Following the global launch of Yamaha Racing’s 2016 Program last week in Barcelona, Pata Yamaha Official World Superbike Team is wasting no time in getting to work with two back-to-back tests. One already wrapped up at Portimão, and the second is set this week for Jerez.As you may remember, Alex Lowes was involved in a high-speed accident during testing at Circuito de Jerez, in Spain, last November. Fortunately, Lowes has recovered well and was eager to reunite with the YZF-R1 at Portugal’s Portugal’s rollercoaster Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on Friday, January 22.
Located less than 13 miles above the coastal resort of Portimão, the 2.85-mile complex layout is one his teammate Sylvain Guintoli is intimately familiar with, having five World SBK podiums under his belt there. The Frenchman is looking forward to testing his new Yamaha machinery against a very challenging course.The Crescent-run team spent two days at the rider-favored Portimão (the only time the championship will attend the track in 2016, as it no longer features on the World SBK race calendar) before returning to the 2.75-mile Andalucían circuit outside Jerez de la Frontera, where a further two days of track-time await the riders on January 26-27.Both Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli shared some words following the Portimao tests:Alex Lowes says: “It has been nice to get out on the bike, especially after a difficult winter, and we’ve started to really work. We’ve had a lot of new parts to test but our main focus has been electronics and trying to find a good chassis setting that suits me. My shoulder was ok-ish!“It was a little better yesterday than today, but I’m hoping a couple of days rest will do it good and I’ll be able to ride more properly in Jerez. Thanks to the team, there were some areas that I struggled with the last time I rode the YZF-R1 which were much better this time, so they have worked really hard over the winter, so thanks to them for that! We have had a few hurdles, but it was good, I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to getting to Jerez and continuing to work hard.”Sylvain Guintoli says: “It’s been a good test so far, with a lot of new parts and a detailed program to work through. It has been an interesting couple of days and it’s great to be able to try the new parts both at Portimão and Jerez, with such different track characteristics.“Yesterday was quite damp in the morning and the work we have been doing has been quite in-depth, with a lot of time spent configuring and changing parts and settings, so we haven’t concentrated on lap times or lap numbers, but the information and progress has been good. The new swing arm and forks have been positive, so we will now continue to work on the settings to get the best from these, with more focus on progressing the electronics when we get to Spain.”For more, visit our World Superbike coverage.
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.