Kawasaki Racing Team rider and current WorldSBK Champion, Jonathan Rea, topped the two-day Catalunya WorldSBK test as track action resumes for all the teams for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak (some riders had tested at Misano last week).
Rea set a new lap record of 1:40.450s to better Aruba.it Ducati rider and title rival Scott Redding by 0.156s, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) third, 0.506s down on Rea’s pace.
Redding’s teammate Alex Lowes was fourth ahead of Phillip Island race one winner Toprak Razgatlioglu.
“This morning I used a race tire, the soft tire and then two qualifying tires, said Rea. “That was the target this morning—to work on ultimate pace and see what we could do. After that we started to work with the set-up again and tried to confirm some items on the front to give me some more stability. We backed-to-backed both bikes to find if we confirmed the set-up of what we arrived with at the Misano test. I preferred that to my old base set-up so it seems like we have moved our base set-up away from what I had. I don’t know if that is because of the temperature suits that kind of bike set-up or if my riding style has evolved during this lockdown period and it has changed. But what I am requesting from the bike now I have a good feeling with this one. In the afternoon, I waited for the temperature to be at the maximum to do two longer runs on both bikes to understand some test items. We felt pretty happy and now we look forward to Jerez.”
Redding topped day one on Wednesday, July 8 with a 1:41.737, Razgatlioglu by just 0.044s.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) rode to sixth on day two, one place up on early 2021 BMW signing Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), a tip to replace him inside the official Yamaha team next season, took his privateer bike to eighth place in the time sheets, one place up on the works Panigale of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
The top ten was completed by another Ducati rider, Leandro Mercado (MotoCorsa Racing Ducati).
American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) got to beat both full HRC factory Honda riders into 11th place, as first Leon Haslam crashed hard and lost track time on day one, then both he and his team-mate Alvaro Bautista were not allowed to ride on the final morning, until a team video conference was made with technical staff back in Japan. Only riding in the much hotter afternoon session of day two, Haslam was finally 12th and Bautista 14th overall – Bautista only because of his best day one time.
In the WorldSSP championship tests, three riders joined the 17 Superbike runners with Jules Cluzel (GMT94) the fastest SSP runner, his team-mate Corentin Perolari one behind and Steven Odendaal from the EAB Ten Kate Honda team the last placed WorldSSP rider.
Catalunya WorldSBK Test Results
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