Jerez WorldSBK January Test Press Releases

Press releases from some of the WorldSBK teams after the Jerez test:


KRT Duo Light Up Jerez Tests

KRT’s official WorldSBK championship riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea played a leading part in a two day test session at Jerez in Spain, between 23rd and 24th January. Sykes set the fastest time of all with Rea just behind in the final rankings.

A return to track testing for the KRT team provided strong results for both official riders in another new era of technical regulation. Sykes set a 1’38.889 lap time that was the best of the test, with Rea posting a 1’39.470 today to ensure a Kawasaki 1-2 in the first major opportunity to compare performance with most of their 2018 WorldSBK rivals.

With a 14,100rpm maximum rev limit imposed on the Ninja ZX-10RR at the start of the 2018 season both riders worked at maximising the potential of their machines’ new engine characteristics. They also worked on items and ideas to take into the next test at Portimao in a few days’ time.

Sykes, the 2013 world champion, opted to use a qualifying rear tyre near the end to set his outright best time but he was also fast on a full race tyre set-up. He was pleased with the tyre life his Ninja ZX-10RR delivered, even at the high pace he displayed throughout.

For reigning and three-time champion Rea, after so much time away from his racebike in the winter break, he used this test to get back up to race pace in himself as much as make improvements in his machine set-up.

After this strong showing in Spain the KRT squad will now relocate across the border to Portugal, for another two day test at Portimao between 28th and 29th January.

Tom Sykes, stated: “Of course we used a qualifying tyre to our fastest time but we used it along with an old front tyre. I had a small crash and credit to the boys in the team because they swapped all the suspension and everything into the second bike and I went back out on track to test something else. I was straight back into fantastic lap times. I think even on race tyres we were the fastest but that was not the target. The target was to understand the bike, and I have to say I am very happy with our performance even on very old tyres. Even though the bike is moving in those conditions, the lap time is nice. I am definitely getting my head around how to ride it a little bit better and I have a different mindset this year. I am really looking forward to finishing testing off and heading over to Australia. I feel we are more prepared and ready for action.”

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I started to feel my flow a little bit more today. It is not that I have forgotten how to ride but it feels a little bit strange to be going really fast. But we had a positive day. We managed to confirm a lot of things and get some confidence back. There is still a little bit to work on but I think our pace is pretty good. Today I did not make many laps outside the 1’40s, which is positive. There was not so much to try out but this was more of a set-up test. Really, it was understanding how the bike is working because the track is definitely not in the best shape compared to the November test. So it just required a little bit of a different set-up. For me it was important to do long runs because, as much as it is nice to still be fast, it is more important to get myself race ready.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes stated: “Tom finished the test being fastest with a qualifying tyre but was also fast on standard race tyres. That makes us confident. We just continued on from the previous Jerez test in November, where we did 90% of the job over four days. Coming back here we were lucky because the traction level was high in November but quite a lot lower now. So you will find a different bike performance, just because of the different level of traction. But we have just confirmed that this bike, in lower traction conditions, is working well. We did not touch the bike from the set-up side at all. It means we have done a good job in these two days of testing and now we have another test in Portimao where we will just test some remaining parts, and then we will be ready for Phillip Island.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am happy with this test. Jonathan did not use a qualifying tyre and even without this he was one of the fastest riders. He did one long run yesterday and two today. This is something he likes to do and it allows us to collect information. Jonathan had two small crashes on day one but the grip level compared to the last test here in November was down. Johnny was not really comfortable yesterday, as you have to set up the bike for the track, and today we improved straight away. He was comfortable, doing a very good job. We did a lot of work at the end of last year so this was a confirmation of different things to prepare for the first race in Australia. We move to Portimao now to keep checking the settings, doing laps and keeping the rider in good shape.”


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team kicks off 2018 with a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera

After a two-month break, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took it back to the track at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for a two-day test that officially launched the 2018 season. The team worked intensively to make the most of the two sessions, for a total of 12 hours of track time, making several comparisons and collecting valuable data for the development of the 2018-spec Panigale R, especially in light of the new rev limitations for the engine.

In particular, Marco Melandri clocked 132 laps with a personal best of 1:39.754. Chaz Davies, who was coming back from an injury sustained at the Spanish track last November and is still getting back to full shape, made 129 laps and posted a 1:40.704.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi also enjoyed his first official test with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, which will participate to all the European rounds of the WorldSBK championship this season. The Italian rookie showed constant improvements throughout the test to finish with a 1:40.862. All the lap times were set on race tyres.

