Nicky Hayden turned his first official laps as a World Superbike rider on Monday, putting the Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR through its paces for the first time. The test did not get off to a particularly auspicious start, the day delayed by a wet track and thick fog, which took a long time to clear. Nevertheless, Hayden took his first laps shortly before one, to try to get a feel for the bike. The first exit was on wet tires, the track still damp, and there was no serious action on the circuit until late in the afternoon, when the sun finally broke through the clouds.
Though no times were released, German-language website Speedweek reports that Hayden's best lap was a 1'53.3, 1.8 seconds off the fastest time of reigning world champion Jonathan Rea, who set a 1'51.5. Hayden spent a lot of time working on his position on the bike and the position of footpegs and seat. He also spent a lot of time with the electronics, trying to set them up to get a better connection between throttle and engine. You can read more of his comments on the Bikesportnews website.
Though all eyes were on Nicky Hayden, there were quite a few other teams at the track. The Kawasaki Racing team continued their work of preparing the new ZX-10R, with Jonathan Rea working on seating position and adapting to the new engine and chassis. Tom Sykes did not ride, waiting for better conditions expected tomorrow.
Yamaha were also present, Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli continuing the work of preparing Yamaha's brand new YZF-R1 for its debut in the World Superbike class. The team had no new parts to test, but with a new bike to prepare, they had plenty of work to continue with after their test at Jerez. Chaz Davies was present for Ducati, concentrating on the engine of the Ducati Panigale 1199R. His teammate Davide Giugliano is not present at the test, as he is still recovering from the back injury he suffered earlier this year. Giugliano is now back riding motorcycles, however, and could make his return to testing at Jerez in ten days' time.
There were also a few World Supersport entries present. Most notable was PJ Jacobsen, working with the CORE Honda project ready for 2016. Testing continues on Tuesday, with better weather expected, and hopefully, a full day's testing for the teams.
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