Iker Lecuona smashes the clock on the first day

Iker Lecuona smashes the clock on the first day of the Catalunya WorldSBK Round

The Valencian rider was the fastest in the combined times, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Toprak Razgatlioglu behind him. Álvaro Bautista almost made it to the top three.


The third edition of the Catalunya WorldSBK Round officially kicked off today at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Engines running and bikes lapping with all the participants of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, as well as the Yamaha R7 Superfinale support championship, to inaugurate the on-track activity after a few days of off-track preparations. Friday was also the first time that the public had the opportunity to get in touch with the event, as they were able to access the Catalan facilities and not miss out on any of the details of the event.

The most eagerly awaited sessions were in the WorldSBK class. With the championship in a very exciting state, all eyes were on Álvaro Bautista, the World Championship leader. The Spaniard was unable to break into the top three of the day’s timesheets, but he will surely find his place in the Tissot Superpole tomorrow. The Ducati rider was fourth fastest in the second free practice session, setting a time of 1:42.018. This time was the fastest of the afternoon session, but it was not enough to dominate.

This superiority belonged to Iker Lecuona today. As part of the HRC team, the Valencian rider clocked a 1:41.396. This time could not be beaten by any of his rivals, who were far behind. The closest was Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Álvaro Bautista’s team-mate. Still, his time was a 1:41.931. The third and final rider to see that second was Toprak Razgatlioglu, with his 1:41.991.

In the Bautista-Rea battle, the Talavera de la Reina rider took a step forward today. With his fourth place he overtook Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who was fifth. Even so, only 40 thousandths of a second separated them, so it looks like they will meet again tomorrow at the top of the standings, without ruling out reigning champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) from the equation.

Another of the home riders, Xavi Vierge (Team HRC), was also a standout performer on the Barcelona track. The Catalan rider took seventh place in the combined times, proving that the Hondas still have a lot to say in the World Championship. Óscar Gutiérrez, confirmed at the last race in France to replace Leon Haslam, repeats the experience now at his home circuit. The TPR Team Pedercini Racing rider is adapting to the championship, improving session by session.

Aegerter unchallenged in Supersport

In the intermediate category, Dominique Aegerter was unchallenged today. The Swiss rider held a monopoly on the top position in both free practice sessions. However, he set the reference time in the afternoon session (1:44.507). The category leader wants to make up ground on Lorenzo Baldassarri, the rider who is chasing him closely in the points table, but he is not quite managing to do so.

The Italian, also representing Yamaha, was second in the combined standings thanks to his time this morning (1:45.512). In the afternoon, however, he was unable to make it into the top five. That is something that Niki Tuuli did do, and twice. The MV Augusta Reparto Corse rider finished third and fourth, which adds up to a fourth overall. Nicolo Bulega sneaked onto the provisional podium at the last moment in the afternoon with his 1:45.522.

Isaac Viñales (D34G Racing) was the best placed Catalan rider in 13th, followed by Adrián Huertas in 14th. Viñales, who replaces Filippo Fuligni, is putting up a good fight against the regulars in the category thanks to his extensive experience.

A lot of equality in Supersport 300

The youngsters of the weekend had another two rounds of testing in which it seemed that anything could happen. The young talents didn’t miss any opportunity to chase each other and look for the slipstream. As a result, there was always a level playing field.

In the morning it was Julio García (ESP Solutions Motap Racing Team) who was fastest, followed by Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) and José Luis Pérez (Accolade Smrz Racing). García is one of the Wild Cards of the event, showing a high level. In FP2, the same protagonists appeared again, although reversing the order. Steeman took the fastest time, with Pérez and García pushing for second and third respectively.

Fabio Starnone wins Superpole for the Yamaha R7 Superfinale

The most advanced event in terms of the sporting programme is the Yamaha R7 Cup, which this weekend is contesting the European Grand Final with a mix of the best riders from each country. After some free practice sessions in the morning, this afternoon he took part in the Superpole. Fabio Starnone was the fastest rider in the Superpole. The Italian thus takes first place for the first of tomorrow’s races. He will be joined on the front row of the grid by Filippo Rovelli and Lorenzo Gasperini, proving that Italy is the country with the highest level in the great final round of the European continent.

Activities and proposals

Unlike other championships, the WorldSBK paddock is more easily accessible. Fans can walk freely through this emblematic space and meet the protagonists of the weekend. They will also find the Paddock Show, a stage where podiums, interviews, talks and much more will take place. And they will be able to visit the pit lane with the Pit Walk experience or participate with their own bike in the Parade Lap.


For those who want to live the full experience, there are passes to ensure you don’t miss a thing. These three-day passes include access to the paddock, and they can be purchased together with additional access to the pit walk and/or the parade lap. For those with less time available there are single day tickets, to which the above-mentioned extras can be added. Tickets available at www.circuitcat.com

A sustainable event

This week, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will hold another edition of the Catalunya WorldSBK Round with an equally important dimension as the sporting one, and that is the sustainable one. The meeting, which has been ISO 20121 certified since last year, has prepared a set of actions to contribute to sustainability and to raise awareness among all the parties involved in the Round.

Some of these actions are the promotion of sustainable mobility and the responsible use of water, efficient energy consumption, the commitment to Km0 and ecological products, the reduction of plastic waste and its correct segregation, the donation of food or sustainable forest care, among others. Moreover, attendees and teams will find a sustainability stand in the paddock area that will allow them to learn about these and other actions on which the Circuit is working.


Attendees can access the Circuit from 8.30 a.m. through Gate 1 and park their vehicles in the A1 and A2 outdoor car parks. Ticket office 1 is also open for any kind of formalities. The grandstands open to follow the activity on track are G, B and C. The Main Grandstand will only be open for ticket buyers with paddock access.

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