Navarra hosts first WorldSBK action as Ducati teams hold two-day test
The Spanish circuit will make its debut on the WorldSBK calendar in 2021 and held a two-day test ahead of the new season
Teams and riders from the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship got their first taste of the Circuito de Navarra after a two-day test across Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the start of the 2021 season, where the circuit will host a WorldSBK race for the first time in August. Track action took place from 10am to 6pm Local Time each day with riders looking to optimise their setup for the different challenges the circuit presents.
Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) and teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team), Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) all represented Ducati at the test with five Panigale V4 R machines on track, while Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti), Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) were all on track from the FIM Supersport World Championship.
Both Redding and Rinaldi were using the opportunity to learn the circuit ahead of the August Navarra Round, with Redding trying small setup changes such as gearing to ensure the best performance possible for the round. The British rider was able to post an unofficial lap time in the 1’37s bracket. Like Redding, Rinaldi was trying different setups on his machine on both Pirelli’s SC0 and SCX tyre, looking to improve in some corners at the circuit.
Davies completed his busy week of testing at the Circuito de Navarra, having spent two days at MotorLand Aragon on Monday and Tuesday, with the aim of learning the track and not making too many adjustments to the base setting of the Ducati Panigale V4 R, while also trying out some items to help with race starts. For Bassani, the youngest rider on the WorldSBK grid, the aim was to learn the track and complete lots of laps including a race simulation.
In WorldSSP, 2019 Champion Krummenacher was working towards getting a good feeling as he focused on getting his electronic settings just right for the circuit taking into consideration the hard braking zones. Finnish rider Tuuli, who is the sole representative of MV Agusta in WorldSSP this season, was taking to the track for only the second time with his new team, as he looked to adapt to the different challenges the circuit provides and adjust the bike to the requirements of the circuit.
Oettl is one of the few riders on the 2021 grid from all three classes who has ridden at Navarra already, when he competed in the Spanish championship back in 2012. Completing a training day without his team, and on a training bike, the German was aiming to learn the track again after so long away from the Circuito de Navarra. Oettl did suffer a crash at Turn 13 in the morning but was okay following the incident and able to return to the track.
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