The six-time World Champion topped the times by just 0.016s ahead of nearest rival Toprak Razgatlioglu on the opening day of testing at MotorLand Aragon
Despite colder conditions impacting on Day 1 of the Supported Test at MotorLand Aragon, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was able to lap faster than the race lap record for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship venue as he topped the timesheets on Day 1 of testing. The six-time World Champion left it late to go top on Day 1 in the combined classification, beating his nearest rival by just 0.016s.
THREE MANUFACTURERS IN THE TOP THREE
Rea claimed top spot on the opening day of action with a lap late in the third and final session of track action as he posted a 1’49.394s, to go under his own race lap record at MotorLand Aragon by two tenths of a second. Rea, who was hoping to start finetuning his ZX-10RR machine ahead of the Pirelli Aragon Round beat Razgatlioglu’s best time of 1’49.410s, set in FP2, in the final minutes of Day 1.
Like Rea, Razgatlioglu was under the race lap record set the six-time World Champion in last year’s Superpole Race, although the 2021 Champion’s day ended a few minutes early when he suffered a technical issue at Turn 15 in the closing stages of the session. Razgatlioglu used new electronics throughout the test as well as working on the race setup of his Yamaha YZF R1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed third spot despite a crash on his Panigale V4 R machine at Turn 6 in FP3, ending the day six tenths down on Rea’s best time as his focus was on the start of the season in just a few days.
First day testing at Motorland before the Round1! pic.twitter.com/3e5sT5hHHl— KRT WorldSBK (@KRT_WorldSBK) April 4, 2022
ALL FIVE MANUFACTURERS FEATURE IN A TIGHTLY PACKED TOP TEN
Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished the day in fourth place as the American lapped around seven tenths slower than Rea, although Gerloff was fastest in the third sector of the lap. Gerloff’s R1 machine was fitted with the 2022 engine and a new exhaust seen on Razgatlioglu’s bike during testing as he claimed a top four finish on Day 1. Teammate Kohta Nozane ensured but GRT Yamaha riders were inside the top ten with eighth place, just four tenths off Gerloff’s pace on Day 1.
The American rider finished three tenths clear of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as Lowes had a couple of items to try throughout the test, on the suspension and chassis side, although did not want to change the bike too much due to colder conditions than are expected at the Aragon Round.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed sixth spot as he, like teammate Razgatlioglu, did not improve in the final session of the day. His best time was a 1’50.433s, just over a second off Rea’s time but 0.010s away from Lowes. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was the highest-placed BMW rider as he claimed a top seven finish on his M 1000 RR, with teammate Eugene Laverty in tenth. Laverty’s best time was a 1’50.600s as he worked on the rear grip of his machine.
All five manufacturers were inside the top ten as Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) went ninth fastest on his CBR1000RR-R machine, posting a best time of 1’50.586s as he prepares for his rookie WorldSBK campaign. Lecuona’s plan was to do as many laps as possible but cold conditions in the morning and a Turn 7 crash in FP3 meant his running was disrupted, although he was okay following the crash.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was 11th, just 0.032s outside a place inside the top ten on his Panigale V4 R as he looked to test a new swingarm as well as different setup choices. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed 13th spot for the factory BMW squad, three tenths down on the fastest time record by Baz, the fastest BMW rider.
Last year’s breakthrough star, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was 18th on the opening day of test with a time of 1’51.890s, over a tenth slower than debutant Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) who received a late call-up to the 2022 Championship. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) was 19th fastest after he had a Turn 2 crash in FP3, with the Frenchman okay after the incident.
The top 10 following WorldSBK action at Aragon, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.394s
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.016s
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.631s
4. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.726s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.029s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +1.039s
7. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) +1.052s
8. Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +1.126s
9. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +1.192s
10. Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) +1.206s
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