A private test at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli saw some top Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki names make their latest on-track outings in preparation for what is scheduled to be the start of the new season at Motorland Aragon, May 21-23.
New regulations that limit each WorldSBK rider to 10 days of testing all year—allied by the ever-present possibility of sudden cross-border restrictions in an evolving Covid19 situation—mean that where and when you test are more important than ever. Hence the preponderance Italian-based Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki teams at this test.
Coming out on top in terms of lap times was 2020 breakthrough race winner and new Aruba.it Racing Ducati factory rider, Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Despite falling on the final afternoon, without injury, Rinaldi almost matched the existing Superpole qualifying best time with his 1:33.688.
Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had been fastest for the majority of the test but was displaced by Rinaldi, who has taken over Chaz Davies’ former ride inside the factory Ducati squad. Davies and his new-look GoEleven Ducati squad did not test at Misano.
Yamaha and Ducati riders evaluated Brembo’s new MotoGP-derived front-brake discs, with heavy cooling fins on the caliper body, designed to try and keep brake temperatures under control at the most demanding circuits. Yamaha also had revamped upper fairing designs, making use of the tolerances allowed inside the regulations to increase aerodynamic efficiency—especially for their taller riders like Razgatlioglu.
Third fastest in the overall rankings, in a test that also featured some WorldSSP riders, was 2020 rookie and podium runner-up Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha). Consistently inside that top three, he was back on his race bike for the first time since he returned from his winter break back home in Texas.
Scott Redding, last year’s runner-up in his first WorldSBK season, took his factory Ducati to fourth place, with new Pata Yamaha factory rider and 2020 WorldSSP dominator, Andrea Locatelli, fifth.
Another former WorldSSP Champion, Lucas Mahias, took his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki to sixth place.
Former WorldSSP runner Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati) impressed many with his early pace on day one and his final seventh-best time was just over a second from the best factory times.
More new WorldSBK faces followed on, with Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha) eighth, recent MotoGP rider and 2014 Moto2 Champion Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Ducati) ninth and Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) 10th.
Second year Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Philipp Ottl was fastest in WorldSSP testing.
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Duc) 1:33.688
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yam) +0.198
- Garrett Gerloff (Yam) +0.325
- Scott Redding (Duc) +0.673
- Andrea Locatelli (Yam) +1.106