On this first day of practice at Phillip Island, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati was the only team to manage to place both of its riders in the top five on the combined time table. In fact, Alvaro Bautista was significantly faster than all his competition while Michael Ruben Rinaldi set the fourth time, 0.534s behind his teammate.
In statements given to the microphone of worldsbk.com, the italian rider considered that Bautista is a level above all his competition: ‘I think that now there is Bautista and then there are some riders, and then there is a group. I believe that I am one of the few riders that is fighting for… now for second place, if I improve a little maybe [fight] for the victory’.
Questioned about who are the other riders are, that make up this first group, the #21 revelead:
– I think [Andrea] Locatelli has a strong rhythm and… we are two Italians who are now behind Alvaro, but of course I don’t want to underestimate Toprak [Razgatlioglu] and Johnny [Jonathan Rea] because they are world champions and of course they will be there in the race. It’s Phillip Island, the first race, you also have to manage the tyre; you can expect everything, but looking at the papers I believe there is Alvaro and then there is me and Locatelli.