Making their final preparations ahead of the 2019 season opener, 16 WorldSBK and 12 WorldSSP riders were out on track around Circuito de Jerez Ángel Nieto for the opening day of testing at the Andalusian circuit.
Despite chilly temperature, the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship riders were able to take full advantage of the good weather, putting in a considerable number of laps and working all day through their testing programs. With the track having been resurfaced over the winter break, they all had to wait for the tarmac to warm up before continuing with the work they had planned for the day.
Completing a positive day one of testing, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes closed the day at the top of the timesheets, impressing with a 1’40.422.
Waiting for track condition to progress, reigning world champion Jonathan Rea sat out the opening hours of the day and came out of his garage around 1400. Working on testing different components for his ZX-10RR, the Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK rider has been focusing in getting the overall package ready for Australia, he will continue with the same program tomorrow. After a few laps done in the afternoon he was soon at the top of the timesheet before Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took the lead, pushing the WorldSBK champion back into second position just 0.008s behind him.
Sitting in third the new Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK team recruit Leon Haslam, continued the familiarisation process with the WorldSBK machine. The British rider focused in putting in as many laps as possible, adapting to the new bike and learning the electronics. Thanks to a fastest lap in 1’40.885 he ended the day just 0.435 s off his teammate.
Impressing with his overall pace, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing ZX-10RR) finished the day in fourth position.
Testing a combination of chassis parts, settings and electronics Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) set the fifth fastest lap.
Working on their full factory configuration for the first time, the brand new GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team took their time to get acquainted with the new package. Both Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese were able to get used to their machine and finished the day in sixth and seventh positions respectively.
Following just behind Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista had a lot of things to work on as they continued to improve their Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Davies completed a positive first day, despite suffering a small crash through turn 5 late in the afternoon. The Ducati rider ended the day eighth with a best lap in 1’41.375.
Spanish star Alvaro Bautista took his time to get used to the WorldSBK machine as he had only two days on the V4 before returning to Jerez today.
Davies and Bautista were not the only Ducati riders on track as also Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) were out taming their Ducati Panigale V4 R. The Irishman, made his debut on the new Bologna factory bike today, while Rinaldi was working on new suspension.
Spaniard Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) rounded out the top ten. The Spaniard put in 82 laps as he tested new components for his Kawasaki ZX-10RR. Another Kawasaki rider, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished eleventh as he got to know his new crew.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team were also out on track testing today. Both Markus Reiterberger and Tom Sykes were working on getting familiar with their bikes as well as a trying different electronic strategies. The BMW riders elected not to run timing transponders on the opening day of the test thus we can’t tell you how they ranked in what is their first real test of the new S 1000 RR.
There were also FIM Supersport World Championship teams taking to the track around Jerez. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) closed the day as fastest World Supersport rider, ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) and teammate Randy Krummenacher.
Action resumes on track tomorrow for day two of testing at Jerez.
WSBK/WSS Jerez Day One Unofficial Times
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1’40.442
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.450 +0.08
Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.877 +0.435
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Kawasaki) 1’41.001 +0.559
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1’41.047 +0.605
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha Team) 1’41.119 +0.677
Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha Team) 1’41.203 +0.761
Stefan Bradl (Honda Test Team) 1’41.370 +0.928
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.375 +0.933
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.857 +1.415
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