Jerez Combined WSBK And MotoGP Test: Bradl Impresses, Rea Leads WSBK On Day 3

It was a busy track at Jerez, with more teams from various classes having converged on the circuit for the last couple of days testing. While the Suzuki factory MotoGP team has packed up and left, their place has been taken by the Ducati factory team, both MotoGP and World Superbike, along with the Forward Yamaha Open class team and Avintia Ducati. There were a number of Moto2 riders lapping here, rather than joining the Marc VDS Racing team and Gresini at Almeria, the Pons Kalex and QMMF teams taking to the track at Jerez. MV Agusta also started their first couple of days of testing, with Jules Cluzel returning to race in World Supersport, while Leon Camier gave a brand new F4RR a shakedown, starting his first day of work with his new team.

The two factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone were fastest on the day, though they did not record an official time. According to the German-language publication Speedweek, Dovizioso posted a time six tenths quicker than Stefan Bradl, which equates to a 1'39.0, two tenths quicker than he managed during qualifying at the circuit. Stefan Bradl set the fastest recorded time on the Forward Yamaha, getting very quickly up to speed on the new bike, and closing in on the time set by Aleix Espargaro during qualifying here. Bradl was a second quicker than Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Aprilia, the Spaniard just keeping ahead of Hector Barbera on the Open class Avintia Ducati. Bradl was 1.6 seconds faster than his new teammate Loris Baz, who is still adapting to the switch to MotoGP. Baz is managing it much better than Marco Melandri: the second Aprilia rider was 1.4 seconds behind his teammate, and 2.4 seconds slower than Stefan Bradl.

Jonathan Rea was fastest of the World Superbike riders, putting in a fast lap at the end of the session with a qualifier, as the rest of the field also did. Randy De Puniet was the 2nd fastest WSBK rider, making a strong debut on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 to finish just over half a second behind Rea, and ahead of his teammate Alex Lowes. Tom Sykes was a close 4th in the WSBK, just ahead of Michael van der Mark. The Dutchman's debut in World Superbikes has been impressive, Van der Mark ending the day ahead of his teammate, reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli.

Luis Salom was the fastest Moto2 rider, benefiting from a year's extra experience, and seven tenths ahead of Ant West on the QMMF Speed Up. Salom's Pons teammate Alex Rins ended as 3rd quickest Moto2 rider, eight tenths off the pace of Salom, and well ahead of experienced hand Julian Simon. 

Combined times from the third day of testing at Jerez. The Ducati MotoGP and World Superbike riders were not using transponders, and did not record an official time:

Pos No Rider Bike Class Time Diff Prev
1 6 Stefan Bradl Forward Yamaha MotoGP 1:39.593    
2 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia ART MotoGP 1:40.598 1.005 1.005
3 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati MotoGP 1:40.629 1.036 0.031
4 65 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10R WSBK 1:40.738 1.145 0.109
5 76 Loris Baz Forward Yamaha MotoGP 1:41.206 1.613 0.468
6 14 Randy De Puniet Suzuki GSX-R1000 WSBK 1:41.296 1.703 0.090
7 22 Alex Lowes Suzuki GSX-R1000 WSBK 1:41.321 1.728 0.025
8 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R WSBK 1:41.335 1.742 0.014
9 60 Michael Vd Mark Honda CBR1000RR WSBK 1:41.437 1.844 0.102
10 1 Sylvain Guintoli Honda CBR1000RR WSBK 1:41.813 2.220 0.376
11 33 Marco Melandri Aprilia ART MotoGP 1:42.006 2.413 0.193
12 39 Luis Salom Pons Kalex Moto2 1:42.923 3.330 0.917
13 95 Anthony West QMMF Speed Up Moto2 1:43.655 4.062 0.732
14 42 Alex Rins Pons Kalex Moto2 Moto2 1:43.757 4.164 0.102
15 16 Jules Cluzel MV Agusta F3 675 WSS 1:43.958 4.365 0.201
16 160 Julian Simon QMMF Speed Up Moto2 1:44.133 4.540 0.175
17 57 Edgar Pons Pons Kalex Moto2 Moto2 1:44.313 4.720 0.180
18 102 Fabio Massei Ducati 1199R STK1000 1:44.633 5.040 0.320
19 2 Leon Camier MV Agusta F4RR WSBK 1:44.905 5.312 0.272
20 26 Lorenzo Zanetti     1:45.283 5.690 0.378
21 103 Tony Covena     1:46.236 6.643 0.953


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Great coverage, and very interesting to see how close the top WSBK riders are to the open bikes. I would never have thought a production based bike could get within 1 second of a MotoGP bike, open class or otherwise.

Very good to see the rapid pace of production bike development. It seems like trickle-down is working as intended judging by the constantly updated superbike offerings from the big manufacturers.

Hmm. How is Baz managing it much better than Melandri, when Baz is 1,6 seconds slower than his teammate and Melandri is 1,4 seconds slower than his teammate? Maybe if Baz's teammate had been Marc Marquez, but Bradl and Bautista are pretty much on the same level as riders, I feel.

Cool that Guintoli is wearing the Number One plate! Personally I don't understand why you would NOT do that as a rider. I mean, you have reached your ultimate goal being world champion, and then you don't want to show it to the world... Maybe I'm old-fashioned or something, but man, would I be proud to be able to put a big huge 1 on my bike for the whole year!

Just too bad of course that the Number One plate is going to be on the not-particularly-brilliant Fireblade now. I still don't understand why Guintoli is not riding one of the two 'semi-official' Red Devils Aprilias next year. Has there been any explanation yet? Did Honda just buy the world champion?

The #1 plate is cool. I also wish riders took this option more often. I've always just figured that riders who passed on the opportunity did so to avoid diluting their "brand" or disrupting merchandise sales.