2020 WSBK Testing
Jerez – November 2019
New motorcycles, team changes and rookie and returning riders made headlines across the two day test, which took place in more-or-less untroubled conditions. Despite a handful of red flags, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who topped the time-sheets on the fiinal day ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
Having just been pipped for top slot at lunch time, the KRT squad were back on top come the end of the test, as Jonathan Rea was the first rider into the 1m38s. The time, which is under Alvaro Bautista’s race lap record from last year, put him at the top whilst team-mate Alex Lowes completed day two of the test in fourth place, and fifth on combined times.
On combined times though, over the two days, it was Rea from Razgatlioglu in P2, Baz in P3, Van der Mark P4 and Lowes in P5 ahead of Scott Redding.
Jonathan Rea – P1
“Overall it was pretty good. I had good motivation for this test. Normally at the end of a busy season it is easy to get lost but we focused on quality rather than quantity. We did a lot of back-to-back testing of things we had ideas to try out during the year. Then we tested some new items and new ideas. The biggest thing was in my riding position on the bike and getting used to the rear brake lever on the handlebar, plus some different engine braking. Aside from that Pirelli brought some different tyres. At the end we could do a time attack with a qualifying tyre and that put us right there. It was hard at the end doing that, because a couple of hours before the session finished there was oil all over Turn One. The track was compromised a bit but I still feel that we did a really good job at this test, both with our outright pace and also consistency. We are where we should be and I am really happy to sign off on an incredible 2019.”
Pere Riba – Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea
“We did the best lap time with the Q tyre, after the oil spill. Jonathan did very well at this test so I am happy, as usual. I am always happy because he is always there. We collected almost all the information we wanted during these winter tests – just one small item is missing – but we can test that in January. We understood the balance of the bike that we have been using in the last couple of races, and we also worked with the suspension and electronics, quite deeply. In some small details we collected a lot of information, also with a different bike balance. We found positives here, positives there, so depending on track conditions and layouts we can use this one, or another one. This was the target of the winter tests. Jonathan was enjoying the bike and we go into the winter break at the top of the lists again. This makes for a little bit happier Christmas.”
Alex Lowes – P5
“The test was really positive as my feeling with the bike was very good. After the Aragon test, Marcel and I wanted to work on the braking because how I rode my old bike was a little bit different. But already from the first laps here we made a big step, and today I felt really comfortable with the braking. This, I am really happy about. We did some longer runs today and I could keep it in a nice consistent pace, which was another really good thing. Obviously, at the end I fell while using a qualifying tyre but that was just a small detail. I have had instantly a good connection with all the mechanics and working with Marcel is really easy. It has been real good fun to be here with two good days and good weather; it has been enjoyable.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) enjoyed a successful comeback to WorldSBK and finished just outside the top ten as he continues to become more accustomed to the bike.
Yamaha were once again heading the charge against Team Green. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) was second on day two but third on combined times. The Frenchman bolted up to the top just after lunch but was pegged back by the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion later in the day.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) suffered a mechanical problem which resulted in an oil leak and subsequent crash at turn one, bringing out the red flags. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) also crashed on oil.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) was P2 on combined times as he became acquatined with Ohlins suspension for the first time. The Turk was seventh on day two but his day one time saw him closest to Rea overall at the test, and the fastest Yamaha in what are only early days on the YZF-R1M for the 23-year-old.
Toprak Razgatlioglu – P2
“It’s been a solid two days for me aboard the Yamaha R1 here in Jerez. The conditions meant we were able to complete a lot of laps and test a lot of new parts on the bike, with very positive results. The focus here was on evaluating new components rather than chasing a fast lap, but my lap times have been consistently quick, so I’m happy about that. We had some issues with the rear spinning up out of the turns, which was losing me some time, but we managed to make a big improvement in this area this afternoon ahead of my race simulation. I think I’ve adapted now to the Yamaha, as my feeling with the bike is good. I leave Jerez a little bit tired after such an intensive test program, but happy with second place on the timesheet and with the progress we’ve made.”
