Josh Brookes tests Milwaukee BMW at WorldSBK Jerez shakedown session
Tom Sykes quickest on opening day of Jerez Test
2013 World Champion Tom Sykes was fastest on the opening day of WorldSBK testing at Jerez, with Chaz Davies piloting his Ducati 1199 Panigale R second fastest by the end of the day, just over a tenth and a half behind. Reigning champion Jonathan Rea ended the day third, just ahead of new Kentucky kid on the block, Honda’s Nicky Hayden. Sykes was the only man to dip into the 1m40s bracket around the 13-turn, 4.43km Circuito de Jerez layout.
The morning gloom saw most stay off track until later in the day, with the first hour of action only seeing one timed lap, set by Leon Camier. The MV Agusta rider today evaluated a new, lower fuel tank; a different one to that tested by fellow team member Marco Melandri in November.
Josh Brookes and the Milwaukee BMW squad made their WorldSBK debut at the Jerez Test. A broken link in the wiring harness plagued the Australian in the afternoon session, meaning Brookes was unable to take advantage of the better afternoon conditions, thus Brookes could only get enough laps in to manage 12th quickest, just sneaking into the 1m43s bracket. Tomorrow (Wednesday), Brookes and the Milwaukee BMW squad hope to make significant strides forward.
Kawasaki left it until the sun had settled in to really begin their work and Rea left it a little later to turn up the wick, putting in a lap quick enough for P2 with an hour and a quarter to go. His teammate similarly waited until later to set his best lap, with Sykes the only rider of the day to set a lap in the 1:40s. 2015 Champion Rea ended the day three tenths down on his teammate’s best lap.
Aruba.it Racing riders Davies and Giugliano on the Ducati 1199 Panigale R both managed times in the 1:41s, with Davies faster than his teammate by a sizeable margin of around 7 tenths. The Welsh rider looks to have retained the experience gained during 2015 to keep the Ducati on the level of their closest competitors, whereas Giugliano will more be looking at recuperation and acclimatisation after having been sidelined for so much of 2015 due to injury.
The two Hondas of Nicky Hayden and his teammate Michael Van der Mark put in the most laps earlier in the day, with Hayden putting in a time good enough to secure fourth after heading the timesheets during a good portion of the afternoon. Ex-rookie Van der Mark finished the day in P7, half a second behind his MotoGP Legend teammate Hayden.
Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli kept the new Yamaha YZF R1 in the top ten by taking P5 and P9 respectively, with the British rider managing a 1:41.505 by the end of the day. Lowes reports to still be missing some strength in his arm after crashing in Jerez before Christmas, consequently only putting in just over half the laps managed by his teammate, 2014 Champion Guintoli.
The fastest man in WorldSSP today was reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu, whilst Swiss rider and rookie Randy Krummenacher ended the day impressively in-touch with the World Supersport superstar, only a tenth and a half behind his number-1-plated teammate by the end of the session.