WorldSBK: Scott Redding on Top in Hectic Estoril Friday
World Superbikes’ season finale comes from Estoril this weekend as the series makes its first visit to the portuguese track since 1993, and unsurprisingly, Scott Redding is on top after Friday.
Conditions in Estoril for the final round of the shortened 2020 WorldSBK season were near-enough perfect as action in Estoril commenced. Despite some crashes, the pace was quick on the Portuguese Riviera, with the track freshly rubbered in thanks to the FIM Endurance World Championship.
Coming into the final round, Friday pacesetter Redding is one of two riders to have extensive knowledge of the Estoril circuit, and that showed throughout the two Friday sessions, ending the day fastest ahead of PATA Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu and Ten Kate Yamaha rider Loris Baz.
On Razgatlioglu’s 24th Birthday, the ended the day just +0.089s down on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider – who will be hoping everything goes his way in a bid to deny Jonathan Rea from his sixth World Superbike title.
Rea, who had a tricky start to the weekend, ended the day in fourth place ahead of team-mate Alex lowes, while Garrett Gerloff completed the top six despite joining Baz in the turn one gravel trap in FP2.
Chaz Davies will start his final three races in red this weekend and started his weekend in a competitive manner, finishing seventh although the Welshman is +0.740s down on team-mate Redding.
Jonas Folger returns to World Superbike action in Estoril. The IDM Superbike champion also put in an impressive performance to finish eighth fastest with a time of 1:37.628.
Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam rounded out the top ten with another former Estoril runner, Alvaro Bautista, finishing the opening day of action in 11th. Tom Sykes led Aragon winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi to 12th with Xavi Fores in 13th place, 1.380s back on Redding.
Frenchman Sylvain Barrier completed the top 15 while a disappointing Eugene Laverty could only manage 18th place behind Federico Caricasulo and Matteo Ferrari.
Leandro Mercado and MotoE front runner Eric Granado completed the top 20.
WorldSBK action resumes on Saturday with the third practice session getting underway at 09:00 local time. Superpole begins at 11am before lights go out for race one of the weekend at 14:00 local times.
Featured image: Ducati Media