Jerez World Superbike Test, Day 1: Sykes Fastest, Hayden Impresses, Krummenacher Makes Strong Debut

Tom Sykes was the fastest man after the first day of the group test for World Superbike series, lapping well under the race lap record set by teammate Jonathan Rea here last September. The Kawasaki riders showed that the ZX-10R is already an extremely competitive machine, needing only some minor fettling to get it ready for 2016.

Chaz Davies took second place, just over a tenth behind Rea, the Ducati man benefiting from a couple of days test at Portimao last week, and already up to speed. Davies ended over a tenth ahead of reigning world champion Jonathan Rea, the second Kawasaki man nearly a third of a second off the pace of his teammate. Nicky Hayden showed he is making the transition to the World Superbike series extremely well, not far off the pace of Rea and even heading the timesheets at one point. Hayden and Ten Kate Honda teammate Michael van der Mark put in a lot of laps on Tuesday, and were out early on when the track was still drying.

Alex Lowes was fifth fastest on the Yamaha YZF-R1, despite still lacking strength in his shoulder from a crash at the end of last year. The Pata Yamaha team still have plenty of work to do, but the pace of the new Yamaha is already promising. Teammate Sylvain Guintoli was not quite so fast, ending the day in 9th.

Davide Giugliano is another rider returning from injury, but Giugliano's recovery period has been much longer. The factory Ducati rider is still regaining fitness after fracturing vertebrae last year, so posting the sixth fastest time was a positive start.

In the World Supersport class, Kenan Sofuoglu made a strong start, the Kawasaki man fastest once again on the ZX-6R. His teammate Randy Krummenacher, freshly switched from the Moto2 paddock, made a very strong impression, finishing under two tenths off the pace of the four-time World Supersport champion.

Times after the first day of testing:

World Superbike
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:40.882    
2 7 Chaz Davies Ducati 1199R 1:41.041 0.159 0.159
3 65 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:41.210 0.328 0.169
4 69 Nicky Hayden Honda CBR1000RR 1:41.371 0.489 0.161
5 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF-R1 1:41.505 0.623 0.134
6 34 Davide Giugliano Ducati 1199R 1:41.792 0.910 0.287
7 60 Michael van der Mark Honda CBR1000RR 1:41.891 1.009 0.099
8 12 Xavi Fores Ducati 1199R 1:41.900 1.018 0.009
9 50 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha YZF-R1 1:42.165 1.283 0.265
10 2 Leon Camier MV Agusta F4 1:42.896 2.014 0.731
11 20 Sylvain Barrier Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:43.836 2.954 0.940
12 25 Josh Brookes BMW S1000RR 1:43.923 3.041 0.087
13 17 Karel Abraham BMW S1000RR 1:45.462 4.580 1.539
14 11 Saeed Al Sulaiti Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:47.211 6.329 1.749
World Supersport
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 1 Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki ZX-6R 1:44.059    
2 21 Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki ZX-6R 1:44.232 0.173 0.173
3 87 Lorenzo Zanetti MV Agusta F3 1:44.806 0.747 0.574
4 55 Ilya Mihalchick Kawasaki ZX-6R 1:45.810 1.751 1.004
5 16 Jules Cluzel MV Agusta F3 1:47.519 3.460 1.709
6 10 Nacho Calero Kawasaki ZX-6R 1:47.874 3.815 0.355
7 63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin Kawasaki ZX-6R 1:49.847 5.788 1.973
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 77 James Ellison Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:43.808    
2 160 Peter Hickman Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:44.679 0.871 0.871
STK 1000
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 36 Tati Mercado Ducati 1199R 1:43.747    
2 112 Mike Rinaldi Ducati 1199R 1:44.157 0.410 0.410
3 111 Jeremy Guarnoni Yamaha YZF-R1 1:44.229 0.482 0.072
4 23 Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:44.731 0.984 0.502


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Go Nicky! Hayden, Rea, Sykes, the new R1... WSBK is looking good this year.

I agree wholeheartedly w "the fellas" on the recent podcast re how ideal the situation is for Nicky - year w lower pressure and comfy sorted bike followed by a new (likely very competitive) Honda. It won't be long before we are hearing about the next CBR's electronics package and big power numbers. Nicky is a great Superbike rider and has plenty of racing left in him.

Mr Lowes is having a good arrival too! Welcome back Giugliano.

Great stuff bubbling up indeedy. Here comes 2016 friends...

If he hadn't wasted two years on the stupid Honda production GP bike he'd be sitting on Chaz's bike now. He always went well on a big twin. Until the consistent rumors of a new Honda turn into an actual physical bike someone can sit on I'm not a believer. When was the last time Honda put out a bike that was uncompromisingly fast?

