The 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship’s resumed overnight under the scorching Spanish sun at Jerez and it was Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz quickest in the heat to top the day’s running ahead of the Pirelli Spanish Round.
Baz’s time of 1’40.249s was just over a tenth faster than Italian rider Rinaldi’s time from the second practice session, but Rinaldi was able to bounce back from a crash in Free Practice 1 to top the second practice session. As temperatures got higher throughout the day, so did the action on track with 15 out of the 23 riders separated by one second in the combined times.
Loris Baz – P1
“It was a good first day back, even if it was a bit up and down this morning with a small technical issue. We decided after the tests in Barcelona and Assen that we have to change something on the bike, especially for the heat, so we made some adjustments this morning and I’m confident ahead of the race tomorrow. It’s always great to finish a session in first and to improve the lap times, even if it’s only a Friday. This afternoon we did 20 laps on one set of tyres and it felt pretty good, so I think we’re in a strong position.”
Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) was second fastest overall with a 1’41.311s; less than a tenth behind Baz’s fastest overall time. Championship leader and Rea’s KRT teammate, Alex Lowes, was 10th fastest but within four-tenths of the fastest time of the day; showing the competitive nature of the field and machines in action at Jerez.
Jonathan Rea – P2
“We still have some work to do but I felt quite good out there today. Pirelli brought three possible race tyres for the longer races so we tried to understand what the best one would be. We did enough laps on each to draw some conclusions for tomorrow, and we narrowed it down to two rear options. The bike is working quite OK. We have moved away from our base set-up this summer, with two recent tests in Misano and Montmelo and the bike is turning well. We never really went for a time attack in the second session so this was just a working day really, to understand where we are.”
Alex Lowes – P10
“I think the biggest challenge is going to be tyres in these kinds of temperatures, so in the afternoon session I just used the same tyre and tried to adapt the bike a little bit. We made a few small changes and rode until the end of the session. My pace was not too bad and I did my best laps at the end. That was quite good and I just need to improve the front set-up of the bike, during the trail-braking phase. If we can improve that for tomorrow I think we will be not too bad. This afternoon’s session was better than this morning’s session and I think it was more relevant for temperature. I felt a bit more comfortable and the races should be held in hotter conditions, later in the day.”
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was fourth fastest overall for the day as he continued his impressive pace at Jerez, with his team-mate Leon Haslam finishing the day with the ninth fastest time.
Alvaro Bautista – P4
“My feeling with the bike is much better than it was in Australia. Conditions were tough today with a slippery track and very high temperatures. I’m happy though because we tested many things, especially in terms of the tyres, to understand the range available and see what might work in the hot conditions here; consumption will be key. I think we’ve taken a step forward and now need to continue in this direction, making small adjustments to build our confidence. Our rhythm is not bad, and I think we need to focus on being constant in this weekend’s races, considering the track conditions. We still have some small changes to make tomorrow of course but, all in all, an encouraging first day’s work.”
“Today’s been tough to be honest. The lap times were coming easily during our first exit but then we tried a few things and perhaps went in the wrong direction with a few items. It was tricky in the afternoon and although we tested something else, we ended up going back to the morning setting, with which we got closer in terms of the lap times. We tried many of the tyre options and I’m clear as far as that’s concerned, but we still have more to understand and also need to do a long-run. So, we still have work to do but I don’t think we’re far off though and today has definitely had its positives, which we’ll take into Saturday.”
Bautista headed Aruba Ducati duo Scott Redding and Chaz Davies, who were sixth and seventh respectively. The two British riders were separated by just 0.030s as the day ended, although Davies did have an incident at Turn 2 but was able to continue.
Scott Redding – P5
“It’s been a very good day even though the conditions are really extreme, especially for the tyres. I tried to work in this direction this afternoon and we had positive results. I think that this weekend it will be very important to manage not only the tyres but also our body as we’ll have three races and they will all be particularly demanding. I am very confident though: I feel I am in the best possible condition“.
Chaz Davies – P6
“I think today we have seen the improvements we made in the last two tests in Misano and Barcelona. The bike has worked pretty well and the feeling is extremely positive. The objective for this weekend? I want to fight for the podium in every race. The pace is good even if in the race it is always a different story. In FP3 tomorrow morning we will continue to work to improve the feeling and get to the Superpole in the best conditions“.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) was seventh fastest with a 1’40.507s, beating Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) by less than a tenth of a second. With the top 10 so close, the action throughout Tissot Superpole and racing is sure to be exciting.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P7
“Today was good start, but we were trying new set-ups on the bike that didn’t always give us the improvements we maybe expected. It’ll be a long race and very hot and, while we don’t have the best feeling at the moment, hopefully tomorrow we can make another step. Because of the track conditions, the bike is sliding quite a lot, but we will work to improve in this area tomorrow morning ahead of qualifying and Race 1.”
