News 27 Jan 2016

Sykes sets opening day pace at Jerez WorldSBK test

Brookes makes first appearance on board Milwaukee BMW.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes was fastest on day one of the Jerez World Superbike test, in what is the first collective outing of the 2016 season.

Chaz Davies piloted his Ducati 1199 Panigale R second fastest by the end of the day, just over a tenth and a half behind.

Reigning champion Jonathan Rea ended the day third, just ahead of Honda’s Nicky Hayden, who is taking part in his second Jerez test on the CBR1000RR.

The morning gloom saw most stay off track until later in the day, with the first hour of action only seeing one timed lap, set by Leon Camier. The MV Agusta rider today evaluated a new, lower fuel tank.

Kawasaki left it until the sun had settled in to really begin their work and Rea left it a little later to turn up the wick, putting in a lap quick enough for P2 with an hour and a quarter to go.

Sykes similarly waited until later to set his best lap, the only rider of the day to set a lap in the 1m40s. Rea ended the day three tenths down on his teammate’s best lap. Racing riders Davies and Giugliano on the Ducati 1199 Panigale R both managed times in the 1m41s, with Davies faster than his teammate by a sizeable margin of around seven-tenths.

The Welsh rider looks to have retained the experience gained during 2015 to keep the Ducati on the level of their closest competitors, whereas Giugliano will more be looking at recuperation and acclimatisation after having been sidelined.

The two Hondas of Hayden and his teammate Michael Van der Mark put in the most laps earlier in the day, with Hayden putting in a time good enough to secure fourth after heading the timesheets during a good portion of the afternoon. Van der Mark finished the day in P7, half a second behind his MotoGP Legend teammate.

Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli kept the new Yamaha YZF-R1 in the top 10 by taking P5 and P9 respectively, with the British rider managing a 1m41.505s by the end of the day.

Lowes reports to still be missing some strength in his arm after crashing in Jerez before Christmas, consequently only putting in just over half the laps managed by his teammate, 2014 champion Guintoli.

Australian Josh Brookes made his anticipated first appearance on the Milwaukee BMW, the reigning British champion lapping in the 1m43s after experiencing an electrical problem during the afternoon.

The fastest man in WorldSSP today was reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu, whilst Swiss rider and rookie Randy Krummenacher ended the day impressively in touch, only a tenth and a half behind his teammate by the end of the session.

With no red flags or interruptions on day one, teams will be looking for a repeat performance tomorrow to enable them to continue getting the most out of these two days in Andalucia.