Jerez Test: World Superbike Press Releases

Press releases from the World Superbike teams after the test at Jerez:

Rain in Spain Halts Pata Yamaha Jerez Test after Positive Two Days on Track

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's three-day test schedule was cut short at the Circuito de Jerez today, as heavy rain, strong winds and chilling temperatures hit the Andalucían region. However, the promising work already undertaken during Wednesday and Thursday's sessions by Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark has left the squad pleased with the outcome and confident the information garnered will see them positively through the winter's development stage.

Continuing the detailed evaluation work from Aragon, Lowes navigated the 4,423m layout completing 92 laps during the opening two, cool but sun-filled days at the southern Spanish circuit. With two fully-dedicated YZF-R1's and a prototype-prepared machine at his disposal, the British rider concentrated on improving his race pace in reference to his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship competitors - utilising only the Pirelli tyres employed during October's event as his reference - while he traversed the extensive Yamaha test plan featuring both performance and fundamental parts testing with much success. New 2017 prototype chassis design parts were analysed on track for the first time by Lowes and his new Dutch teammate, with important feedback documented for further development by Yamaha Motor Europe's R&D ahead of the new season's January testing. Lowes concludes 2016 confident with his improved pace, having recorded his fastest ever Jerez lap on race rubber - a 1'40.142 - despite struggling with ongoing flu conditions and deciding to sit out of Friday's wet session to recuperate.

Team rookie van der Mark continued the positive showing seen at last week's debut as he familiarised himself further with his YZF-R1 and Pata Yamaha crew at Jerez. Choosing to set a small number of laps during Friday's dismal downpour, allowing him his first taste of the Yamaha Superbike in the wet, the 23-year-old concluded his final three days in Spain with a tally of 154 laps. Running an equally demanding schedule to his British counterpart, van der Mark used the eight hour days to focus on both his individual set-up and performance elements, while also adding to the evaluation of prototype components for next season.

Alex Lowes

"Overall the test was quite positive for us here in Jerez. We tested a wide variety of parts and made progress in a few of the areas where I have struggled in the past, while also identifying where we still need to improve to close the gap to the front. We were lucky with the weather for the first two days as the forecast wasn't great before we arrived but I haven't been feeling very well throughout this week so I decided to sit out the wet conditions on the final day. With four good days on track complete I can also go into the winter break with a clear understanding of what I need to work on and where I must improve to be better next year. As always I want to say a massive thank you to all the team, it's been a very tough year and I really appreciate their work, now let's focus on 2017!"

The Racing - Ducati team finalizes the 2016 winter tests in Jerez

After testing in Aragon (Spain) last week, the Racing - Ducati team resumed action in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri for a three-day, final test of 2016.

Both riders were able to make several comparisons and evaluate engine, electronics and chassis upgrades developed for the Panigale R, including a new swingarm, both with qualifying and race setups. The worsening weather that characterized the last day on track also allowed Davies and Melandri to make several runs in wet conditions, which rarely unfolded during the championship.

Davies and Melandri clocked 184 and 161 laps respectively, completing their programs. The Racing - Ducati team will resume action on January 24-25 in Jerez de la Frontera for the first tests of 2017.

Chaz Davies ( Racing - Ducati #7) 1:39.116

“It’s been a good test. We’ve been quite lucky with the weather overall and we’ve gone fast, setting good lap times given that our bike is not that much different but our pace has taken a step forward compared with last winter's tests and the race here. I never broke the 1’40 mark before but set a 1:39.1 on Thursday, and I still feel like we’re leaving 4 or 5 tenths out there. On the last day, we lapped quite a lot in the wet, gathering some good indications even though track conditions can change quickly here. Now we will keep working on the new parts and overall balance, but our base package is solid.”

Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati #33) 1:39.694

“I’m happy with the way these tests went. We tried several upgrades for the 2017-spec of the bike, with positive feedback, even though we need to make further evaluations especially in wet conditions. Everyday I feel more comfortable on the Panigale R, and our pace is quite good. We’re not far from the front. I still miss something on a single lap, and we struggle a bit on new tyres, but I really like the overall character of the bike. Our priority now will be to make the most of the potential of our electronic package, which is highly developed. During the break I’ll keep training hard and in January I will try my first race simulations to be ready for Phillip Island. It won’t be easy, but I can’t wait to give it a go.”

Season-Ending Winter Tests Finish On A High For KRT

After a week of testing at Jerez in Spain Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes set impressive lap times as they shared the circuit with some of the main 2017 rivals and several top MotoGP runners. Riding the 2017-spec Ninja ZX-10RR Rea set the fastest individual lap time of the tests on a dry track on Thursday, with Sykes the third fastest WorldSBK rider and the fifth fastest rider overall.

