WorldSBK riders testing at Montmelo
WorldSBK riders returned to a scorching Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya overnight for the opening day of a two-day test on the 4627 metre circuit situated near the Kawasaki Racing Team’s headquarters in Granollers. While it was home turf for KRT it was 27-year-old Scott Redding onboard the Aruba Ducati that topped the time-sheets in the dying minutes of the final session of the day.
All five manufacturers were in the top six though with World Champion Jonathan Rea second and Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz third quickest after putting in 100 laps on a track temperature that was nudging 50-degrees.
“In the January test I kind of understood where the Montmelo track went, and I really enjoyed it, but we were not really riding in anger. Today I really enjoyed the track and did a lot of laps. I felt like I just picked up automatically and I can feel the bike really well. The bike is turning great and that is the biggest issue we have had in the past – especially at Jerez. When the temperature comes up it is hard to turn around those long corners. I used the rear tyre so much because I was turning on the rear all the time. But it seems like we made a huge step in that direction because the bike is turning really well. I felt things were happening quite normally today.”
Alex Lowes was fourth quickest ahead of Team HRC’s Alvaro Bautista while Tom Sykes was the fastest BMW in sixth. Sykes was testing with new crew chief Ian Lord at the Montmelo circuit, with the 2013 Champion beating team-mate Eugene Laverty by four-tenths of a second.
Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) also improved in the afternoon session to finish the day in seventh placed, with Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) following just behind with the two riders separated by a tenth. For Turkish sensation Razgatlioglu, today was about getting back up to speed following Phillip Island; since then, Razgatlioglu had only been riding on a small track in Turkey.
Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha team-mate, Michael van der Mark was 11th as he lapped the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 1.2-seconds slower than pace-setter Redding. Like his team-mate, van der Mark had not been on a WorldSBK machine since Phillip Island; his only outing coming on a standard bike at TT Circuit Assen.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was able to get back out on track following his crash in the morning session and finished 12th fastest overall; completing 29 laps in the afternoon session and 53 laps overall. Haslam finished ahead of Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing Team) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team). Gerloff was classified 14th overall but improved significantly in the afternoon session as he ran as high as fifth before the times started tumbling late in the day.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team), Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing) and Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance Ducati) rounded out the field as the day’s running came to a close.
WorldSBK Catalunya Test 2020 Day One
- Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT – Ducati) 1’41.727
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) +0.183
- Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.253
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) +0.591
- Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +0.593
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad Team) +0.728
2020 WorldSBK Championship Standings
- Alex Lowes – Kawasaki 51
- Scott Redding – Ducati 39
- Toprak Razgatlioglu – Yamaha 34
- Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 32
- Michael van der Mark – Yamaha 31
- Alvaro Bautista – Honda 20
- Loris Baz – Yamaha 20
- Chaz Davies – Ducati 19
- Leon Haslam – Honda 17
- Tom Sykes – BMW 17
2020 WorldSSP Championship Standings
- Andrea Locatelli – Yamaha 25
- Raffaele De Rosa – MV Agusta 20
- Jules Cluzel – Yamaha 16
- Corentin Perolari – Yamaha 13
- Lucas Mahias – Kawasaki 11
2020 WorldSBK Calendar
March 1 – Phillip Island, Australia
- August 2 – Jerez, Spain (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- August 9 – Portimao, Portugal (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- Aguust 30 – Aragon, Spain (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- September 6 – Aragon, Spain (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- September 18 – Catalunya, Spain (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- October 4 – Magny-Cours, France (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
- October 11 – Circuito San Juan Villicum, Argentina (TBC) (WSBK-WSSP)
- November 8 – Misano, Italy (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
TBD – Donington Park, UK (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
TBD – Assen, Netherlands (WSBK-WSSP-WSSP300)
TBD – Losail, Qatar (WSBK-WSSP)
TBD = To be determined
TBC = To be confirmed