The teams will now head to Portimão (Portugal) for another two-day test, scheduled for January 28-29.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)

"It's been a positive test overall, even though we still have plenty of work to do. We improved in certain aspects, but we still need to make more progress. We worked on race tyres, and with these the gap isn't big, but we want to make other steps forward. In particular, we need to focus on the engine, for which we hope to have some technical upgrades before the season opener, and on the transmission. It will be interesting anyway to try the current spec of the bike on a such a different track as Portimão."

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)

"The knee and shoulder are still not in perfect conditions since the injury last November, but anyway I knew before coming here that there's still room for improvement physically. We got through most of the work and managed to test some important stuff, including something we didn't get to try here in November, with some positive feedback. Unfortunately Jerez isn't the best track to evaluate some of the stuff we tried, it's been a bit of a struggle for me with the new surface. In terms of pace we're not far, but we need to improve on the single lap. We know where we need to get better, and we'll look for ways to do it in Portimão."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21)

"Given that it was our first outing of 2018, it's been a good test for us. There's plenty of work to do. First, I need to learn and adapt to WorldSBK-spec Panigale R, which is very different from the Superstock I was used to. In these two days we made constant progress, but so did our opponents, and this class is particularly competitive. We can only improve, and that's what we'll try to do in Portimão."


Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team complete successful pre-season test at Jerez

The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team successfully completed their first pre-season test of 2018 at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain. The team’s riders for the upcoming WorldSBK season, Leon Camier and Jake Gagne both impressed on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 with Camier ultimately posting the fourth quickest time with a 1’39.608.

The two day test at the 4.4 kilometre Circuito de Jerez not only provided the opportunity for the riders to get reacquainted with their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines, but also undertake a full test programme with chassis components, electronic settings and a new exhaust system from Akrapovič being evaluated. The comprehensive testing yielded positive results with the team not only able to find improved performance over a single lap, but also more consistent pace was found during race simulations.

While Camier was among the quickest riders over the two days and continued to provide valuable feedback to the team, his American stablemate Gagne also impressed on what was his first chance to ride the circuit on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. Gagne took to the task at hand with determination, clocking over 150 laps and slashing over a second from his best lap time from the opening day to the second day of the test, ending up with a personal best of 1’41.200.

The team now looks ahead to their second pre-season test of 2018 at Portimao which takes place on January 28-29.

Leon Camier 2

I'm really happy with how this test went, we've made some good progress and I'm learning the bike more and more. There's still a lot I'd like to work on at the next test in Portimão and I think as I ride this bike on different tracks I'll be able to get even more out of our package. I'm looking forward to doing more long runs in the upcoming tests as this will help me understand how the bike will behave over race distance, but all in all I've learned a lot over the last two days, I'm feeling good and am a lot more comfortable on the Fireblade and now we just need to keep up the good work at the upcoming tests.

Jake Gagne 45

I made some steady progress here at Jerez and it was really good to be back with the team and work with my new crew chief Mick. We made some changes with the bike to adapt it to my riding style and figured out what I could on the bike to help me get the most out of the Honda. I really learned a lot over the couple of days and the main thing for me was not to make any big mistakes and just focus on getting more out of the bike. Although my lap-times weren't right up there with the front guys, I'm really happy with how Jerez went and me and the crew will keep moving forward at the next tests.

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

The Jerez test was a success from a team point of view as we managed to test a lot of new components and made some solid improvement with the CBR1000RR SP2. Leon made some big steps with the bike compared to the test here in November and we were able to find a really good balance with the Fireblade which not only helped improve performance but also gave some benefit in terms of tyre durability. On Jake's side some good progress was also made although the focus there was different as Jake has no experience of the Jerez track on a Superbike. Instead he worked hard with his new crew on adapting the bike to his riding style while learning the circuit and every time he went out on track he was able to improve which was great to see and shows his potential. Overall I'm quite satisfied with what our riders and team were able to achieve over these two days and we're looking forward to keeping the momentum going at Portimão in a few days time.


Milwaukee Aprilia complete first 2018 pre-season test at Jerez

Circuito de Jerez 24 / 01 / 2018

Milwaukee Aprilia have made a strong start to 2018 WorldSBK testing, with riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori completing two full days at the Spanish Jerez circuit.

Fresh from the winter break and the most recent test in November 2017, the team were eager to continue developing the Aprilia RSV4-RF for the 2018 season. Eugene and Lorenzo worked through a full test schedule and both riders have reported good progress with their machines. A variety of new parts and setups have been run on both sides of the garage, with the team confident they can build on their debut 2017 season.

The team has two further days of testing at the Portimao circuit in Portugal from Sunday 28th - Monday 29th. The test will be the last chance to have on-track running before the first official WorldSBK test at the Australian Phillip Island circuit in February.