No surprise about the top three (though of course the order in which they appear changes) but it's good to see Nicky competitive so early. I'd like to see the new Yamaha doing better but let's hope that comes with time and development.

Between all these developments and the continuing soap opera in MotoGp I'm really looking forward to WSBK this year.

On his first hit-out with the BMW, I'd expect him to get quicker. Interesting that ex-MotoGP rider, and team-mate Karel Abraham is 1.5 seconds off Brookes pace. Would be nice to see a competitive Aussie back in WSBK....the two Troy's already seem a long time ago

But I think there are a number of very good reasons to be excited about WSBK this year

Looks like a fantastic year to be a bike racing fan :)


Sykes topping timesheets. He seems dead set on maintaining that momentum from last year. Rea coming in and laying out the field last year on the same bike lit a fire under him to put things back to rights for himself in the team hierarchy. It may be a much harder task for Rea this year. Glad to see Chaz Davies in second speedwise. I have been a fan of his since the AMA days. Hard worker, he seems to earn every last bit of speed he gets where some, (teammate), may have more natural speed but not able to maintain the consistency needed to show that talent to the world.

Finally, Nicky Hayden.... I had been hoping for him to move over to World SBK for the longest. He has been one of the most unloved riders...World Champion that I have ever seen. If I were in illegal business this would be a man I wanted by my side. This dude has proven over and over again when done dirty by Honda, thrown away by Ducati that he is nothing but class. Never snitches on the OBVIOUS issues with bikes or team. He deserves an award for that alone. So glad to see him in with a strong chance to do something title wise.

Sykes at the head of the time sheets makes me feel like he has a deep down determination to make sure he is #1 on the team this year. Rea is not far behind but I think this year is going to be a Bar to bar with those two. Glad to see Chaz in second. That man seems to use all his own talent and dig up more for practices, qualifying, and definitely races. Glad to see him up there.

Nicky Hayden. Been hoping to see him in World SBK for a looonngg time. So far it is looking really positive.

is quite refreshing with the major interest being actually focused on the rideres and the performance of the bikes. Unlike The MotoGP soap opera where it seems lately that the Machiavellian machinations consume the majority of the interest and energy of all concerned. I am particularly pleased that Nicky Hayden seems to be getting up to speed very quickly. It would be no surprise to learn that Nicky was fed up with just riding around in the back of the pack without any real chance for finishes at the sharp end of the field.

Of course, it may be a bit of my American bias that I want to see an American do well in road racing. God knows, it’s been so long since we’ve had a competitive rider in either superbike or Moto GP. My personal biases will show here but I am laying a lot of blame on the lack of Americans in world level racing at the foot of the Daytona motor group, which, in my opinion was a total disaster for American Road racing. Instead of trying to align the American classes with the rest of the world they went off on their own direction as you might expect the NASCAR-based boys to do. I don’t even watch NASCAR. I consider it very unfortunate that driving around in a circle endlessly is actually considered racing. I also don't watch American football and concentrate on real football as it is played in the rest of the world, also known as soccer here in the colonies.

I admit to some trepidation about Nicky being stuck on a Honda that was to the superbike field as his Moto GP Honda was to the real contenders in that series.

Well it looks like I just might have been wrong, which I would be happy to own up to. When I lived in Monterey world superbike was a great series during the time that Moto GP was on a hiatus. Maybe I would even go to the race when it hits the US soil. Thanks again for a usual well-written and stated article. I had hoped that a Aprilia was going to be ready to be a 5th real contender in a Moto GP grid, but it looks like that might have to wait until next year when they will show up along with Ktm, both of whom should be very interesting.

2016 is going to be "berry intewesting" as an american cartoon character inthe Bugs bunny series, ELmer Fudd used to say. Tires and electronics are big changes, as you have been saying. I can't wait to see which riders will adapt best and fastest. All the latest brakers may find thenselves on the floor often, if testing proves true. As I learned in my fairly short and not very illustrious club roadracing efforts, smooth rules and smooth is faster. I also like teh fact that the black art of electronics, in which I have made my living for teh last 12 years, is coming out of the shadows. To quote a line from Star Wars. Sensors and electronics are used in etermining when there is a "distrurbance in the force" sufficient to take action. Easily said, hard to put into effect well.

Cheers to all!

I wonder how eager people are to leave AMA and go to the world stage though. Spies was certainly eager and shined. Mladin could've went but never did. I never understood why Josh Hayes never stepped up other than a few wild card appearances which he did fantastic with. A number of American riders had to the potential to go be competitive yet they stayed put. Anyone know why Hayes never made it out? Haydens brothers seemed content staying state side as well.

But remember, he first has to beat his teammate... A certain rising star called Michael vd Mark... who recently had a surgery and is still recovering. If the Blade is getting better, be sure vd Mark will be up front. He's already proven he's capable.