Lecuona finding his form as he launches to the top in FP3

By February 25, 2023 WorldSBK

Lecuona finding his form as he launches to the top in FP3

WorldSBK By February 25, 2023

A cloudy day is upon us and weather conditions are certainly looming for Day 2 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round. Track conditions were around 20 degrees cooler than what we saw in Free Practice 2 yesterday, and with that times were dropping radically! 

While the green light came on indicating Pit Lane was open, the rain quickly put a halt to the session. With the clock still ticking and rain falling heaviest in Sectors 1 and 4, riders sat patiently in their pit boxes awaiting dry conditions.

At the 14 minute mark of the 30 minute Free Practice 3 session, it was Philipp Oettl [Team GoEleven] who was the first rider to test the conditions of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Oettl has found himself consistently within the top 5 bracket yesterday, and heading into his second season as a WorldSBK rider, clearly paying dividends to his confidence on the Ducati. 

Oettl put in his first flying lap of a 1:32.0, proving conditions were dry. Toprak Razgatlioglu [Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK] was the next rider, followed by Australian Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK].

With 10 minutes remaining and Oettl, Razgatliolu and Gardner all putting in their fastest lap so far, with Razgatlioglu dropping over a second off his best time set yesterday. It didn’t take long for all riders to exit their Pit Box and put in a time attack in the shortened 10-minute session.

It was all action at the 8-minute mark as all riders entered the track to get the Free Practice 3 underway. With track conditions far cooler, it was evident we were going to see times drop by a fair margin in comparison to what we saw at the Official Test and yesterday’s Free Practice sessions.

It was once again the darkhorse of Iker Lecuona [Team HRC] who proved yesterday was no fluke. Lecuona stormed his way to the top of the timesheets, flying his Honda around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit to the first 1:29s lap time for the 2023 Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round. His fastest lap of 1:29.764 also secured the fastest time across all three Free Practice sessions.

Alvaro Bautista [Aruba.it Racing – Ducati] was the next rider into the 29’s, firing off a 1:29.943, followed by the early-charging Phillipp Oettl in third.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi [Aruba.it Racing – Ducati] and Jonathan Rea [Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK] rounded out the top 5, while home-hero Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team] finished in 6th with his fastest time of 1:30.440, edging closer to the front of the pack.


Top six after WorldSBK FP3, full results here:

  1. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) 1’29.764s
  2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.179s
  3. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +0.353s
  4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.397s
  5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.456s
  6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.676s

Written by Tayla Relph. Images by Russell Colvin

Don’t miss a second of the action from the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round – 24 – 26th February 2023. Get your tickets HERE
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