucati1’34.2441’34.093
12 Markus ReiterbergerBMW1’34.9331’34.327
13 Jordi TorresPedercini Kawasaki1’34.7411’34.520
14 Michael Ruben RinaldiBarni Ducati1’35.6881’34.550
15 Leandro MercadoOrelac Kawasaki1’35.1991’34.666
16 Ryuichi KiyonariAlthea Honda1’34.9671’34.783
17 Thitipong WarokornKawasaki Thailand1’35.9271’34.945
18 Toprak RazgatlıogluPuccetti Kawasaki1’35.2081’34.971
19 Alessandro DelbiancoAlthea Honda1’36.9721’35.727

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