Michael van der Mark – P8
“It’s awesome to be back on track with all the other guys again. To be honest I couldn’t find a good rhythm this morning and struggled with set-up, but in the afternoon we changed quite a lot on the bike. I didn’t feel too comfortable with it under braking but then we made another big step during the session. We did a longer run and I felt much more comfortable. We’re missing a few tenths from the race pace, but at least I’m feeling more confident with . Tomorrow morning, we should be able to make another big step, but qualifying and the race are the most important and, as I said, we just need to find a couple of tenths for both.”
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and teammate Federico Caricasulo were 11th and 12th respectively for the day, with both riders able to show their pace throughout the two practice sessions; Italian rider Caricasulo able to improve slightly throughout Free Practice 2.
Garrett Gerloff – P11
“It was definitely a positive start, it felt good right off the bat. We made some changes in Barcelona that have definitely worked here. This afternoon with the track much hotter, we struggled to maintain the same consistency and outright pace, but we made some good progress in the end. We will focus on improving in the hotter temperatures, as that is what the race conditions will be tomorrow. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’m confident that we have a good bike. The race pace isn’t bad, we’re not far off so after a few changes we’ll be right where we need to be.”
Federico Caricasulo – P12
“Today was very tough, as it was really hot and FP2 was particularly hard. We did a good job because we improved the bike between the practice sessions and managed the same lap time, despite the hotter temperatures. I’m happy because I didn’t use the soft tyre, I just focused on race runs. I think we are very close to all of the other Yamaha riders, which is good, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) was the highest-placed BMW rider in 13th place, with Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad) in 15th after suffering some clutch problems early on before then crashing at turn two.
Shaun Muir – BMW Team Principal
“We hit a few unexpected problems today, however, despite that in the more difficult session of FP2, both riders were able to put some really good race simulations in which overall potentially placed them P6,P7 so on paper that was very promising.
Overall, we had a few issues to sort out which I’m glad happened today and not tomorrow. I feel FP3 will be a good session for us to go do another race simulation. Thereafter we go into Superpole where hopefully we can get both riders onto the front two rows which will put in good stead for the race.”
Tom Sykes – P13
“This morning was just one of those sessions, we had some bedding in to do with the braking system which wasn’t ideal and had a few changes to do, so this morning I wouldn’t say was a wasted session but we got a lot of things out of the way ready for FP2. The afternoon session we focused on working towards a race time and estimating the tyres and temperatures which I felt pretty good in, especially during that first exit so I am looking forward to tomorrow to see what we can do on the BMW S 1000 RR.”
Eugene Laverty – P15
“Its nice to be back at a race weekend, we’ve been testing a fair bit recently but nothing compares to it when your against the clock. Unfortunately this morning that didn’t work well for me as a I had a small issue with the clutch, which lost us a lot of time which is never easy as your up against it from the word go. FP2 was really good in the first half, we were able to push and put some good laps in which were towards to top of the leader board but unfortunately I had a crash at T2 which again set us back in the session. We are a little behind in the sessions but ideally I am pushing to get myself into those first two rows which will help us hugely for the race.”
WorldSBK returnee Marco Melandri continued to get up to speed throughout the day by finishing between the two BMW riders.
In 16th was Chilean Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Kawasaki) as he posted a 1’41.230, the last rider within one second of Baz’s fastest time of the day as he Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Ducati) in 17th place. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) and Sandro Cortese (OutDo Kawasaki) were 18th and 19th, just edging Nuova M2 Racing’s Christophe Ponsson, a wildcard entry on an Aprilia RSV4.
Takumi Takahashi (MIE Althea Honda), WorldSBK debutant Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Althea Honda) and Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Ducati) completed the 23-rider field.
Takumi Takahashi – P21
“I’ve ridden in some very hot conditions before, but I must say today was extreme and tomorrow’s forecast is similar if not even tougher. Anyway, it’s the same for everyone and I have to say that, despite the high temperatures, I had slightly better feeling on the bike compared to how I felt during the test we completed at Aragon. We have taken a little step forward with the setup and although we are still far from where we want to be, it’s good to see some gradual progress being made.”
