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2023/05/05 - FIM Superbike World Championship 2023: Catalunya Round / Friday's Free Practice Sessions

Barcelona started with top 7

Dominique Aegerter set his personal best time of the day in the first practice session in even cooler conditions but by showing a strong pace in the afternoon to underline his ambitions to continue his upward trend.

After very cool mornings at the last meeting of the Superbike World Championship two weeks ago in Assen, conditions are very different this time. Already in the morning, temperatures in the north of Spain are very pleasant and thus offer ideal conditions when the premier class of the championship with production-based racing machines started on Friday with the first free practice into the fourth race weekend of the season.

Dominique Aegerter was able to seamlessly continue his impressive form from Assen. With a 1'42.084, the 32-year-old Swiss finished seventh in FP1, which was also his overall position after the first day. In the afternoon session, the Yamaha rider and his crew from the Italian GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team mainly worked with a view to the two main races of the weekend, which will both start at 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday. In German-speaking countries, ServusTV is already live on the air from 12:15.

#77 Dominique AEGERTER (GYTR GTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team, Yamaha YZF R1)
FP1: P7 - 1´42.084 / FP2: P5 - 1´42.305

"It was a good start to the weekend here in Barcelona, where we had a test recently. Despite the hot conditions we tried two long runs, which worked quite well. But we are also fast on one lap. It was a good Friday because we improved a bit overall. We have gone a good way as far as the set-up is concerned. Apart from Bautista, who is incredibly fast here, the times are very close together up to twelfth place. I think we can fight for a good position in this strong group. But for that, as always, a good qualifying is the prerequisite."

"In the main races, tyre management will be a key factor. The last five laps will be all the more important to still have something in the pocket to be fast. This is something new for me because so far, I have always been able to push to the end and try to overtake the guys in front of me. But at this track it is important to be in a strong group and save the tyres. Because if you push a bit too hard, which I am sure is nice to see for the spectators in front of the TV, when you show wild slides in the long corners, you burn the tyre and leave a high rubber abrasion on the asphalt there. At some point, the tyre is gone and there is a lack of grip. So, you have to manage the race well to get through the 20 laps. But so far I think we have done a good job with this."

"Whether it will be enough for my first podium as a World Superbike rider this weekend is hard to say. In any case, it is nice to see that my team has been in the Parc Férme for the last two years to celebrate a podium here. But I am still a rookie and have yet to learn how to deal with everything. We have had three race weekends so far and you can see an upward trend in terms of level of performance, which is nice for sure, but there are ten other factory bikes all pushing the limit to be on the podium at the end. We will see what comes out of that. Next to come is FP3, where we will check our pace again, and then we will try to set a fast lap time in Superpole to be in a good position for the first race tomorrow afternoon."

#CatalanWorldSBK - WSBK Combined Free Practice Times (FP1/FP2):
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 1´41.486 (FP2)
2 Michael Ruben RINALDI / ITA / Racing - Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4R / 1´41.633 +0.147 (FP1)
3 Jonathan REA / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR / 1´41.652 +0.166 (FP1)
7 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1 / 1´42.084 +0.598 (FP1)

#CatalanWorldSBK - WSBK Time Schedule for Saturday May 6th (CEST):
09:00 - 09:30 FP3
11:10 - 11:25 Superpole 
14:00 Race 1 (20 Laps - 93.140 km)a