Scorching times as WorldSBK looks to new season
Following the two frenetic World Superbike races in Jerez over the weekend, the majority of teams stayed on for Monday’s post-race test. With sunshine beating down, the test ran for eight hours between 10am and 6pm.
October conditions were typically foggy in the morning, but the mist rose as an intense day of testing commenced. Barni Racing Team, Grillini Racing Team, IodaRacing Team, Milwaukee BMW and VFT Racing had already planned to skip the test, but Team GOELEVEN joined them on the sidelines as the squad running Roman Ramos suffered a broken engine and had no replacement unit.
A total of 15 riders submitted lap times throughout the day, with most sampling new or modified components ahead of the 2017 season. This was certainly the case for the World Champion Kawasaki Racing Team which next year, due to rule changes, will no longer be able to use split throttle bodies; the Honda WorldSBK Team and MV Agusta Reparto Corse are another two teams set to be affected by this alteration – and worked accordingly. At Aruba.it Racing – Ducati, new parts for 2017 included a raft of suspension components.
The best time came from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), posting 1’40.815 to comfortably move underneath his race record from 2015. The top five was completed by team-mate Tom Sykes, Jerez double race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Nicky Hayden (Honda WorldSBK Team). The greatest number of laps came from Hayden’s team-mate Michael van der Mark, as the Dutchman put in no less than 94 circulations of the Andalusian race track.
Yamaha looked to reconfirm its direction of development route for 2016 as well as sampling 2017 development parts and components for the upcoming Qatar race next weekend, while Honda’s focus was on new brake calipers, clutch settings and new steering dampers as well as working with the aforementioned stock throttle body. The white bikes also ran new front forks and axle clamps – something sampled by the Althea BMW Racing Team as well.
A raft of riders featured in the Pedercini Racing garage. Saeed Al Sulaiti rode the World Superbike machine, focusing on engine braking settings and traction control maps, as the Italian outfit tested its Superstock 1000 bike with World Supersport rider Illia Mykhalchyk and STK1000 regular Sebestien Suchet. Further up the pit lane, Team Toth and Peter Sebestyen carried out a back-to-back comparison of a new specification engine against the powerplant raced to the Hungarian rider’s first points finish on Saturday. Later in the day, Mykhalchyk switched machines as he sampled the Toth Yamaha YZF-R1.
Riders to suffer Turn 1 crashes included Mykhalchyk, Al Sulaiti and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), while Althea duo Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger also experienced off-track moments during the day. In the final hour, Sykes ground to a halt with a technical problem at the first corner.
All of the teams worked with new tyres from Pirelli, as the Italian company supplied two new front and three new rear solutions for the field to taster.
The WorldSBK paddock will regroup next week for the Qatar season finale under the floodlights of Doha’s Losail International Circuit.