WorldSBK 2016 Jerez Test – Times – Quotes – Images – Report
Compiled from Dorna and Team sources by Trevor Hedge
2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) remained fastest as the second and final day of testing concluded in Jerez, with recovering Roman Davide Giugliano (Ducati) just over a tenth in arrears.
Tom Sykes – KRT – 1m39.924
“All smiles round here because basically we have changed a lot of settings, exploring more parameters with the new bike. We have a good opportunity to explore many things. All credit to Marcel and Danilo and all the mechanics because they are working overtime and I am just riding the bike. It is confirmation of what we have developed in previous years that we have done a good job because this new bike is the ‘baby’ from those years. It is working well for both riders and Kawasaki has done a great job.
“There are still areas where I want to improve both the bike and me but to come away from both winter tests in Jerez fastest is good, because it is not my strongest circuit. This adds to the excitement and motivation for the coming season on the new Ninja ZX-10R.”
Marcel Duinker, Tom Sykes’ Crew Chief
“Tom used a Q tyre for the fastest lap and it seems the track was not the same as it was in the November tests. We need to be fast and consistent in any condition and we did a lot of our job during the test in November. When we finished that we gave our package its shape so here it was a matter of trying out small test items and polishing our bike to prepare ourselves for the season opener. We are ready to go to Phillip Island now but we have another two days at Motorland Aragon, a different type of track, where we can confirm our pace and consistency.”
Fog earlier in the day left conditions difficult until midday, after which most riders were able to set more representative lap times. Sykes’ lap of 1:39.924 was the fastest of the day and of the test, as well as being quicker than his own Pole Position time from 2014.
Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies clocked 110 and 126 laps respectively on the Panigale R, moving forward with the development in its 2016 specifications. Once again, the team focused its work on chassis and electronics. In particular, it evaluated different weight distributions and software configurations to optimize consistency in race setups, with positive feedback from both riders. Giugliano and Davies then performed a time-attack towards the end of the session to regain confidence with qualifying tyres.
The Aruba.it Racing Team riders of Giugliano and Davies proved the only two capable of putting in a lap time within the same half second of pacesetter Tom Sykes, 0.123 and 0.186 behind respectively.
Giugliano escaped uninjured from a minor lowside at Turn 1 whilst pushing hard during the afternooon, the only consequence of which was an interruption to his race simulation.
Davide Giugliano – Aruba Racing Ducati – 1’40.047
“I’m definitely happy. Since yesterday, my team managed to gradually tailor the bike to my needs and allowed me to make a step forward compared with Portimão. We worked a lot with used tyres to solve some issues I had in the past. It was important to adopt this approach. To be able to get back to the level I was used to, after such a long break and only four days of testing, gives me confidence.”
Chaz Davies- Aruba Racing Ducati – 1’40.110
“In these past couple of days, we were able to focus on fine-tuning the chassis and electronics. My feeling with the 2016 bike is already quite good and, compared with the tests we did here in Jerez last November, we’ve made a big step forward. I managed to stay close to the top riders with qualifying tyres, which has never been my strongest suit, while we were the fastest on race tyres. I go home tired but very happy.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director
“After last week’s tests in Portimão, it was important to confirm our progress on a different track such as Jerez. We focused on consistency with a race setup, working on both the chassis and the new electronic controls to maximize our performance with used tyres. Also, we evaluated several new front and rear solutions brought by Pirelli, with positive results. Now we are only a few weeks away from debuting in Phillip Island but, given the good work we’ve put in, we confidently await the start of the season.”
Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark worked hard to continue with the development of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, which has received several updates – including important engine upgrades.
Hayden once again completed an impressive number of laps (159) while trying a new swingarm, for more stability, and a different linkage to improve braking and acceleration. On the second day of action, the experienced American had a small crash at Turn 2 from which he escaped unharmed, although the incident cost him some valuable track time. In the closing stages, he also went for a quick-lap on qualifying tyres, which resulted in a 1:40.534 lap time – the 4th fastest overall.
After missing one day of testing last November due to a tenosynovitis in his right wrist, Van der Mark returned to Jerez in full fitness, following the minor surgery he underwent several weeks ago. The 2014 World Supersport Champion and the team tested different front geometries on Tuesday, while today they turned their attention to the rear of the bike. The 23-year-old Dutchman amassed a total of 156 laps and showed great speed on qualifying rubber, clockingin 1’40.601 around the 4.423 Km (2.748 mile) Andalusian circuit.
