Jerez WSBK Test Day 1 Times: Sykes Leads Kawasaki Rout, As Guintoli Debuts With Aprilia

While Honda's MotoGP riders have headed to the far east to continue testing, their World Superbike counterparts have trekked south to Jerez, joining a large group of WSBK riders testing at the circuit. The choice of the World Superbike men proved to be a far better one than HRC's, with the test taking place under close to ideal conditions at the circuit in the south of Spain.

The name at the top of the timesheets is no surprise, Tom Sykes carrying the momentum he gained at the end of the 2012 WSBK season on into testing. Though both Kawasaki men went out without transponders, their reported times were fast, Sykes ending the day with a lap of 1:41.3, nearly nine tenths quicker than anyone else. Second fastest man was Michel Fabrizio, the Italian now riding an Aprilia RSV4 with the Red Devils Roma squad, and impressing in his early rides on the bike. Fabrizio ended ahead of factory Aprilia man Eugene Laverty, though the margin was slim, just over five hundredths of a second.

Loris Baz set the 4th time on the second Kawasaki, a second behind his teammate, but half a second faster than Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman making his debut with the factory Aprilia team, despite any official notice of him having signed for 2013. That announcement appears to be just days away, possibly depending on how Guintoli performs at the test. So far, he has been very pleased with his first ride on the Aprilia, his crew chief Bruno Vecchioni telling leading French magazine Moto Journal that Guintoli had returned to the pits after a few outings and said "This thing is a missile!" Guintoli was faster than the two Ten Kate Honda men, who have new engine parts to evaluate at Jerez.

Among the World Supersport men present, Dutchman Michael van der Mark made an outstanding debut on the Ten Kate Honda, lapping Jerez as fastest, over a second ahead of reigning WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu. The Kawasaki rider in turn finished ahead of another pair of Hondas, those of Lorenzo Zanetti and Jack Kennedy, while Fabien Foret ended in 5th on the Kawasaki, over 2 seconds behind Van der Mark.

Below are the times from the test, as posted by Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann on Twitter, with Kawasaki times from

WSBK times

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1:41.300    
2 84 Michel Fabrizio Aprilia 1:42.170 0.870 0.870
3 58 Eugene Laverty Aprilia 1:42.226 0.926 0.056
4 76 Loris Baz Kawasaki 1:42.300 1.000 0.074
5 50 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 1:42.838 1.538 0.538
6 91 Leon Haslam Honda 1:42.954 1.654 0.116
7 65 Jonathan Rea Honda 1:43.223 1.923 0.269
8 66 Alex Hofmann Aprilia 1:43.737 2.437 0.514

WSS times

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 60 Michael van der Mark Honda 1:45.908    
2 1 Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki 1:46.983 1.075 1.075
3 87 Lorenzo Zanetti Honda 1:47.211 1.303 0.228
4 14 Jack Kennedy Honda 1:47.806 1.898 0.595
5 99 Fabien Foret Kawasaki 1:47.991 2.083 0.185
6 24 Eduard Blokhin Yamaha 1:50.760 4.852 2.769


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The Ducati men look like being a little luckier. Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro all head to Jerez, to join a group of World Superbike riders who are testing at the circuit ...

Are they really going to be testing there at (or thereabouts) the same time as WSB? If so, I can't wait to see how the times compare "head to head" on the same circuit under the same conditions.

That was the early rumor. But Ducati announced that they will be fielding Checa and Ayrton Badovini in the Batta-run team in 2013. Since then, Guintoli has been linked with the factory Aprilia deal.

Seems like a good start - I hope he gets the ride for 2 years. If he gets Max's team they will probably think that they have died and gone to heaven!
Batta seems to run a nice team, but the Aprillia has to be the better bike to be on.
It would be nice if Fabrizio gets a good run this year too.
I also hope that Max was right about Sykes......
It's going to be a battle!

Tom Sykes and Kawasaki really have that bike dialled in. For a little context, a 41.3 would have put him 8th on the grid at the 2012 Jerez MotoGP race, in front of the Hondas of Bautista and Bradl. (Admittedly the 2012 QP wasn't the warmest of days, and he would've been at the back of the 800cc grids in 2010 and 2011).
However, I think it's testament to Sykes and the Kawasaki team that the development is going so well.

Two questions off the back of this:

    Would these improvements have been possible had Kawasaki been pushed to keep a bike or two in MotoGP?
    Does the lack of factory development of Suzuki's global superbike projects over the last couple of years mean that their 2014 MotoGP bike might be competitive from day 1?

1) No, it's a matter of money... Kawasaki was never going to allocate the budget to do both a proper job at MotoGP, let alone MotoGP and WorldSBK.

2) No, not even a prayer. They're under even tighter financial constraints than Kawasaki.