2015 Private Aragon Superbike TestingTwo days of private World Superbike testing at Motorland Aragon in Spain concluded Tuesday for the Kawasaki Racing and Pata Honda teams, but the outcome was anything but satisfying.
The reason? Two days of rain and track temps that did not rise above 50 degrees F. All riders participated during the inclement conditions except for 2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes.The Brit was able to sit out the test considering he knows the factory ZX-10R Ninja quite well.“We are still in the middle of January and we got dealt this set of cards because of the cold weather, so we will move on from that. It would have been nice to have turned some wheels to try various things but I cannot lose sleep about this because we will be out on the bike at Jerez in a matter of days. We will hopefully try it all then,” Sykes says.It was a different story for Sykes’ teammate Jonathan Rea; the Northern Irishman was out on the circuit on Tuesday when the rain stopped, gathering precious data needed before the season opener next month at Phillip Island, Australia.“To be honest we were not able to get any meaningful performance testing done but we managed to work on some ideas in relation to gear shifting and clutch set-ups for race starts. If I consider the amount of hours I have ridden with the bike it is not a lot so we need to work on our performance at the next test rather than on general set-up. We will work on getting the best out of me and the bike now at the next test in Jerez,” Rea says.Like Rea, most of the participating riders ventured onto the circuit Tuesday when the rains stopped, though the temps were cold.The Pata Honda duo of Champions – 2014 SBK Champ Sylvain Guintoli and 2014 Supersport Champ Michael van der Mark – were out Tuesday, putting in as many laps as possible.Also joining were the Kawasaki Grillini team of Christophe Ponsson and Santiago Barragan, and Team Pedercini’s David Salom ventured out their garages. These three were also the only ones out on the circuit during Monday’s rain.Kawasaki Racing Team, Pata Honda and Team Pedercini will return to the track on January 26-27 at Jerez for the last European pre-season test, while on Wednesday many other squads including the Red Devils Aprilia, the Aruba.it – Ducati Superbike Team and Crescent Suzuki will begin a two-day test at Portimao.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.