CATALUNYA TEST: all five factory teams on track as important in-season testing continues

Wednesday, 29 March 2023 07:34 GMT

The five factory teams will be joined by a host of Independent outfits during the two-day test on Thursday and Friday

The break between the Indonesian and Dutch Rounds in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship calendar is providing teams and riders an opportunity to complete some in-season testing, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosting two days of action on Thursday, 30th and Friday, 31st March. The majority of the grid will be present at the test, including all five factory teams, giving them the chance to work on their package ahead of racing resuming at the TT Circuit Assen in April.

A BUSY TEST: the five factories on track together

The Catalunya test will mark the first time the five manufacturers have been on track together since the Indonesian Round as all five teams search for forward steps and more progress. Championship leaders Ducati will have Racing – Ducati duo Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi together in Barcelona, joined by Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli as they look to take a step forward with the Yamaha YZF R1 machine. Razgatlioglu actually took part in a half-a-day track day at the same circuit as Yamaha tested a “new development”. BMW will have their first test between rounds with riders Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and teammate Michael van der Mark.

Two manufacturers who already tested in the gap will be back out on track. Both the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK and Team HRC squads tested recently at MotorLand Aragon and they will return to track action in Spain for two more days of testing in Barcelona. KRT’s Jonathan Rea recently spoke in-depth about the 2023 campaign, which you can read here, and he will be on track with teammate Alex Lowes. Both Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona, who took pole position in the 2022 Catalunya Round, will be at the test after they recently tested different chassis bracing and exhaust at Aragon.

INDEPENDENTS ON TRACK: new parts for Petrucci?

Plenty of Independent riders will take to the track too, with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) hoping he will be able to test a new fuel tank to aid his comfort on the bike as he goes in search of a maiden WorldSBK podium. Bradley Ray’s (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) preparations for his maiden campaign continue with the two-day test in Barcelona. From BMW’s Independent team, Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) will be the sole rider on track for the Bonovo BMW team as teammate Loris Baz continues his recovery, while Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team) and Hafizh Syahrin will be the Independent Honda riders on track.

AN IMPORTANT TEST: looking to continue strong starts to 2023

Lying fourth in the Championship standings after two rounds, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) will look to continue his fine start to the season and the test will be an important part of this at the circuit he took his first WorldSBK podium at. GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK duo Remy Gardner and Dominique Aegerter, who showed strong pace in their first two WorldSBK rounds, will look to continue their strong form heading to Assen while Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) will also be on track during the test as he looks to make a step forward.

DUCATIS ON TRACK: four WorldSSP riders at the test

The two-day test gives four riders from WorldSSP to complete some testing ahead of the Dutch Round, with all four running the Ducati Panigale V2 machine. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) will make his return from injury at the test after he suffered a broken collarbone in Australia. Championship leader Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) will be on track as he goes in search of a good feeling at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on his bike, while Orelac Racing VerdNatura duo Raffaele De Rosa and Federico Fuligni will be on track during the test.

REFERENCES: lap records and top speed

WorldSBK outright lap record: 1’40.408s – Tom Sykes, BMW, Superpole, 2021
WorldSBK fastest race lap: 1’41.135 – Alvaro Bautista, Ducati, Superpole Race, 2022
WorldSBK Top Speed record: 331.3km/h – Alvaro Bautista, Honda, 2021

WorldSSP outright lap record: 1’43.983s – Dominique Aegerter, Yamaha, Superpole, 2022
WorldSSP fastest race lap: 1’45.157s – Dominique Aegerter, Yamaha, Race 1, 2022
WorldSSP Top Speed record: 285.7km/h – Oli Bayliss, Ducati & Leonardo Taccini, Yamaha, 2022

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