After two tests in quick succession – at Motorland Aragon last week and Jerez this week - the KRT squad has completed the 2016 sector of its overall winter test plan in positive fashion.

KRT was joined by several KHI staff at Jerez to help properly evaluate the new WorldSBK specification chassis and engine materials, which have been adapted for the recently launched ZX-10RR. Each rider had two machines to test, to allow for meaningful back-to-back comparisons.

The Jerez test for KRT featured three dry days in the middle of the week, bracketed by two wet days on Monday and Friday. Neither of the riders took to the track on Friday 25th, as conditions had deteriorated so much. Rea left Jerez with a track best of 1’38.721 while using a qualifying rear tyre with Sykes setting a 1’39.461, again on a ‘Q’ rear tyre. Rea was even more pleased with the 1’39.5 lap time he set on race tyres than his best-of-test flying lap of 1’38.721.

Rea had completed his pre-planned schedule by Thursday afternoon but a crash for Sykes earlier the same day lost him some track time just as his crew had fitted all the most promising new parts and settings to his number one machine. He still managed to complete a fast lap time on his spare machine and enjoyed consistent pace over distance.

A break in track action now begins for the team, with the winter test schedule restarting at Jerez on 24th January 2017.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been a very successful test with three days of very consistent weather. We also got a morning of wet conditions in which we confirmed a few things, especially a new Showa rear shock. I have to thank all at KRT for giving us this long test and KHI for bringing some extra engineering staff. Thanks to Showa for continuing to develop new parts for us and bringing them to the track. We did two race simulations on Thursday that we were very happy with. We can go into the winter in great shape and with a lot of confidence for next season. Having the new Ninja ZX-10RR has let us fix some of our weaker points, as our engine is a little bit stronger than before, with some extra RPM. That is always an added bonus. We can be optimistic for 2017. Looking back on 2016 it has been an incredible year to finish off here with a successful test I want to say thanks to all my team and all my crew, everyone inside KRT and KHI for these last few days.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “During the Aragon tests and also here at Jerez I feel we have been doing good work. For sure we have still not hit the nail on the head but the good thing is we are doing a lot of trial and elimination. Even here, where I was not entirely happy with my feeling, we managed to put in good lap times. Both myself and Jonathan seem to be able to do consistent lap times, which is promising. I had a crash on Thursday that stopped me using my preferred machine but still we were able to continue testing. We know we can do what is required on whatever set-up we have, but now we are going to have a few weeks to relax, refresh and recharge the batteries. I am confident that with the information we now have we can put the jigsaw together in January and start testing again from there.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “Always in the winter time we try to follow all the items we have that Japan has prepared. Chassis engine, suspension, everything. We focused not to set the bike up for the racetrack; we focused to try out the parts. I know the potential of Kawasaki as a manufacturer, Johnny, the team, everybody, but still it has been so positive here. With a Q tyre we made a big, big step forward. With a race tyre our target was to improve the durability in the second part of the race. It seems like we have made another step. I can say that we reached our targets for the first part of the winter tests. We are very pleased to be in the shape that we are in and with all the information we have.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes, stated: “Jerez was more complex for us than the recent Aragon test. The bike is harder for Tom to manage because of his unique way of riding and we have had to compensate for this by improving the chassis performance. We made some very fundamental steps on the bike set-up, with some good and not so good results. We have enough data to really study in the winter break and we will be able to bring all the good points together before we start testing again in January. We have a lot of information from the last five years, and three more tests before we go racing at Phillip Island. I am sure we can give Tom a proper bike set-up before the first race in Australia.”

Milwaukee Aprilia have finished their first WorldSBK test at Jerez

After three days of running the Aprilia RSV4 in changeable weather conditions, the team have gathered vital data on the bike ahead of the 2017 season, riders Eugene & Lorenzo completing over 60 laps each on their last day of testing in 2016.

With some time off before testing resumes in January, the team and riders are looking to build on the strong foundations they have laid at Jerez this week.

Eugene Laverty

"It's been three good days for the team and for me riding the RSV4 again. We had mixed weather at the start but we took advantage of that and got some useful wet weather running in.

I was able to do about 60 dry laps today which allowed us to evaluate differences between the chassis and engine specs I've been trying today, and there are lots of positives to take from that. I've felt really comfortable on the bike which is what I wanted to achieve this week, and it's been working even better than the last time I rode it.

