Featured WSBK: Rea tops the timesheets in pre-season testing at Jerez

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    Glorious sunshine basked the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto once again for the second of a two-day test in Southern Spain, where four WSBK teams continued to work on their 2019 set-ups.

    More than 600 laps of the 4.2km circuit were run by the eight riders, and steps were made ahead of what is set to be a sensational season with new bikes, new teams and new riders. Despite this, it was still four time world champion Jonathan Rea who led the way on the Kawasaki.

    Rea continued with his sensational pace out on track for the second and final day of testing, as the 2018 world champion was continuing to work on getting the chassis in tune with the engine on his ZX-10RR. Explaining that his new bike offers even more potential than the 2018 Ninja, he was a force to be reckoned with, setting the fastest lap time of 1.38.713. On the other side of the garage, new team-mate Leon Haslam was left with one bike after a big crash on Monday. However, this didn’t stop the Brit putting the laps in, as he reached more than 100 on the second day. Ending the day in third with a time of 1.39.766, Haslam was able to continue with his base setting of the ZX-10RR and will take some strong pace into the winter.

    It was a telling two days for the Pata Yamaha official WSBK team, as they began to understand the work they will need to do to bridge the gap to the green and red machines out on track. Working through their small updates for 2019, Alex Lowes had a strong test sitting in second position for most of the day, bridging the gap to fastest man Rea. It was a tough test for team-mate Michael van der Mark who was riding with a fractured wrist sustained from his crash in Qatar. Working to get more grip and acceleration on exit amongst other factors, Lowes finished in second position overall, 0.664s off Rea’s pace while van der Mark was sixth and 1.379s behind.

    Lessons continued to be learnt for the Aruba.it Racing Ducati squad with Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista getting to grips with the all-new Panigale V4 R. Davies is continuing to struggle with his shoulder injury sustained over the summer break, meaning he isn’t riding at 100%, and used the test to focus on electronics and throttle connection on his new machine, posting the fifth overall fastest time. Bautista had a more challenging second day with his V4 R, suffering two crashes during the day around Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto. Able to walk away from both crashes, Bautista was still happy with the bike as he works on his base set-up. Putting in an impressive pace on his debut, Bautista was able to finish in fourth, with a lap time of 1.39.845.

    For new WSBK team GRT Yamaha, Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri spent time getting to get to grips with the YZF-R1. Happy with the progress they have made, 2018 WSSP champion Cortese was still working on adapting and adjusting to an WSBK machine, while Melandri was working on his base setting and with the Pirelli tyres.

    Unofficial Combined Times Jerez Day Two:
    1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1.38.713
    2. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1.39.377 (+0.664)
    3. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1.39.766 (+1.053)
    4. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1.39.845 (+1.132)
    5. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1.39.852 (+1.139)
    6. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1.40.092 (+1.379)
    7. Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha Team) 1.40.235 (+1.522)
    8. Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha Team) 1.40.592 (+1.879)
     

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