Michael van der Mark – P4
“After the rain in Aragon it was good to come here to Jerez and have almost perfect conditions for the final two days of testing this year. Normally in testing you have both positives and negatives as you work your way through the program, but these two days were overwhelmingly positive. We completed a lot of laps, trying different things on the bike, and we managed to find a solution to the spinning issues we had during the second half of the season. Working with my new crew has also been easy; it’s already like we’ve spent a season together, so this test was a great way to end 2019 on a high note and I’m already looking forward to getting back on the bike in January.”
On the 2020 R1, Yamaha test rider Niccolò Canepa was eighth on combined times. GRT Yamaha’s top rider was Federico Caricasulo in 13th, whilst American debutante Garrett Gerloff was 14th.
Federico Caricasulo – P13
“For me, this has been a very positive test. We improved a lot, both in consistency and pace, and we finished the two-days closer to the fast guys than we were in Aragon. I was hoping to push for a good lap time on the qualifying tyre at the end, more to get a feeling with the tyre than anything else, but it wasn’t possible after I had a big crash on oil dropped on the entry to the first turn this afternoon. Anyway, I leave here happy with where we are right now and I’m already looking forward to picking up where we left off today when we return to Jerez in January.”
Garrett Gerloff – P14
“It’s been good to get some time on the bike in the better conditions we’ve had here in Jerez, as it’s made it easier for me to assess the differences from lap to lap. This was a problem at the first test in Aragon because of the wind, the effect of which was unpredictable. The feeling with the bike is good, but the Jerez track feels a little more connected in terms of the rhythm and the flow so, for me, to be consistent on every lap has been a little bit tricky. Luckily, we have the data from the official team, so I’ve been able to make comparisons, but there are definitely a few things I need to work on. We’ve tested a lot of things on the bike, with the normal mix of positives and negatives but, overall, the feeling is good, and we just need to keep working in the same direction when we return here in January.”
WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was the leading Ducati Panigale V4 R rider in fifth on day two but finishes the test sixth overall.
Scott Redding – P6
“Today we tried to find a bit more rear grip, something that I’ve struggled with here at Jerez since yesterday, and thanks to the work of the guys in the team in the end we found something that helped a lot. We’re still not where we’d like to be but we’re making progress. As well as testing the new tyres brought by Pirelli, we managed to work a bit more with the electronics, which are totally new to me in Superbike. In general I was quite happy by the end of the test, it’s good to have that bonding between myself and the Panigale V4 R and know which direction to work in ready for the 2020 season.”
For Chaz Davies, the Welshman finished in ninth, over 1.6-seconds behind Jonathan Rea.
Chaz Davies – P9
“It was a busy couple of days, and all in all I’m pretty satisfied. We had some new parts to get through but mainly we were just trying a lot of different things to find a good base set-up. I think we learnt a few things, working on the rear of the bike to help the weight transfer, one goal which we improved at this track. Now it’ll be nice for me and the team to have a break and recharge our batteries but it doesn’t take long before you want to go racing again next season.”
The best of the BMWs was once again Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), as the British rider continued his progress and used all of his famed development skills in order to get the bike to his liking.
Tom Sykes – P7
“Definitely I think we had a very strong test and credit to all the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We had a big list to go through and they were working so hard. I am very satisfied with what we achieved. We really tried a lot on the BMW S 1000 RR, definitely made progress and for me now I can go into the winter feeling happy with our performance. Certainly on race tyres as well, we found quite a step and also over the distance. The bike was working nicely and we obviously tried the qualifying tyre at the end. It was incredible but after two strong sectors I unfortunately made a small mistake in the hairpin and crashed. But I was interested in how the bike feels with high grip and I also went for another lap after the crash. For me that was good because we have extra information going into the winter and the guys can keep working. So for me that was a good test with a consistent track to work through a very big list and that’s what we needed all season. Thanks to the whole team and the guys back at the factory for working so hard to make things possible. I think the decision to skip the Aragón test paid off because it was a very structured test and we worked very well.”
