alvaro bautista lowered the Portuguese track record on the second day of Portimao and closed the SBK tests with a stratospheric 1:39.035, almost six tenths below the 1:39.610 with which Jonathan Rhea set the fastest record ever in the superpole of 2022. The mark was achieved by the man from Talavera in the morning session, on lap 13 of the 45 he completed and before crashing in turn 7, without physical consequences for him, although he admitted that he was “looking for the limit” at that time. The world champion was not the only one to reduce the time, since Rea, at 0.009, Michael Ruben Rinaldithe Spaniard’s partner in Ducati, at 0.109, and Toprak Razgatliogluat 0.406, signed times below the record.
Bautista spoke about that maximum equality at the end of the day: “It is important to be in better shape than last year because everyone is going very fast. You can’t relax and you have to find every little detail, which with these little differences can make you be ahead or not. In 2023, surely some more pilot will arrive, ”he predicted. Last season the championship was a matter of the ‘three tenors’, but in view of the first impressions it seems clear that the Spanish champion is right. Rinaldi led the first day and is in the lead times. And a little further back they appear Locatelli to 0.670, in fifth place in the table, and Iker Lecuona, sixth. The Spanish of Sling he stayed at 0.768 with the Honda.
Despite what the clock says, one second faster than in the same tests last season, Bautista prefers to remain calm and focus on the good feelings he has on the Panigale of 2023, with which he will defend his ‘1’: “We have seen many times that in the winter tests he has gone very fast and many records have been broken, it should not be given much importance. The important thing is the sensations with the bike, the work we have done. Very comfortable with the new bike, we found some improvements in rear grip today. We have done a great job. We are ready to start the championship”, closes the Talaverano.