Sykes and Rea almost full second quicker than 2015 pole.
The 2015 Jerez WorldSBK pole position time was completely obliterated as Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea fitted Superpole tyres to their 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R bikes. On what was the fifth and final day of this week’s test in Jerez, the Kawasaki Racing Team riders both delivered stunning lap times, as a 1’39.313 for Sykes and 1’39.524 for Rea blew this year’s pole position time of 1’40.292 (Sykes) swiftly into the weeds. However, Rea’s day ended at approximately 3pm when he crashed at the final corner.
Once again, conditions were good in Jerez de la Frontera, confirming just why teams and riders head so frequently to the south of Spain for their off-season running.
As is always the case in testing, isolated fastest lap times of each rider can mean little, as each team is running its own programme and fuel loads are unknown. For the record, Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team, Ducati Panigale R) was third quickest from Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team, Honda CBR1000RR SP) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati-Racing SBK Team, Ducati Panigale R), Davies’ team-mate Davide Giugliano and seventh-placed Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse, MV Agusta F4 RR). Sylvain Guintoli was also on-track, but once again his Pata Yamaha World Superbike Team YZF-R1 was not fitted with a transponder.
The analysis of lap times made for interesting reading. It revealed that Sykes was the only Kawasaki rider to submit two 1’39 lap times. Rea appeared to suffer his aforementioned crash six laps into a race simulation, whereas at the same point of the test Sykes put in 15-lap run before pitting: during this run, he posted four laps of 1’40 lap times, eight laps of 1’41s, two of 1’42 and one of 1’43 in the middle of the run which appeared to demonstrate either a rider error or a delay (possibly due to slower traffic or yellow flags). WorldSBK rookie Hayden was also hard at work; his most consistent run was a 14-lap stint towards the end of the day, consisting one lap time of 1’41 and eleven of 1’42, plus two of 1’43 before breaking off and entering the pit lane.
P.J. Jacobsen was again the only entry from World Supersport. However, as Michael van der Mark was out of action and being treated in Belgium for an overstressed muscle, the American tried out the World Superbike machine; his run was only interjected by an incident at Turn 10, but Jacobsen was able to walk away from the scene of the crash. Another rider on the sidelines was Guintoli’s team-mate Alex Lowes, who on Wednesday crashed heavily at Turn 3 and suffered a dislocated left shoulder; he has since sought specialist treatment in the UK.
Riders to have been on-track earlier in the week but not on Friday were Marco Melandri, who took up his role of MV Agusta test rider on Monday and Tuesday, plus Althea BMW Team riders Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger who rode the S1000RR machines on Monday and Tuesday. The German bikes will return to action at Vallelunga as they continue their pre-season programme on Monday 14 December.
The testing ban for the current off-season will run for just under two weeks, from Tuesday 22 December to Monday 4 January (both dates inclusive). During this period, testing is prohibited for any team contracted to compete in either the FIM Superbike World Championship or FIM Supersport World Championship.
Unofficial testing times for Friday 27 November:
1- Tom SYKES / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1’39.319 / 98 laps / Best Lap: 23
2- Jonathan REA / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1’39.524 / 44 laps / Best Lap: 29
3- Xavi FORES / Ducati Panigale R / 1’40.148 / 56 laps / Best Lap: 44
4- Nicky HAYDEN / Honda CBR1000RR SP / 1’40.193 / 91 laps / Best Lap: 54
5- Chaz DAVIES / Ducati Panigale R / 1’40.774 / 52 laps / Best Lap: 11
6- Davide GIUGLIANO / Ducati Panigale R / 1’41.152 / 60 laps / Best Lap: 55
7- Leon CAMIER / MV Agusta F4 RR / 1’41.219 / 63 laps / Best Lap: 62
- Sylvain GUINTOLI / Yamaha YZF-R1 / No data registered
1- P.J. JACOBSEN / Honda CBR600 RR / 1’42.292 / 75 laps / Best Lap: 72