The Ten Kate team now return to their headquarters in the Netherlands to analyse data gathered at Jerez and finalise preparations for the journey to Phillip Island.
“It hasn’t been the perfect day, because the fog cost us a couple of hours in the morning and we had to squeeze the testing program in a shorter amount of time. It’s a shame because there are still some things left to try and, of course, that time would have been useful for me too, but we did what we could. I was able to do a race simulation and to use the qualifying tyre and in the end, the lap-time was not too bad. There is still room for improvement. The winter season went too quick and the weather did not help, but now it is time for Phillip Island and I look forward to having some fun!”
Michael van der Mark – Honda Ten Kate – 1m40.601
“Today we started quite late because of the fog, but once we got on track we began trying many things, working mainly on the bike geometries. We had some difficulties in choosing the right tyre for these temperatures, but eventually we found the good one. From then we tried a couple of things on another swingarm plus some more adjustments, and every change resulted in more little steps forward.
“At the end, the bike was feeling very good at the rear, and we found some more grip, which is what we were looking for. I was able to drop half a second with race tyres but I feel we could have done a little better with the qualifier, as I made some small mistakes. Overall I am very happy with how things went today.”
Pieter Breddels – Ten Kate Honda technical manager
“In the end it has been a very positive test, all went quite smoothly and we were able to make another step forward in terms of performance. The new engine upgrades proved to be good for both riders, who were not too far from the front with both qualifying and race tyres. Nicky did an impressive long run of fifteen laps with very good pace and Michael showed great speed despite having missed some track time last time out at Jerez. We now head to Phillip Island in a positive mood.”
Barni Racing rider Xavi Forés impressed by topping the timesheets for a good portion of the afternoon after ending yesterday’s session in eighth. Today, his 1:40.761 was over a second faster and good enough to keep him in the top six at the close of business.
The mood at Kawasaki remains buoyant after the two days of testing in Jerez, with Sykes fastest on both days and his teammate comfortable on a ZX-10R he is working on refining. Reigning Champion Rea remains convinced that the new Ninja will be faster and continues his search for the new limit, ending the day seventh overall and just in front of the Pata Yamaha riders of Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes.
Jonathan Rea – KRT – 1m40.856
“It is clear that the new bike has been developed more for another riding style and it asks you to ride in a certain way. So we are still exploring exactly how to extract the best out of the bike and we have changed many things. It was clear that when we arrived here the track grip level was much worse than the last time, so it required a little bit of a different set-up. Our testing philosophy this winter – testing big items and not getting carried away with the set-up – has really made sense here.
“It was the same track, same part of the world but a different character this time. We had a new fork specification to try and a different engine character. We are just using the tools in the toolbox now and understanding more about the new Ninja ZX-10R. We have been working calmly and methodically and if the starting lights went out at Jerez tomorrow we would not be seventh.”
Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea’s Crew Chief
“Winter time is to understand the bike and its reactions to changes and different situations. It gives the rider time to understand different things and time for us to follow our test plan. This is a new bike and there are still important points that we are looking to understand it more, to find out what the best base point is. This also relates to the track grip and these two days have been useful because the grip this time was not so good. That lets us understand how to make improvements in case we have these conditions in the real race.
“We have been working with tyres that have done over 20 laps just to comprehend where we are. We did not make a long run, a race simulation, but we did many laps. The important thing is to arrive in Phillip Island for round one with a good package in many different situations.”
KRT now move across Spain to make their final European winter tests at the Motorland Aragon circuit, between 3 and 4 February.
Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli put in 102 and 116 laps respectively across the two days. The Frenchman set his fastest time of 1:41.018 on his penultimate revolution, his British teammate’s 1:41.361 laid down five laps from the close of play.
Evaluating a raft of new settings and parts, including swingarm, suspension, engine specifications and electronics, the Pata Yamaha team are confident of the advancements made and understandings gained throughout the past four days on track and will look to continue the progression back at its German and UK bases.
