Following this past weekend’s round three of 2017 World Superbike at Motorland Aragon, the SBK teams remained at the Spanish circuit for a one-day test.Leading Monday’s official WorldSBK test was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, who finished just ahead of Aragon race-one winner and teammate Jonathan Rea. Both riders suffered from sickness and fatigue, but were able to get some serious testing aboard the new ZX-10RR Ninja superbikes shod with Pirelli race rubber.
Sykes put in 70 laps to finish the day with a best lap of 1:49.386, finishing a mere 0.020 of a second ahead of Rea, who put in 42 laps. Both riders spent the day working on chassis and suspension setups.“I did not use a qualifying tire today and that is what makes me happy,” the 2013 WorldSBK Champion Sykes says. “The standard race tires performed incredibly and the bike was working nicely. I am still feeling a bit second hand, although I had a slight improvement today on my stomach problems.“It is amazing how even with such a small improvement I feel night and day better, physically, on the bike today. I did not intend to do that many laps but I was enjoying myself and overall it was a nice test. We made so many small changes to the bike, working hard with Showa, and I am happy with the progress. We are always learning, always improving. Today the track was in great condition and the Ninja ZX-10RR was working really consistently. It puts a bit of a smile on the end of a difficult weekend.”The man who qualified on pole and won race two, Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, was third quickest Monday. he and his teammate Marco Melandri worked on the Panigale R’s electronics, engine setup and chassis.When the test finished, Davies was 0.168 of a second behind the Kawasaki riders, and over a half-second ahead of the next fastest rider, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Michael van der Mark. As for Melandri, the Italian suffered a crash, and was forced to stop testing. He finished 11th overall.Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty improved aboard his RSV4 RF, finishing fifth, 0.938 of a second behind Sykes. Rounding out the top 10 were Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes, Red Bull Honda World Superbike’s Stefan Bradl, Althea BMW Racing’s Jordi Torries, Bradl’s teammate Nicky Hayden, and Barni Racing Team Ducati’s Xavi Fores.As for the sole MV Agusta F4 pilot, Leon Camier put in 73 laps, finishing 13th overall, 1.679 seconds off the pace.The SBK teams will participate April 17-18 in another test at Portimao, Portugal, ahead of round four in Assen April 28-30.
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.