Bautista still blitzing them

Round one dominator, Alvaro Bautista steadily improved the Ducati Panigale V4 R settings before consolidating his position as the man to beat with a 1m32.971s lap to top Friday ahead of Jonathan Rea.

Álvaro Bautista – P1

“For sure it’s only Friday, but I’m quite happy because the most important thing was to confirm our potential on a track that is different from Australia. This morning I started to understand the track and the reference markers, which are a little bit different from the MotoGP bike, so I needed some laps to adapt my riding style. Then I just worked on the bike settings without making any big changes, just some adjustments for the set-up on this track. In the afternoon we tried a different type of rear tyre to see what the new compound was like. There were positives and negatives, so we still have to decide for the race tomorrow. The feeling with the Panigale V4 R is good and I’m satisfied with the result of this first day.”

WSBK Test PI Final GB Bautista
Álvaro Bautista – Image by Geebee

Seven-time Buriram race-winner Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has an impeccable record in Buriram and will look to retain that mantle come racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Jonathan Rea

“We were building into it this morning and we got off to a good start. Step-by-step we improved the bike and were getting into a rhythm in that second free practice session, where we started to make some steps with set-up. I wanted to do a consistent long run but we had to confirm which tyre we will use for tomorrow, at the front and the rear. In some areas of this track I also want to improve my braking. We found some positives in all that so – putting it together – I felt pretty good out there. We can look at the finer details tonight but already we are on the way.”

Teammate Leon Haslam was one of the biggest improvers in the session, taking just under a second off of his morning time to finish seventh.

Leon Haslam

“I thought I had a good handle on the track after racing here four years ago but it has taken me a little bit of time to get my head around the layout again. We stuck to our strategy and just used one tyre in each session, feeling a good rhythm, but we just need to find a little bit more pace. There is a lot of different tarmac from when I last rode here in 2015, so I am working out where those new bumps are, where it is grippy and where it is not. I am still finding braking points, which is just taking a bit of time. We are chipping away every lap, feeling better and better. It is hot out there but it is the same for everyone.”

Rookie Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) took over as leading Yamaha rider, with a stunning charge to third positionin what is his first visit to Thailand.

Veteran teammate Marco Melandri was firmly inside the top six.

Leading the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team charge is Alex Lowes, fourth on the combined timesheets.

Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) finished in eighth position and as second Ducati rider. The Irishman, who has never managed a race finish better than ninth in Thailand, will hope to translate his pace from today into Saturday’s Tissot Superpole Session.

Britain’s Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) placed ninth on combined times and at one point of the session, had the track to himself, enabling him to put in some fast times and work on race pace.

Leon Camier

“I feel we had a good second session after having spent some time sorting out a few little things with the bike setup this morning. In the afternoon I feel we made some progress, I was feeling much better on my bike and was able to put some good laps together at the end of the session. There a few key areas where we are still losing but we know what these areas are and will keep working to try and improve them. All in all, I think we are not doing a bad job at the moment, but it will be a big fight for sure. Weather conditions are incredible, it’s so hot! The end of the race will be tough for everyone!”

Teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari improved his time but dropped places. The Japanese star was only 16th at the end of Friday’s track action.

Making it five manufacturers inside the top ten, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was tenth as he continues to develop the new S1000RR. The 2013 WorldSBK champion completed an important 34 laps throughout the day, whilst German teammate Markus Reiterberger finished in 12th position, just 1.3s from Bautista.

Shaun Muir – BMW Team Principal

“FP1 was really good for us today. Tom and Markus both found a good direction, so everything went positive. We had three exits for each rider and all took steps forward so that was promising. In FP2 we had more test items. While we were pretty happy after FP1 we did not make quite the progress we had hoped for in FP2. We went in a different direction with Tom which unfortunately was the wrong way so had to come back, FP3 tomorrow we will hopefully go in a better direction. Markus had some gremlins that cost a bit of time but overall we can’t be too disappointed. We did not use any additional tyres in FP2 so the times that we put in were pretty much on 15 to 20 lap tyres, so overall I am quite happy with that. Regarding our expectations for Superpole, I think the group from third down to tenth is quite tight and is achievable, so to have a top six for Tom and a top nine for Markus would be a realistic target.”

WSBK Combined Times
PosNo.   RiderFP1FP2BestGap
119 A. Bautista1’33.0891’32.9711’32.9710.000
21 J. Rea1’33.2881’33.2691’33.2690.298
311 S. Cortese1’34.1891’33.4651’33.4650.494
422 A. Lowes1’34.1501’33.5501’33.5500.579
560 M. Van Der Mark1’33.9111’33.5621’33.5620.591
633 M. Melandri1’34.0251’33.6241’33.6240.653
791 L. Haslam1’34.5561’33.7971’33.7970.826
850 E. Laverty1’34.2911’33.8991’33.8990.928
92 L. Camier1’34.8531’33.9471’33.9470.976
1066 T. Sykes1’34.0291’34.0221’34.0221.051
117 C. Davies1’34.2441’34.0931’34.0931.122
1228 M. Reiterberger1’34.9331’34.3271’34.3271.356
1381 J. Torres1’34.7411’34.5201’34.5201.549
1421 M. Rinaldi1’35.6881’34.5501’34.5501.579
1536 L. Mercado1’35.1991’34.6661’34.6661.695
1623 R. KIYONARI1’34.9671’34.7831’34.7831.812
1799 T. WAROKORN1’35.9271’34.9451’34.9451.974
1854 T. RAZGATLIOGLU1’35.2081’34.9711’34.9712.000
1952 A. DELBIANCO1’36.9721’35.7271’35.7272.756

World Supersport Times

WSSP Combined Times
PosNo.   RiderFP1FP2BestGap
116 J. Cluzel1’38.2741’37.6411’37.6410.000
221 R. Krummenacher1’38.2191’37.8311’37.8310.190
364 F. Caricasulo1’37.9231’37.8661’37.8660.225
480 H. Barbera1’38.7231’38.2391’38.2390.598
536 T. Gradinger1’38.4491’38.3431’38.3430.702
63 R. De Rosa1’39.0521’38.4601’38.4600.819
732 I.  Vinales/1’38.4791’38.4790.838
878 H. Okubo1’38.5991’38.7681’38.5990.958
944 L. Mahias1’38.6801’38.6701’38.6701.029
1086 A. Badovini1’38.9831’39.3171’38.9831.342
1174 J. Van Sikkelerus1’40.0841’39.0221’39.0221.381
1295 J. Danilo1’39.6841’39.0681’39.0681.427
1338 H. Soomer1’39.3181’39.1741’39.1741.533
1484 L. Cresson1’39.7801’39.2771’39.2771.636
1594 C. Perolari1’40.3351’39.7041’39.7042.063
1622 F. Fuligni1’40.7221’39.7981’39.7982.157
1756 P. Sebestyen1’40.2691’40.3821’40.2692.628
186 M. Herrera1’41.3991’40.3491’40.3492.708
1947 R. Hartog1’44.2731’41.0341’41.0343.393
2015 A. Coppola1’41.3121’41.0361’41.0363.395
2110 N. Calero1’41.2331’42.9001’41.2333.592
2230 G. Van Straalen1’42.1831’41.5901’41.5903.949
2346 R. Nakcharoensri1’44.4351’44.5191’44.4356.794
244 C. Stange1’51.8941’51.89414.253