Lorenzo Gabellini – P22
“It’s been a useful day in terms of getting to grips with everything – the pace of the category, the bike’s setup and the track, which although I have ridden once in the past now seems like a completely new circuit. When I came here last it was winter, and only about 20 degrees. Today I was able to take a few references from the others but to be honest, I have a lot of things to get used to. I like the fact I was able to shave off about six tenths between the first and second session, with much more difficult conditions in FP2. I’m basically learning step by step and have to adapt to many things“.
Friday WorldSBK Practice Times
M. Van Der Mark
Locatelli WorldSSP on Friday
The FIM Supersport World Championship’s season resumed with two practice sessions and Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli (Badahl Yamaha) continued exactly where he left off at Phillip Island, dominating the field as he topped both practice sessions at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto.
Locatelli’s best time was set in the morning session with a 1’42.988, the only rider to dip below 1’43 all day. In Free Practice 2 he was the only rider in the 1’43s as he posted a time that was over one second faster than Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti) in Free Practice 2. Overall, he was fourth tenths faster than Steven Odendaal (Ten Kate Yamaha), who was second faster for the day with his time of 1’43.399.
South African rider Odendaal was four tenths faster than Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti) as the trio rounded out the top three; the riders directly behind Locatelli very close in terms of lap time. Oettl’s Kawasaki Puccetti Racing teammate, Lucas Mahias, was fifth fastest with fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) in fourth between Oettl and Mahias. Cluzel’s GMT94 Yamaha team-mate, Corentin Perolari was in eighth place after the two sessions.
Isaac Viñales (Kallio Yamaha) was sixth fastest overall over the two practice sessions, three tenths ahead of his Kallio Racing team-mate, Hannes Soomer in seventh. Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) was the highest placed rider competing in the World Supersport Challenge with ninth overall. Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) rounded out the top 10 while his teammate, German Patrick Hobelsberger, was 21st overall.
Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 11th fastest overall for the day, having posted a 1’44.497 in the second practice session; one of only a handful of riders to improve their time from the opening practice session. Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was classified in 20th place for the day.
Alejandro Carranza Ruiz (Emperador Racing Team) finished the day in 12th overall as he beat Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO) by just 0.005s; showing just how close it is in WorldSSP. Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Yamaha) was 14th fastest after both sessions, with Peter Sebestyen (Oxxo Yamaha Toth) in 15th. Hungarian Sebestyen’s team-mate, Loris Cresson, was 23rd fastest for the day.
Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU Yamaha) finished in 16th with his team-mate, Galang Hendra Pratama in 19th place. Between them was Turkish sensation Can Öncü (Kawasaki) and Christoffer Bergman (Yamaha); the Swedish rider returning to action after suffering from two broken legs.
Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Yamaha) was 22nd out of 24 riders, with Luigi Montella (DK Yamaha) rounding out the 24-rider field.
WorldSSP Friday Practice Times
R. De Rosa
A. Ruiz Carranza
G. Hendra Pratama
Home rider Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) topped the 300 Supersport time-sheets at Jerez overnight. Times between riders were minimal across Friday’s two practice sessions as Perez made the first move with the fastest time of the day in the first Free Practice session.
Perez’s time of 1’53.609, set in the first practice session, was enough to be the fastest time of the day as he beat Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), whose best time came in Free Practice 2 at Jerez.
Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) was third fastest across both sessions with a time of 1’53.770s; just over a tenth separating the top three after the first day of WorldSSP300 action.
Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD78) was fourth fastest for the day’s track action with a time of 1’53.907 on his WorldSSP300 debut, beating Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) by around one tenth of a second.
Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO), entering his third season in World Supersport 300, was sixth fastest. The top six in the highly-competitive field were separated by less than half a second, showing how close racing will be in the 2020 WorldSSP300 season.
Deroue’s MTM Kawasaki Motoport team-mate, Yuta Okaya, finished the day with the seventh fastest time, around a tenth off Deroue, after setting a time of 1’54.113s in Free Practice 2. Italian rider Gabriele Mastroluca (GP Project) was eighth after setting his best time in Free Practice 1; beating Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) by 0.003s – Edwards setting his best time in Free Practice 1. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) rounded out the top 10 of the WorldSSP field.
2018 World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) finished the day in 15th place while Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) and Johan Gimbert finished the day 18th and 19th respectively; Gimbert finishing just over one second off the pace of Perez.
Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) finished the session in 26th place, with more to come from the Dutch rider who has one win and two podiums to his name in WorldSSP300.
Australia’s Tom Bramich was 33rd quickest on the Carl Cox backed RT Motorsports SKM Kawasaki in what is a massive 53-rider field.
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