The third and final day of private testing for eni FIM Superbike World Championship teams at Jerez was held under mixed and changeable weather conditions on Wednesday.
Unlike the previous two days, all riders taking part in the test couldn’t make the most out the time available to them and were forced back in the pits for long periods. The track conditions improved during the afternoon, before another rain shower washed over the circuit. Most of the teams then utilized the remaining time for wet practice and were able to complete their scheduled work programmes.
The fastest rider of the day was Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) with a lap time of 1:42.118, ahead of Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike).
The second day of private testing at the Jerez circuit was held under good conditions and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was the fastest rider of the day and the test overall (1:40.166), with Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Rea able to elevate themselves to second and third respectively – ahead of Giugliano’s team mate Chaz Davies.
Frenchman Baz was the only one able to keep the pace of the Italian rider, as both lapped considerably quicker than the current best lap of the circuit (set last year by Eugene Laverty).
“We started the first day with the track that was hard to recognize” said Giugliano. “The conditions were quite difficult but some hard work allowed us to improve the bike settings. Our lap times were already competitive during the first session, we tried new stuff and compared old and new setups.”
On Tuesday Giugliano got up to speed and was able to set his time on qualifying tires: “We were quick, but the best news is that we managed to lap consistently in the 1’41.0s with race tires.
“We needed to make the most of the time available,” he continued, “because this track suits the Ducatis quite well. I focused on getting the best feeling aboard the bike and worked mainly on chassis and electronics. We have been testing at Jerez several times during the winter, so if we’ll manage to be nearly as fast as we are here on other tracks, we will do great things.”
As well as completing work on the never-ending development programme of the official Ninja ZX-10R, in both full Superbike and EVO specifications, Kawasaki Racing Team riders Baz, Tom Sykes and David Salom also evaluated some new tires from championship sole supplier Pirelli.
“We did our riding on the first two days really and we did nearly everything we had to do, so we did not need to ride yesterday [Wednesday],” Baz explained. “The weather was too changeable for most of the time. The feeling on the second day was really good and we managed to do some good lap times and finished second fastest of all. I lost a little bit on each of my fastest laps on Tuesday or I could have gone a bit faster. I did a 1’41.1 lap with a race tire, so I am really happy with this test.
“We have a few ideas where we can improve again. We lost a little bit in the fast corners and we gained a lot in the slower corners, but I am sure we can find a good mix of both those things for the next race in Aragon. [April 11-13].”
Both Pata Honda riders, Rea and Leon Haslam, were happy with the progress that has been made by the team on their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines.
With the help of Italian test rider Michele Magnoni, the British pair used the Jerez test to try a variety of different chassis settings and components, as well as refining the traction control and engine braking on their CBRs.
“We’re still a little bit away from outright domination and probably have some more work to do to get on the podium here, but overall I’m quite happy with the progress we’ve made,” Rea said. “The traction control is now working pretty well, although there’s still a bit more work needed on engine braking. We’ve definitely made some steps forward though.
“The weather’s been a little up and down – today was wet and the second day was quite windy. We tested some new Pirelli qualifiers and I was quite fast, but we need more ultimate pace on race tires. I’m OK when they’re old and a bit worn, but need a little more from the new tire. We also tested a heap of different chassis settings on the first day.”
Unofficial Top Testing Times
1.Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) – 1’40.166
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) – 1’40.283
3. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) – 1’40.731
4. Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) – 1’40.745
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) – 1’41.192
6. Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) – 1’41.201
7. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) – 1’41.377
8. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) – 1’41.453
9. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) – 1’41.545
10. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) – 1’41.821
11. David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) – 1’43.642