Sylvain Guintoli – Pata Yamaha – 1m41.018
“It’s gone well! We’ve completed everything we wanted to do, to test and to explore. We’ve focused on various things including carrying on working with the new swingarm, riding position, back-shifting, engine-brake strategies, new forks and different configurations within them, and traction control, so we’ve done a lot! We have a lot more experience with the YZF-R1 now, a lot more of an understanding, so now we just have to take this with us to Australia and carry on the good work!”
Alex Lowes – Pata Yamaha – 1m41.361
“We have a lot still to do but it’s been a good two days. We have been working through everything including front and rear feeling, and a lot of work on electronics – trying to get a better understanding of the YZF-R1 and its engine character. I was limited with my shoulder so I couldn’t push too much but I enjoyed it and hopefully we can improve quite a bit before Phillip Island.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha – Team Principal
“These additional two days in Jerez have been very important for the Yamaha WorldSBK project – with a new bike, new riders and a new project every lap is a benefit. We’ve really learnt a lot and we have to thank the technical team at Yamaha Motor Europe and the Crescent squad for their dedication and hard work in getting us ready to start the season.
“Sylvain did a very consistent job getting through a huge programme of test items and remaining extremely precise and steady which is incredibly important for the development of the bike. When a rider is that consistent it generally means there is something left in the pocket in terms of performance so we are looking forward to getting to Australia now and seeing Sylvain more in race mode than test mode and taking the next steps.
“For Alex every lap has been a bonus – considering the extent of his shoulder injury – and it was as affected here in Jerez as it was in Portimão, restricting him to short runs and limited laps in general. Despite that, Alex has done an incredible job, he’s given the team excellent and accurate information and his own understanding of the YZF-R1 has increased dramatically over these January tests. Alex didn’t run a qualifying tyre and his pace on the race tyres , despite the injury, was less than half a second away from the fastest, so when we consider the state of his shoulder we are quietly confident that we can be closer again when it’s time to go racing.”
Australian Josh Brookes rounded out the top ten as he got to grips with his new Milwaukee BMW, the 2015 British Superbike Champion making big improvements since yesterday and making his first real impression on the timesheets.
Josh Brookes commented on Twitter – “Finished the day p10. Completed 79laps. For me it’s a positive result, A lot still to come but very good progress for just 2 days on bike.”
WorldSBK 2016 – Jerez Test – January – Unofficial Times
Tom Sykes – Kawasaki – 1m39.92
Davide Giugliano – Ducati – 1m40.04
Chaz Davies – Ducati – 1m40.11
Nicky Hayden – Honda – 1m40.53
Michael Van Der Mark – Honda – 1m40.60
Xavi Fores – Ducati – 1m40.76
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki – 1m40.85
Sylvain Guintoli – Yamaha – 1m41.01
Alex Lowes – Yamaha – 1m41.36
Josh Brookes – BMW – 1m41.82
Leon Camier – MV Agusta – 1m42.18
James Ellison – GB Kawasaki – 1m42.44
Karel Abraham – BMW – 1m42.62
Tati Mercado – Ducati – 1m42.64
Sylvain Barrier – Kawasaki – 1m42.88
The fastest of the WorldSSP riders was once again reigning Champion Sofuoglu, with new Puccetti teammate Krummenacher still the Turkish rider’s closest challenger.
Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki World Supersport – 1m43.091
“It was quite a difficult test for me because in the past two months I was incredibly busy because I won the championship last year and that left me a bit tired. The weather was also not very good in Turkey to train. In these two days we have tried a couple of things on the bike and we found out that the set-up we had in November was very good, so we went back to that specification. We did almost exactly the same lap time today as we did in November. If I had a couple more soft tyres I could probably have gone about half a second faster. In the end, the package is quite good and we now go to Australia for the final test and then the first round.”
Randy Krummenacher – Kawasaki World Supersport – 1m43.582
“We tried many things with the suspension here and sometimes we lost the way a bit – but sometimes that is normal in testing. I think we have a lot of information from this test and we will be able to make another step in Australia. What was good is that I was more constant in the 1’43s whereas last time we tested here I did two 1’43s. Now it feels normal to ride with this kind of lap time. This is very positive. We just need to keep on working and I can’t wait to get to Australia because I really love the track there.”
Most WorldSBK teams will be back on track on February 22-23 in Phillip Island (Australia) for the traditional tests on the eve of the season opener.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.