The Superbike field got a first taste of the new Navarra Circuit in Northern Spain as the first practice sessions making up the seventh Superbike World Championship round played out today in sunny conditions.
Team HRC rider Alvaro Bautista made some progress throughout the opening session, picking up the pace in the final stages as his confidence around the new track grew. Alvaro, for whom this weekend constitutes another home round, was able to set a fastest time of 1’38.531, which saw him place seventh.
During the second afternoon session, the Spaniard worked steadily with his technicians to find a suitable set-up for his CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADES around the Spanish track.
With conditions much warmer than in the morning, Bautista, along with many other riders, was unable to improve on his earlier time, closing eighth in the combined standings.
“We tested here a couple of months ago and conditions remain similar now, in that the track is still bumpy. It’s a challenging one, with many slow corners – I think the most enjoyable section is the first fast corner. This morning we had issues with the braking, my bike rather unstable, so in the afternoon we tried to work on this but the track conditions were hotter and so we had less grip. I tried some different compounds but the grip, particularly at the edge of the tyre, was very low. We have some more ideas for tomorrow anyway, and this morning we weren’t so far from the front, so let’s see if we can find something to improve the bike’s stability and rear grip.”