Kawasaki’s Sykes Quickest in Jerez World Superbike Testing

Kawasaki Racing's Tom Sykes

Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes

World Superbike Preseason Testing

The reigning World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes was quickly back to his ways during two days of World Superbike testing at Jerez Circuit in Spain. When the test wrapped up Thursday, the Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja pilot led the grid.

Conditions were tricky throughout the World SBK test. Wednesday’s test session was held under wet conditions, though the track dried out towards the end of the day, allowing for some positive testing. Conditions were sunny on Thursday, but high winds slowed progress towards the end of the day.

Participating in the WSBK test were the following: factory Kawasaki trio of Sykes, Baz and Davide Salom (EVO) to Pata Honda duo of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam and Aprilia Racing Team riders Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. WSBK rookies Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) and Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), both to race in the EVO class, were also up to speed.

Sykes and Baz worked on small adjustments aboard their perspective ZX-10R Ninja superbikes. Sykes topped the time sheets with a 1:42.1, and Baz trailed 0.2 of a second back.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Ninja) says: “Overall we got some good work done even though the weather was wet and inconsistent. We found some small but good things at this test. The set-up changes we have made in the winter have improved our performance in the kind of windy conditions we had today. The small changes we made in the balance of the bike this winter have helped with the front end feeling.

“Both the bike and I are ready to go racing and I am looking forward to being in Australia this time next week. We still have two good testing days ahead of us shortly before the race weekend and there we can really just put to bed our last remaining few items. We will be fully ready for race weekend. The atmosphere and environment in our team is very calm and we are looking forward to see how we can start the season.”

Aprilia Racing's Marco Melandri

Aprilia Racing’s Marco Melandri

Though Melandri suffered a crash Wednesday, he was able to familiarize himself with the Aprilia RSV4, focusing on the bike’s electronics. Melandri finished 0.1 of a second behind Baz, as did Honda CBR1000RR pilot Jonathan Rea, who also worked on electronics.

As for Melandri’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli continued to familiarize himself with the RSV4. This was the first time the Frenchman rode since undergoing double surgery on his right shoulder, which was injured in mid 2013. Guintoli hadn’t ridden since the final race of 2013, which was held at Jerez.

When the test wrapped up, Guintoli was 0.4 of a second off Sykes’ time.

2014 Jerez World Superbike Testing Unofficial times:

  1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’42.1
  2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’42.3
  3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) 1’42.4
  4. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) 1’42.4
  5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) 1’42.5
  6. Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki – EVO) 1’43.5
  7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) 1’43.7
  8. David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team – EVO) 1’44.1
  9. Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki – EVO) 1’44.5

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