Nicolo Bulega tops 2024 WorldSBK pre-season test

Nicolo Bulega tops 2024 WorldSBK pre-season test

Nicolo Bulega maintained his superb form by setting yet another lap record in Jerez, Spain as the first pre-season test of 2024 WorldSBK came to an end.

World Supersport Champion Nicolo Bulega demonstrated that his successful 2023 season was a result of much more than just riding the most powerful bike on the grid after leading the first day of WorldSBK testing.

Bulega proceeded to press further the lead on day two of the test, which was attended by all five major manufacturers as well as a few independent teams.

The Racing rider posted a lap time of 1 minute, 37.809 seconds as he missed the Jerez lap record by only four tenths and distanced himself from the next closest competitor Jonathan Rea by a full half-second.

However, there wasn’t much to be happy about on the opposite side of the garage. Reigning world champion Alvaro Bautista has revealed that he has been dealing with severe neck pain over the off-season after he was involved in a serious crash at a WorldSBK Test in Jerez last year.

This led to a subsequent diagnosis of spinal trauma with protrusions of the C5–C6 disc and a hernia of the C6-7. The Spaniard claimed to suffer serious challenges when navigating left-hand bends, as the issue really bothered him during his MotoGP wildcard at Sepang.

Bautista is experiencing weakness in his left arm along with the numbness and tingling that come from a disc pressing on a nerve.

The Spaniard will probably need surgery if there is no rapid remedy to this crippling condition. Contrary to his younger teammate, he did not run during qualifying on Wednesday, but he still completed 68 laps with his fastest time coming at 1m39.847.

Jonathan Rea finished in second place with a time of 1:38.345 as he swiftly got accustomed to the Yamaha R1. He was still working on a set-up, and his performance put him only 0.5 seconds behind the lead.

Remarkably, Scott Redding was running in third place on the #45 Bonovo Action BMW. Redding set the time late in the preseason test, in the final ten minutes.

Toprak Razgatlioglu finished in fourth place after logging 67 laps during the day. At the beginning of the test, Razgatlioglu momentarily led the time sheets and showcased a competitive BMW. Members of the BMW test squad Bradley Smith and Sylvain Guintoli were also testing on behalf of the German manufacturer in the session.

Andrea Iannone was fifth on the Team GoEleven Ducati, nine tenths of a second behind the lead. Iannone is having a great year as he returns to racing for the first time since 2019.

Sam Lowes, who is getting ready for his maiden WorldSBK season, finished the Jerez test in seventh place. Lowes continues to ride for the Marc VDS team, and this season he is riding their single Ducati entry. The British rider finished one second behind the lead with a time of 1:38.852.

Remy Gardner finished eighth riding the Yamaha, boosting his confidence ahead of 2024 WordSBK. Gardner was the only GYTR GRT Yamaha on the track on day two following Dominique Aegerter’s illness which sidelined him.

Danilo Petrucci finished ninth as he gets ready to start his second season with the Barni Spark team as Andrea Locatelli’s factory Yamaha rounded out the top 10. Locatelli is eager to make strides with Rea as a teammate after having an outstanding 2023 season that saw him place fourth in the championship.

Alex Lowes finished the Jerez test in eleventh place looking strong after logging 82 laps on the Kawasaki. Lowes will have a new teammate after Axel Bassani joined the factory team this season.

2024 WorldSBK Testing Day 1 & 2 at Jerez

PosRiderNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 37.809
2Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 38.345
3Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 38.572
4Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 38.592
5Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 38.744
6Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 38.831
7Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 38.851
8Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 38.870
9Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 38.907
10Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 38.943
11Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 38.989
12Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R11m 39.039
13Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 39.224
14Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 39.413
15Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 39.504
16Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 39.583
17Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 39.915
18Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 40.100
19Iker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 40.237
20Sylvain Guintoli🇫🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 40.866
21Bradley Smith🇬🇧ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 41.266
22Florian Marino🇫🇷Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 41.316

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