Shaun Muir - Team Principal

"We have had a good, solid two days of testing at Jerez. We have made some strong developments since the last test in November, and there is a positive direction going forward. Looking at the lap times in comparative terms we should have been P2-P4 at the end of this two day test on race tyres, so without doubt we have progressed.

Eugene has made big steps on his rear grip that was an issue in 2017, and is in a good position with the bike to continue developing this. Lorenzo has been focusing on long run pace and turn in, and he has gained a lot of data from this test to work with.

There are two more days of testing in Portimao now, and we will use the time to compound what we have learnt in readiness for Phillip Island in February. For sure we are already in a much stronger position than last year. We have several new staff who have integrated quickly, and the team is working very hard together. Overall there is a confidence and positive feeling from both sides of the garage, and we are all pushing to ensure the best possible start to the season."

Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

“It's been a very good test overall. Tuesday was frustrating because the lap time was reasonable but the rear grip was bad, and I knew we could improve with more grip. Wednesday was a great day and we achieved a strong lap time, and I'm really happy with how the whole team worked to make the progress. To do a 1'39.876 at the end was a big step forward and we are right in the mix now. There is still work to do, we are in the window but still have more pace to show.

The difference for me has been making the rear tyre push more into the track. Some of the bigger don't struggle so much with that because their weight is an aid, but for me being small it's more difficult. We struggled in 2017 with the rear tyre; not the life of it, we just couldn't use it fully as it didn't push enough. We've overcome that by altering the bike's balance and corner entry, and I'm confident we can get even stronger.

I knew Jerez would be the most important period of pre-season testing because the bike has to be quick here to work. Heading to Portimao, it's a track that I know very well and have learnt a few secrets to find that lap time. This has been a key day for us, we have halved the gap to the top and there's more to come."

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

“It has been a very busy test for me at Jerez, and we have learnt some useful information about the bike. We have tried many setups and different parts, using our experience from last year and working on our plan for 2018.

For me the rhythm on the bike is better and I am quite comfortable with it, and also we have been improving the turn in on corner entry. I would still like to have some more feeling from the bike, but we are not yet at the final setup for the RSV4-RF and have a lot of data to use.

I am looking forward to the next test at Portimao. We have another busy plan to complete and some new things to try, and for me it is important that we prepare all we can to be in the best position for Phillip Island."


Gulf Althea BMW completes two-day test at Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Wednesday 24 January 2018

The Gulf Althea BMW Racing team and rider Loris Baz have concluded a two-day test session at Jerez de la Frontera with positive results. Also present on track was the team’s young Superstock 1000 rider, Alessandro Delbianco.

Riding both yesterday and today, the Frenchman continued his apprenticeship with the BMW S 1000 RR, working hard with his technicians and making the most of the stable weather conditions. The team focused primarily on the German bike’s settings and electronics.

Increasingly at ease on his BMW, Loris completed 77 laps yesterday and a further 84 today. While Baz moved forward with the Superbike work programme, Delbianco continued to get to grips with the Superstock version of the BMW, making very good progress throughout the two days.

Although the team preferred to focus on other areas during these sessions, the lap times were nevertheless encouraging. Baz set a best of 1’40.707, Delbianco a 1’41.982 (after 62 laps yesterday and 58 today).

The Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team will be back on track this coming weekend (28-29 January) in Portimao, Portugal.

Loris Baz

“The test has gone quite well, it’s been full on but we’ve learned a great deal. I’m gradually getting to know the bike, the settings etc. and I’m quite pleased with the work we’ve got done here. I’m still struggling to lap fast with the fresh tyres and the soft solutions but I’m not particularly worried, it’s early days. We hope to improve further at both Portimao and then in Australia of course.”

Alessandro Delbianco

“I’m very pleased with how the test has gone. We’ve lapped well, maintaining a strong pace throughout the two days and setting a very fast time this afternoon. I thank the team and am working very well with the guys. We aimed to shave a few tenths off in each session and thanks to our work method we were able to do just that. A very positive test.”

Genesio Bevilacqua

"This two-day session at Jerez has proved very positive in terms of Loris’ approach to the bike and all those mechanisms that are new to him with respect to MotoGP, like the tyres for instance. Considering he worked with race tyres while others were out on qualifiers, lap times have been encouraging. We’re pleased with the work completed, also in preparation for the upcoming Portimao test. As for Delbianco, he has surprised everyone, except perhaps me, by making very good and continual progress. Considering the big differences between Moto3 and the 1000 in terms of performance, weight etc., he’s adapted very quickly to the bike and was even able to duck under 1’42 today. This result bodes well; we believe we’ve selected the right rider for what is a tough category.”

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