I've enjoyed working with SMR and Aprilia this week, and the professionalism of the team has really impressed me. There is a lot of optimism for next year and I can't wait to get started. I'm looking forward to a few weeks off now, but I'm really excited for the first race at Phillip Island. Aprilia have won a lot of races there, so we'll be looking to make a strong start to 2017."

Lorenzo Savadori

"It has been a really important test for the team and for me, and I think we have made good progress for 2017. Today was good and I was able to get a lot of laps in; the weather has been really mixed this week so I am glad today we had some dry running.

I had another good day working with the team and also more time for me working in English, which is not easy! But, I really like the team and my new crew chief Ian, so I am really happy after these three days.

We know that we have a few things to work on with the bike set-up for next year, but I feel positive about we can do and I know the team will work hard. I have some time to prepare for 2017 now, but I am excited to race again and to see what we can achieve."

Mick Shanley, Team Manager

"We were trying a few different chassis and engine specs today, and we've been working on getting those combinations together. Engine-wise we've certainly made positive progress, but there are a few other calibrations to improve.

We've had three really useful days here at Jerez, and we're happy with how it has gone. You have to look at it on two levels; we've come here to get to know each other as a team and to establish a strong relationship, and that has been really successful.

On the other side of that we've had a lot of test items to get through, and overall we've achieved what we wanted to achieve this week. We haven't got through all of the items, which were hampered by wet weather conditions, but we have still managed to make a lot of progress and the team is working together really well."

Milwaukee Aprilia have completed their second day of testing at Jerez

The clouds parted over the Jerez circuit on Tuesday and gave the team chance to run the RSV4 in the dry.

Riders Eugene Laverty & Lorenzo Savadori continued development work on their bikes, and will look to capitalise on their final day of running on Wednesday.

Eugene Laverty:

“it was a nice surprise to get some almost-dry laps in today after we knew rain was forecast. I was able to get about 40 laps done which was great, and it gave me chance to push the bike more and see what it can do, and how we can develop it.

For sure the bike feels better since the last time I rode it, and Aprilia have done a lot of work on it to improve it. A big aim has been to work the wet tyres and get used to them, and I’ve been able to do some good runs today.

I’ve ticked off most of the targets I wanted to achieve at the test already which is good, but it would be nice to get some sunshine tomorrow. I feel really comfortable on the bike, and we have some new engine and chassis parts to try out before we head home."

Lorenzo Savadori:

“It was another good day for me today, and the weather was better which helped us. I was able to do some more set-up work on the bike and to test some new things, and it has been enjoyable for me to work with my new team.

Like we have said before, we are not after a really quick lap time and it is more important for us all to work together and to be in a good position for next year.

We have only one more day of testing, so tonight I will make a plan with my crew chief for what we need to achieve before the end of tomorrow. The bike is already in a good position and the feeling is good, so I hope we can improve it some more.”

Mick Shanley, Team Manager:

“Thankfully we had better weather for our second day of testing, and we were able to gather some good data on the bike. It also gave Eugene and Lorenzo chance to move on to the slick tyres, and that was really useful for us.

Everything is looking good so far, and as a new team it feels like we’ve been working together with Aprilia for years after only two days. We’re not here chasing lap times and it’s been as much a test for running the team as it is the bike.

We have a few more things to test on both bikes tomorrow before we pack up for winter, and it will be important for us to maximise our running on the final day.”

Bradl makes the most of changeable weather conditions at Jerez test

The Honda WorldSBK Team enters the winter break in confident mood after completing a two-day test at ‘Circuito de Jerez’ in southern Spain. With Nicky Hayden out of action following an injury sustained last Friday during a flat-track training session, it was up to the sole rider Stefan Bradl to carry out the testing duties at the fast-flowing Andalusian venue.

With weather conditions not as kind as during the previous two-day test at MotorLand Aragón, Bradl and the team spent the first day trying to find a good setup for the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine for wet-track conditions as well as for flag-to-flag races. The young German rider completed 35 laps while also evaluating some modifications to the electronics with regard to engine braking.

The second day of action got underway with the 4.423km of the track still soaked by rain. Around midday, the sun came out briefly but the lack of wind slowed down the drying process. Despite never getting back to fully dry conditions, later in the day the asphalt was grippy enough for Stefan to be out on slicks. He tried two sets of tyres and, with the second one, he set his fastest lap of the test in 1’42.5.

