Nicky Hayden tops WorldSBK timesheets for first time.
There were novelties aplenty as the Jerez WorldSBK test moved into its third day on Wednesday. After topping both Monday and Tuesday, Kawasaki Racing Team took its pre-planned break (in fact, World Champion Jonathan Rea headed for the nearest karting circuit), while the Althea BMW Racing Team had finished for the week; however, the German bikes will test at Vallelunga in Italy on Monday 14 December.
There was no shortage of activity, however, as Ducati, Honda and Yamaha all tested for the first time at this particular gathering. As had been the case on the previous two days, good weather was on offer in the Spanish Province of Cadiz, with only several small clouds intruding on an otherwise clear, blue sky and accompanied by warmer temperatures than those of Tuesday. For the first time this week, the WorldSBK riders shared the circuit with a selection of Honda and Ducati MotoGP counterparts.
At the Aruba.it Ducati-Racing SBK Team, Chaz Davies was looking to carry on from where he left off in Aragon last week, without the thick fog which had significantly lessened his workload at MotorLand. On the other side of the garage, Davide Giugliano climbed aboard a WorldSBK machine for the first time since the July crash at Laguna Seca which left him with a fractured D3 vertebra. The Welshman was second quickest, with the Italian naturally adopting a cautious approach.
On another Ducati Panigale R, Xavi Fores – who subbed for Giugliano in Aragon – made his debut in Barni Racing Team colours, having signed up as its 2016 rider. The Valencia rider made the top three, just over two tenths of a second down on Davies.
Nicky Hayden generated worldwide headlines with his first WorldSBK testing appearance in Aragon last week. Now things became more serious as the 2006 MotoGP World Champion focused on the finer aspects of the CBR1000RR SP; in doing so, the American submitted the quickest lap time of the day in the form of 1’41.512. Team-mate Michael van der Mark had used the previous test to work on running with a full fuel load, in order to become more familiarised with the feeling of the bike in the early stages of races; something he struggled with at times in 2015.
With each squad being able to choose whether or not they fit a transponder, no lap times appeared on the timing screens from the Pata Yamaha World Superbike Team bikes. In Aragon, Alex Lowes had seemingly become the first rider this off-season to put in a race simulation, describing the YZF-R1 as feeling like ‘my bike’. However, today’s running was disrupted by a sizeable highside for the Englishman at Turn 3, while Sylvain Guintoli continued his programme on the other bike.
Newly-appointed tester Marco Melandri had been aboard the MV Agusta Reparto Corse machine for the first two days this week, while race rider Leon Camier had been scheduled to ride on Thursday and Friday. In an apparent change of plan, Camier was already on-track on Wednesday, with the main aim being to trial a new fuel tank on the F4 RR prior to a break in the action before testing continues next year. The Englishman ended proceedings in fourth place, ahead of Giugliano and van der Mark.
Just a single FIM Supersport World Championship rider was present on this occasion, as 2015 runner-up P.J. Jacobsen continued his work with the Honda CBR600 RR. He put in a best effort of 1’43.977, which on his first day of the week is just nine tenths of a second slower than Kenan Sofuoglu’s rapid pace of Tuesday. On this occasion, no FIM Superstock 1000 Cup riders tested.
Testing ahead of the 2016 WorldSBK season will continue on Thursday.
Unofficial testing times for Wednesday 25 November:
1- Nicky HAYDEN / Honda CBR1000RR SP / 1’41.512 / 74 laps / Best Lap: 67
2- Chaz DAVIES / Ducati Panigale R / 1’41.595 / 63 laps / Best Lap: 46
3- Xavi FORES / Ducati Panigale R / 1’41.809 / 39 laps / Best Lap: 33
4- Leon CAMIER / MV Agusta F4 RR / 1’42.039 / 64 laps / Best Lap: 46
5- Davide GIUGLIANO / Ducati Panigale R / 1’42.525 / 53 laps / Best Lap: 25
6- Michael VAN DER MARK / Honda CBR1000RR SP / 1’42.556 / 30 laps / Best Lap: 23
- Sylvain GUINTOLI / Yamaha YZF-R1 / No data registered
- Alex LOWES / Yamaha YZF-R1 / No data registered
1- P.J. JACOBSEN / Honda CBR600 RR / 1’43.977 / 69 laps / Best Lap: 39