Italian rider shines through as times are split by under a second
Continuing to prepare for the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, seven riders took to the Circuito de Jerez for day four of the week long test, and it was veteran Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who ended the day on top, as his team-mate Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Kawasaki Racing Team sat out of day four.
Continuing to enjoy riding the WorldSBK Paniagle R, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was once again out first out on track, and he put in an impressive 82 laps of the 4.4km circuit. Ending the day at the bottom of the timing screens, he has been working hard to understand the pace of the Superbike machine. Sharing the garage with the fastest man of the day, Melandri’s final time of 1.39.663 was enough to sit him 0.107s ahead of his rivals as he continues to work on the 2018 regulations.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies was forced to sit out of his second day at the Jerez test, as he was recovering from his fast turn one crash on Wednesday evening. Hoping to be back and fit for the final day on Friday, the Welsh rider was classed as unfit and was unable to partake in the end of the test.
Kawasaki Racing Team duo Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea have been able to put in a strong week of testing so far, meaning they were able to sit out of day four of the week, with the pair using the day to rest up before a final day on Friday.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was putting up a strong fight to secure the fastest time of the day, and was provisionally sat in the top spot at the half way point. Ending the day with a time of 1.39.770, its clear himself and his new crew chief Andrew Pitt have found a strong setting on his YZF-R1. Whilst his team-mate Michael van der Mark finished the day fifth overall, continuing to look for an improved pace – ending the day with 1.40.199.
Most notably of the day, Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) made some big improvements on just his second day with the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, putting in a time fast enough to see him third fastest overall, and shaving a second off his day one lap time. With 76 laps under his belt on day two, his final lap time was 1.39.797.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was able to continue working on the set-up of his Panigale, securing the fourth fastest time of the day with a 1.40.002. Focusing mainly on race pace as opposed to fast laps, the Spanish rider will be happy with his progress after clocking in 58 laps.
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Full WorldSBK Official times from Day 4:
1. Marco MELANDRI Laps: 67 1:39:663
2. Alex LOWES Laps: 74 1:39:770 +0.107
3. Leon CAMIER Laps: 76 1:39:797 +0.134
4. Xavi FORES Laps: 58 1:40:002 +0.339
5. Michael van der MARK Laps: 85 1:40:199 +0.536
6. Niccolo Canepa Laps: 57 1:40:593 +0.930
7. Michael Ruben RINALDI Laps: 82 1:40:606 +0.943