Stefan Bradl 6

It surely wasn’t the perfect weather to go testing. Yesterday we did 35 laps in wet conditions, just to get a feeling with the bike and with the Pirelli tyres in the wet; it was a quite positive day and we made the best of it. Even today was affected by poor weather because it rained until noon, and it took a very long time for the track to dry. We did 20 laps with slick tyres but the there were still a few damp patches about, so I did not stay out for too long and we didn’t make any modifications to the bike, because I was not fast enough to get a feeling for it. At least we managed to do a couple of laps in mostly dry conditions and the feeling was very similar to Aragón, so I can say that it’s been a good first experience overall with Honda in World Superbike. Now it’s time to relax, recharge the batteries and be ready to jump on the new Fireblade.

Pieter Breddels

Technical Manager

So, that’s it for the first two tests of the off-season, which were both quite interesting for Stefan; he was quick to adapt to the new bike and Pirelli tyres, and it took him very little time to get up to speed, which is really encouraging. Lap times came for him without pushing too much so, all in all, the initial transition has gone well. Obviously, we are eager and excited to see what he will be able to do with the new bike. It was a pity not to have Nicky on our side here and we look forward to having him back with us in January. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot to do for him at this test, so he hasn’t lost too much.

The Milwaukee Aprilia World Superbike team have completed their first day of testing at the Jerez circuit.

Running was hampered by rain for most of the day, but the team was able to complete a high number of laps with Eugene and Lorenzo on the RSV4.

With focus on system checks and consistent running instead of outright lap time, the team have made their first steps to preparing their 2017 challenger for racing.

Testing continues tomorrow, where the team will be hoping for some dry running to build on Monday’s work.

Shaun Muir, Team Principal:

“It’s been a really good day for us, considering it has been consistently wet. It has been good to get the team working together straight away, and we have a long night ahead of us to prepare for changes tomorrow. The factory have brought some really interesting upgrades on the chassis and engine specs for us to try, and it’s really important for us to get to grips with them to help the direction of the 2017 bike.

Eugene had his first experience of the wet Pirelli tyres, and he’s had a good feeling from them straight away which we are pleased with. We’re not chasing lap times but he was setting some good times and did as much as he needed to to focus on set-up.

It’s also been good for Lorenzo to get on the bike after not testing at all in 2016. He’s tried a few set-ups and we’ve managed to find him a good balance which he is happy with, and he managed to get around 35 laps in which is great experience for him.”

Eugene Laverty:

“It felt really nice to be back on the RSV4. I was surprised how quickly it felt like being at home with it, and even though it was constant wet running it felt like my bike again. We didn’t aim for outright pace today, but my times weren’t that far off here at Jerez which was pleasing.

It’s been great working with the new team, and I’m blown away by how professional the team are. We have some key Aprilia staff here who know the bike as well as I do, and we clicked right away.

I’ve also got to know my new team mate Lorenzo a little bit which is good, and we’ve talked about our experiences with the RSV4 and how to work with it. We’ve been going pretty quick today even though it was wet, but we’re definitely hoping for some dry track time tomorrow which is the most important thing.”

Lorenzo Savadori:

“It has been great for me to get on the bike again so soon. Today has been difficult because of the rain, but the feeling of the bike has been good even in the wet. I have enjoyed working with the team today, and I feel very lucky to be in this team. They work really hard, and it has been good for me to learn how they work and what we can do.

I am very happy to have Eugene as my team mate. He has a lot of experience and is a really fast rider, and he knows the bike and team very well. I think we will work well together and hope we can compare some useful information.

Tomorrow I hope that we will have some dry weather and we can try some more set-up work, because it is really important for us to have a strong bike for 2017.”

Nicky Hayden undergoes successful knee surgery

Nicky Hayden had successful surgery on a detached right knee medial collateral ligament (MCL), which was carried out by Dr. David Chao at the Oasis Surgery Center in San Diego, California, at 7am PST (GMT -8) today. The Honda WorldSBK Team rider twisted his knee last Friday during a flat-track training session near Barcelona, Spain.

Hayden will have a post-operation evaluation in the coming days to determine when he can begin physical therapy.

Nicky Hayden 69

Unfortunately I injured my knee between the two private tests of Aragón and Jerez. I had a chance to do some flat-track training during my days off on a small, second-gear, track but I caught my foot awkwardly in a bit of a rut and twisted my knee around. Luckily, I didn’t crash nor hurt anything else on my body, but I knew straight away that something was wrong with my knee. It turned out that I had a tear to the MCL so, after consulting with some doctors back in the US, I had an operation today to fix it. I will rest for a few days but it looks like I’m going to start rehab very soon and I will follow the doctor’s instructions very closely. Injuries are never good, but luckily I have a bit of time now before the new season comes around. I want to thank Dr. Chao and his staff; I will now spend some days testing and then tackle the rehab in order to jump on the new bike as soon as possible!

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