News 6 Apr 2022

Final WorldSBK pre-season test topped by Rea at Aragon

Cluzel sets the pace in WorldSSP, Bayliss P22.

Image: Suplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea has fired a warning shot ahead of the WorldSBK season opener at Aragon this weekend, fastest during the final pre-season test at the Spanish circuit as GMT94 Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel was quickest in WorldSSP.

Rea was the only rider to post a time in the 1m48s bracket across the two days, continuing to build with this year’s ZX-10RR, finishing 0.354s ahead of reigning world champion Toprak Razgatliouglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WSBK).

The Turkish rider used the two days to develop the R1’s electronics further and labelled the test as a success, finishing ahead of returning Aruba.It Racing – Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, who posted a 1m49.094s.

Top of the Independent riders was Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in P4, who trialled previous components used by the factory Pata Yamaha Squad. The Aragon test was the first time Gerloff used the full 2022 package, his fastest lap being a 1m49.235s.

First of the BMWs was Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) in fifth, as Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WSBK), Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati), WorldSBK rookie Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and Team Goeleven’s Phillip Oettl completed the top 10.

Notably, last year’s number three Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished the Aragon test in P11, 1.390s from Rea’s fastest time as he continued to adapt to the M 1000 RR.

Image: Supplied.

Cluzel set the pace in a tightly contested WorldSSP top five in Spain, a 1m53.407s topping incoming Moto2 rider Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros WorldSSP Yamaha Team) by just 0.057s.

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Can Oncu was third with a 1m53.542s, the Turkish rider showing promise through much of the pre-season, 2022 being his third year in the category.

Fourth was Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.It Racing WorldSSP Team) who like Baldassarri, made the switch from Moto2. He finished 0.079s ahead of Dominque Aegerter who completed the top five courtesy of a 1m53.647s – the final rider to set a time in the 1m53s bracket.

Australian WorldSSP debutant Oli Bayliss ended the two days in P22, the Barni Spark Racing Team rider setting a 1m55.510s on day two to finish just over two seconds from the top.¬†Motozoo Racing’s Ben Currie was absent from the test, focussing on his recovery from a major pre-season training injury.

The WorldSBK Championship commences later this week on 8-10 April, Aragon commencing the highly anticipated 2022 season.

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