PORTIMAO, Portugal – The two-day official World Superbike test drew to a close Tuesday at Portimao’s Autodromo International do Algarve with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) the quickest rider thanks to his 1:42.719s lap time set in the morning.
The reigning champion and his teammate Loris Baz mainly focused on fine-tuning their ZX-10R as well as testing new items, while KRT EVO peer David Salom tried out new parts developed for what will be next year’s Kawasaki machine.
“It was a useful test,” Sykes said. “In the first day the track was not in perfect conditions but we managed to make some progress with the ZX-10R anyway. We started the second day a bit late, we had still some items to try but we had not enough time. Anyway we tried different geometries and improved the overall feeling on the bike. We could make changes that were impossible to do during the race weekends.
“The lap times were not our biggest concern but it is always nice to finish on top. Now I am going to enjoy the summer break back in the UK and hopefully sort out my hand/wrist problem. I feel we have the right package to be competitive in the final part of the season.”
Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli had the chance to evaluate a range of things that were left to be tested from earlier on in the season, but their on track duties were affected by crashes, fortunately with no major injuries.
The Italian rider, who had a high speed fall Monday, was able to return to action Tuesday and made for the time lost on the first day by completing 75 laps. Guintoli’s test was brought to an early end Tuesday in the final minutes of the morning’s session, as the rear of his RSV4 Factory came around throwing him to the ground. Despite no major consequences, Guintoli chose not to return to the track after being checked by the medical staff.
The Ducati Superbike Team concentrated their efforts on practicing starts with both Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, also testing previously developed solutions that the team could not try out during the racing weekends completed so far.
After missing the last round at Laguna Seca due to the injuries sustained one week before at Portimao, Claudio Corti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) proved to be back on form by lapping the Portuguese track 93 times over the course of the two days.
EVO riders Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) made good use of the track time available to further gel with their EVO ZX-10R machines.
All riders also had the chance to try new development compounds brought by the SBK Official Tire Supplier Pirelli, designed to increase tire performance and durability in the hottest rounds of the season, starting from next year’s opener at Phillip Island.
The World Superbike riders will now enjoy a six-week summer break before the 10th round of the season, which takes place on September 7-9 at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Overall Test Times
1.Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:42.719 (160.936km/h)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1:42.954
3. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:43.110
4. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1:43.315
5. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1:43.592
6. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1:43.742
7. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta) 1:44.485
8. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1:44.487
9. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1:44.924
10. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1:45.109
–From the World SBK Press Office