Kawasaki continue to dominate in Jerez test
Day three of testing commenced at Circuito de Jerez with the winter sun continuing to beat down, and the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship had more track activity to compete with, as they were joined by MotoGP™ riders out on track. With 10 WorldSBK riders out on track, the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea were still the pair to catch, ending the day on top once again.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the first rider out on track this morning, as he was keen to take on the Panigale for the first time, offered as a present from the Aruba squad following his European Superstock 1000 Title. However once the track warmed up, it didn’t take long for the Kawasaki Racing Team duo to shoot to the top of the timing screens, as Sykes led for the majority of the day. Rivalling times of their MotoGP™ counterparts who were also out on track today, the 2017 World Championship winning team weren’t wasting any time in Southern Spain – and Sykes was able to sit in second position overall for the majority of the morning. Rea suffered a big crash at turn 12 at the mid-way point of the day, but was able to walk away and swiftly returned back on track. But with a stunning end to the day, Sykes put in a lap under the lap record – a 1.38.735 compared to 1.38.960.
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) had his first experience with the Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 around the Jerez circuit today, and took a steady approach to the day. Putting in 61 laps, his lap time of 1.40.856, he was able to begin to get an understanding of both the team and the machine he will be taming next season. Improving at the end of the day, Camier will be ready to work through with another day of on track action, the British rider will continue to work to adapt to his new bike.
With Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also present in Jerez, the Ducati team worked on their new rev limit under the 2018 regulations and were able to put in over 120 laps as a duo. However the day took a difficult turn, as Davies crashed in the closing hour of track action, unable to improve his time of 1.40.630. Walking away from the fast crash at turn one which brought the red flags out and as a result an early end to the day, the Welsh rider will hope to be back and fighting fit on Thursday after sustaining a right knee contusion.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team also had three riders out on track, with Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark present, as well as Niccolo Canepa who was on track to help the team work through the vast amount of work they have. British rider Lowes had a strong day, finishing in fourth position on the WorldSBK timing screens and was able to get his lap time down to 1.39.715, with 70 laps clocked in. Whilst Dutch team-mate van der Mark ended in the top six, putting in six more laps than his team-mate and setting a time of 1.40.573.
Full WorldSBK Official times from Day 3:
1. Tom SYKES Laps: 69 1:38:735
2. Jonathan REA Laps: 71 1:39:050 +0.770
3. Marco MELANDRI Laps: 65 1:39:715 +1.435
4. Alex LOWES Laps: 70 1:39:715 +1.435
5. Xavi FORES Laps: 63 1:40:542 +2.262
6. Michael van der MARK Laps: 84 1:40:573 +2.293
7. Chaz DAVIES Laps: 64 1:40:630 +2.350
8. Leon CAMIER Laps: 61 1:40:856 +2.576
9. Niccolo CANEPA Laps: 68 1:41:294 +3.014
10. Michael RINALDI Laps: 67 1:41:374 +3.094