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SBK, Red Alert: Toprak never so close to Bautista and Ducati at Misano

THE TEST ANALYSIS - Toprak and Alvaro showed a superior pace in last week's two-day event, and the world champion appears to no longer have last year's advantage. But watch out for variations in the field with Pirelli possibly bringing a new rear tire

SBK: Red Alert: Toprak never so close to Bautista and Ducati at Misano

During the week of the Mugello Grand Prix, a two-day test session reserved for Superbike was staged in Misano on Thursday and Friday. Despite the adverse weather conditions on the last day, teams and riders still worked to chart the way forward leading to the upcoming race weekend.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, thanks to the SCQ, set a new track record of 1'32"535, sending a loud and clear signal to the competition. Beyond the dry lap times, it was interesting to see the work done on pace by the most anticipated riders with SCX and the SCQ so as to understand whether or not the latter can also be used for the Superpole Race.

Despite four crashes in two days, with the SCX Alvaro Bautista showed confidence, sticking very consistently to the low 1'34" and even dropping to the 1'33" mark. Not to be outdone was Toprak, who was able to approach the Spaniard's performance on the pace, despite the latter making shorter runs in comparison with the reigning Ducati champion.

With regard to Toprak, author of the track record, it should be emphasized that in T1 and T2 no other rider is able to challenge him while in T3 and T4 he loses tenths on the road so much so that Bautista and Bulega prove to be better performers in the comparison with the M 1000 RR number 54.

That said: to draw a definitive balance of these tests, disputed in particular conditions given the rain, is very complicated. One thing, however, is clear: in Misano, riding the BMW, Toprak has partly closed that gap that he accused last year with the Yamaha and, as a result, Alvaro has seen his margin shrink. What there will be to understand, however, is the performance over the long distance, because at the moment Bautista seems to have slightly more over his direct rival for the title race. Unfortunately, having made short runs, it is complicated to make a judgment regarding the 20-lap performance by the runner-up champion.

Keep an eye out for the unknowns, however: in the last two years, when Bautista has been overwhelmingly victorious, Misano has always presented stable conditions of great heat throughout the entire race weekend. This time, on the other hand, conditions may not be as hot as in the past, but more erratic. Finally there is the tire node, because Pirelli will most likely bring a new rear tire for the race weekend, which unfortunately in testing has not been tried consequently it will be a poker in the dark for everyone.

There are several unknowns on the table, and it will take a little more than a week to get the answers.


Automatic Translation by DeepL

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