Keep up with all the action from the first day of testing in Portugal
Day One of testing commenced at Autodromo do Algarve Portimao with the winter sun providing the right conditions for testing although a few drops of rain fell mid-morning without affecting the FIM Superbike World Championship riders’ work programs.
Working on the overall setup for the all-new Ducati Panigale V4 R it was Michael Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) who was first out on track around 9 am, followed by the other Bologna-based factory bike of Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven).
Coming from a strong two-day test at Jerez, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) continued to impress as he took the lead with a fastest lap time of 1’42.687 in the morning, just a few minutes before the break.
Continuing to build on his pace on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR it was Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK Team) to close in second position, 0.085 s ahead of his teammate reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea, who focused on testing the small 2019 updates introduced on his bike and joined track activity around 11 am local time (GMT 0.00).
Setting the fourth fastest lap time of the morning was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes, who continues to stand up to the green machines closing 0.174 s off Rea’s lap time, while his teammate Dutchman Michael van der Mark closed in sixth position.
Happy with the progress done at Jerez, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team made another step forward on the opening hours of Portimao Test, as Tom Sykes was able to set the fifth fastest time of the morning, while Markus Reiterberger closed ninth overall.
For the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team there is plenty of work to be done at Portimao, as they continue to gather as much information as possible to work on the base setup of the Ducati Panigale V4 R ahead of the first 2019 WorldSBK round that will be held at Phillip Island in less than four weeks.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put in only four laps in the morning and closed in ninth position, while Spaniard Alvaro Bautista closed twelfth after putting in 24 laps.
GRT Yamaha WorldSBK riders Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese sit respectively in seventh and tenth positions as they continue to follow two different testing programs to get acquainted with their YZF R1.
Taking to the track early this morning were also some WorldSSP riders, with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda recruit Jules Danilo the first to open track activity at Portimao. Among the FIM Supersport World Championship riders, it was Italian Raffaele De Rosa to lead the way, followed by the GMT Yamaha duo of Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari, and 2018 runner-up Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) close behind.