Many WorldSBK teams wrapped up a two-day test overnight at Misano but without the current day yardstick of KRT present to compare themselves against.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had been quickest throughout almost the entire two days before being displaced at the top by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in the final two hours of the test, as the Italian star hit lap record pace to take the advantage away from Yamaha.
Over at the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati squad, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was using the new front brake calipers and he cemented his feelings in the final hours of the test by rocketing to the top, right on Tom Sykes’ Superpole lap record (1’33.640). Rinaldi had a crash in the afternoon at Turn 8 but was uninjured.
“I am very happy with how these two days of testing have gone. With the team we had prepared a very intense program that allowed us to collect a lot of information. The feeling on the race pace is very positive while there is still work to do on the time attack. However, I must admit that the sensations are extremely positive and I can’t wait to be in Barcelona to get back on track“.
Scott Redding continued getting a feeling for his machine after trying out the new front brake calipers. Feeling like he can bring more to the table if he was to ride a bike that isn’t always evolving so that he is able to make a step within himself, Redding completed 64 laps at Misano, continuing to make progress on his way to fourth.
“We have worked a lot on many solutions. The goal was to improve my feeling with the new bike. We have made important steps forward but there are still some details to fix. I think the balance of this test is extremely positive because we worked a lot on used tyres without thinking about the chrono. After two consecutive tests at Misano we go to Barcelona with confidence“.
Aiming at improving the stopping and turning of his YZF-R1, Razgatlioglu and crew chief Phil Marron got to work on the feeling between rider and machine and making the improvements on one of Toprak’s biggest problems in 2020.
Using the new Brembo front brake caliper once again – having used it at Jerez in November last year – as well as a new air-intake designed to increase speed and reduce lift and with the upgraded 2021 engine, Toprak was able to finish second.
“Today we tried many new parts. I had a small off in the morning at Turn 2, but we recovered and worked hard on the set-up. We are happy because we did a good lap with the X-tyre, but we don’t know what our ultimate pace is because we couldn’t get a good lap in on the Q-tyre. We will see how it goes at the next test. Thank you to the team, they’ve done a great job throughout the winter and during these two days.”
Team-mate Andrea Locatelli was likewise impressive as he continued to get vital laps under his belt on a bike that is more or less new to him, even in regard to the November test at Jerez, to conclude the test in fifth and with good sensations moving forward.
“It was a really good test. We managed to do a race simulation today and the lap times were really promising and consistent. We still need to improve our one-lap pace, but it’s the first test and it was important not to make any mistakes and get as much mileage as possible. We will see how it goes in Barcelona, but I go home very happy.”
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Japanese rookie team-mate Kohta Nozane were working on finding new base settings for their season ahead. For Gerloff, his aim was to get back into the rhythm of things and to get accustomed to the 2021 Yamaha, having been on the 2019 version last year. It was a strong second day, with Gerloff running inside the top three throughout and even leading at one point before finishing third at the flag.
“I’m happier today than I was yesterday, we did a lot of laps just to get used to the track. I feel really good, the Yamaha R1 feels even better, and my crew and I are on the same page, so it’s all coming together. It was nice to have a clean day, test some new items, including the new aero package, and get some more information for the next test in Barcelona. The engineers have been working really hard and we’ve been making some gains. I’m leaving here really positive and looking forward to continuing to learn and improve the bike over the next few tests.”
Nozane, who is fresh from MotoGP testing, he aims to continue to adapt to Pirelli rubber as well as the team surrounding him, with the hopes from the team being that he is at the sharp end by the end of the season. He finished eighth at the end of the day, scalping Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) who was ninth.
“The test was very satisfying. Compared to day one, I could improve my pace and I’m getting into a good rhythm. It was a very productive test and I’m very happy with how these two days went, the track was amazing to ride on. I feel more comfortable with the team, the bike, and also the tyres, which are still quite new to me. We have a few more tests ahead, so I’d like to keep working hard and be ready for the first race of the season.”
The Kawasaki effort was solely resting on Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), with him graduating up from the Puccetti Kawasaki WorldSSP team to enjoy a first full year in WorldSBK. With 2020 ZX-10RR equipment but with 2021 parts to put through their paces, Mahias was around a second off the pace in the closing hours and finished a hard-earned sixth overall.
At the Motocorsa Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R set-up, Axel Bassani continued to impress quietly and steadily, as he continued to get up to speed in consistent weather conditions. Testing the 2020 bike on day one before switching to the 2021 machine for day two, Bassani has had to adapt his riding style slightly between the two. He was happy with his work but will be focusing on working in the braking areas.
For Tito Rabat, he continued to get used to WorldSBK machinery and put in over 100 laps. The Spanish rookie clocked the greatest number of laps out of anyone at the test on day two and will hope to put all of the data acquired into good practice in their upcoming tests, in order for Tito to bridge the gap to the leading group.
At the Alstare Yamaha set-up, Christophe Ponsson had a difficult day after suffering a big crash towards the end of the morning session. Come the end of play on the second day, Ponsson was tenth.
Misano WorldSBK Test Combined Times
Misano World Supersport Test
In WorldSSP, Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the quickest rider on track, marginally ahead of South Africa’s Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team).
Oettl has an all-new Kawasaki ZX-6R and was looking at working on suspension feeling, whilst Odendaal is bedding himself in with the reigning Champions, as they work together on finding a bike that suits his riding style.
Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) was third overall and continues to readapt to Yamaha machinery after a year off it in 2020; the Swiss rider set 67 laps, more than anyone else in the WorldSSP ranks.
Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed WorldSSP running in fourth after a crash in the morning, although he was able to get back on track as he gels with the new squad.
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