New BMW team-mate and former WorldSBK title rival Eugene Laverty was quietly going about his business, as he finished in tenth place on his return to the Shaun Muir Racing fold.
Eugene Laverty – P10
“Overall, it was a good test. I think I can tell I’ve got a bike with the best chassis I’ve ever ridden. The way the bike turns and enters the corner is incredible. It’s surprising just how physical it is to ride right now. We have to get the power under control for the corner exit. Once I can get that it will be even more rideable. Right now I can wrestle it for one lap if we wanted to get a lap time but it’s testing so it’s not necessary. So we’ve been working and just trying to tame the beast a little bit so we can get a bike that is going to be comfortable for 20 laps. The chassis is incredible and that’s the important thing. The base of the bike is good, now it’s just another fine-tuning of the electronics.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Already during the final stages of the past season, we have been working intensively on the further development of the BMW S 1000 RR for 2020. Our first winter test in Jerez de la Frontera has been very productive. Among other things, we were able to test various chassis variants, new shock absorber elements, a range of tyre options, and electronic updates. Tom had a few minor issues at the start of day one, but they were resolved quickly and we were able to complete the busy programme, which included many test points. Eugene first had to find his feet on the RR, but was soon able to start to configure the bike to his own personal requirements. We are happy with the progress he has made at his first test with the RR. We must now analyse the large amount of data and comprehensive rider feedback we have received, which will help determine the direction we will take to start the 2020 season.”
The next test for the WorldSBK circus will take place back at the Jerez circuit before moving immediately on to Portimao, from the 21st to the 26th January. Until then, riders and team personnel will be looking forward to relaxing over the Christmas break.
Tickets for Australia’s Yamaha Finance round, the season-opener of the 2020 world championship at Phillip Island, are available at Ticketek or www.worldsbk.com.au
WorldSBK Jerez Test Day Times
|4||Michael Van Der Mark||Yamaha||1m39.287|
|3||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||1m39.287|
|3||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||1m39.541|
Moto2 exiles lead WorldSSP charts
Former Moto2 rider Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) set the pace on Friday to top the WorldSSP time-sheets.
Unfortunately, the best lap of the Italian was also the last that he was able to put in after he got involved in a three-rider crash due to the oil left on track by the Yamaha of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team). Locatelli had put in 44 laps on Firday while trying different tyre compounds and adapting to his new team and WorldSSP machine.
Second overall was another rider coming over from the Moto2 paddock as Phillip Öttl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) closed 0.046 s off Locatelli’s best lap and just 0.014 s ahead of Randy Krummenacher. It didn’t take long for the 2019 WorldSSP World Champion to adapt to the new environment of the MV Agusta Reparto Corse garage, as he declared to be thrilled about his new squad and the project. After having closed Day 1 on top, the Swiss rider did only 31 laps on Friday ending with a 1m42.743 as his best lap for the day. On the other side of the garage, Federico Fuligni completed 85 laps on Friday to finish sixth overall.
EAB Ten Kate Racing rider Steven Odendaal was fourth ahead of Kallio Racing rider Hannes Soomer, while his team-mate Isaac Viñales finished 7th ahead of former Moto3 rider Can Öncü, who also tried to do as many kilometres as possible to adapt quickly to his new Kawasaki.
WorldSSP Jerez Test Day 2 Unofficial Times
- Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan. Bros WorldSSP Team) – 1’42.683 (44 laps)
- Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) – 1’42.729 (62 laps)
- Randy Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) – 1’42.743 (31 laps)
- Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) – 1’43.090 (88 laps)
- Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) – 1’43.262 (39 laps)
- Federico Fuligni (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) – 1’43.311 (88 laps)
- Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) 1’43.366 (43 laps)
- Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) 1’44.779 (73 laps)
- Loris Cresson (Team Toth) 1’45.621 (40 laps)