he reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion fended off a resurgent Loris Baz, who is back at the front of WorldSBK
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is edging ever-closer as the final test of 2019 is all done and dusted. New motorcycles, team changes and rookie and returning riders made headlines across the two days at the Circuito de Jerez, which took place in more-or-less untroubled conditions. Despite a handful of red flags, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who topped the timesheets, whilst closely behind were Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Having just been pipped for top slot at lunch time, the KRT squad were back on top come the end of the test, as Jonathan Rea was the first rider into the 1’38s. The time, which is under Alvaro Bautista’s race lap record from last year, slotted him nicely at the top whilst teammate Alex Lowes completed day two of the test in fourth place. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) enjoyed a successful comeback to WorldSBK and finished just outside the top ten in 11th, as he continued to become more accustomed to the bike. Aboard the Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki, Lorenzo Savadori finished 15th and began to get used to Showa suspension.

Yamaha were once again leading the charge to Kawasaki, although this time it was Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) who was second. The Frenchman bolted up to the top just after lunch but was pegged back by the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion. Eager to improve the feeling on fresh rubber whilst the bike works a treat on old tyres, Baz is back at the forefront of WorldSBK.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) suffered a mechanical problem which resulted in an oil leak and subsequent crash at Turn 1, bring out the red flags. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) also crashed on oil. Van der Mark finished in third overall, just 0.007 from Baz. Having been inside the top four for most of the day, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) finished seventh, refining his feeling with Ohlins suspension, as he’d not used it before. On the 2020 R1, Niccolò Canepa was eighth. GRT Yamaha’s top rider was Federico Caricasulo in 13th, whilst Garrett Gerloff was 14th.

WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was the leading Ducati Panigale V4 R rider in fifth, as the British rider continued his understanding of the team and bike in WorldSBK-spec. Redding has pleased the entire team at ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati with his quick adaptation, adding to the positive mood inside the box. The focus for the team on a whole was the balance of the bike and to try some new parts on the rear end. For Chaz Davies, the Welshman finished in ninth and was over 1.5s behind Jonathan Rea. BARNI Ducati’s Michele Pirro was in 12th place.

The best of the BMWs was once again Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), as the British rider continued his progress and used all of his famed development skills in order to get the bike to his liking. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion leapt up to sixth in the final ten minutes of action, making it three British riders inside the top five. New teammate and former WorldSBK title rival Eugene Laverty was quietly going about his business, as he finished in tenth place on his return to the Shaun Muir Racing fold.

The next test for the WorldSBK circus will take place back at the Jerez circuit before moving immediately on to Portimao, from the 21st to the 26th January. Until then, riders and team personnel will be looking forward to relaxing over the festive periods! WorldSBK Jerez Test Day Two Unofficial Times:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’38.397 – 61 laps
2. Loris Baz (Ten Kate – Yamaha) 1’39.280 (+0.883) – 83 laps
3. Michael van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.287 (+0.890) – 79 laps
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’39.400 (+1.003) – 79 laps
5. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’39.466 (+1.069) – 70 laps
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’39.587 (+1.190) – 65 laps
7. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.634 (+1.237) – 72 laps
8. Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.967 (+1.570) – 57 laps
9. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’40.000 (+1.603) – 77 laps
10. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team 1’40.328 (+1.931) – 65 laps

Tekst WorldSBK press office.
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WorldSBK and WorldSSP riders complete a first busy day of testing in scorching Portuguese weather

Clear skies and warm temperatures welcomed the WorldSBK riders to Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao for their first day of Official WorldSBK Testing in Portugal. Eager to return into action after six weeks of summer break, riders went out on track early this morning and worked closely with their teams all day.

Continuing with his positive trend, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) ended Day 1 on top after setting the fastest lap time in 1’41.897 this morning before temperature soared to 48 degrees in the afternoon. Still hunting his first WorldSBK win, the Turkish rider had a busy day testing new items for his ZX-10RR and working on his weak points in preparation for the upcoming race weekend at the same venue.

Reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorlSBK) closed as second fastest, only 0.159 s behind Razgatlioglu. The Northern Irishman had a specific test program for the day as he aims to improve his overall package over the two days. Completing the top ten, teammate Leon Haslam finished tenth while he spent the day not focusing on the lap times but only on testing new parts for different areas of his bike from chassis, suspensions to engine and electronics.

Behind the two Kawasaki bikes of Razgatlioglu and Rea, Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing Ducati Team) set the third fastest lap time in 1’42.087. Despite still not having entirely recuperated from the shoulder injury sustained in the U.S. the Spaniard didn’t hold back and was the rider who completed the most number of laps around Portimao today. For Bautista, it was important to do as many kilometres as possible at the roller coaster racetrack where he returned today after the first time back in January.

Fresh off the back of his race win at Laguna Seca, teammate Chaz Davies also returned to the tarmac eager to make further progress with his V4R. The British rider was the third-fastest Ducati rider on track finishing eighth overall, while BARNI Racing Team Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi was sixth and the other Panigale V4 R of Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) thirteenth.

Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had a tough day as he crashed out in both sessions losing precious time for his busy test schedule. Despite that, the British rider was able to secure the fourth-fastest time, while his teammate Markus Reiterberger, who also had a few items to test, ended fourteenth overall.

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team duo Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, respectively fifth and seventh, worked on improving their bikes stability, testing some new components for the rear of their bikes. After the positive feedback received from their morning sessions, they continued to work closely to improve their packages for the rest of the season.  The geometry of the bike was also one of the main points on the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team list, as both Cortese (9th), and Melandri (15th) worked on it during the two sessions.

Moriwaki Althea Honda Team arrived at Portimao with an all-Japanese line up as Takumi Takahashi replaces Leon Camier, who is still recovering from his shoulder injury. The Japanese rider closed 17th ahead of his teammate Kiyonari.

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he Italian action gear company will be Event Main Sponsor for the second time this year
ACERBIS and Dorna WSBK Organization are delighted to announce that the partnership continues, as the Italian sports’ company will be Event Main Sponsor for a second time this year. Following the fruitful collaboration at the ACERBIS Spanish Round back in June, the company will now be naming also the Portuguese Round, from 6th-8th September 2019 at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao.

The ACERBIS Portuguese Round will see the World Superbike Championship reaching a pivotal moment. With four rounds remaining, this is the time when championships could be won or lost. Moreover, the Portuguese Round will signal the beginning of the final part of the 2019 WorldSBK season after a long summer break briefly interrupted this week for a two-day official test at the same venue.

With preparation for the ACERBIS Portuguese Round beginning already this week, WorldSBK fans can be sure to be treated to another outstanding WorldSBK Round in September. Riders will be keen to perform their best battles on the ups and downs of the rollercoaster style racetrack, returning to racing after nearly a month and a half.

ACERBIS, a longtime partner of the championship, will enrich the action-packed weekend offering loads of off-track entertainment. Since 1973, the Italian based company is committed to producing high-quality and innovative sports gear, and it is a renowned brand in the world of action sports. ACERBIS’ values well mirror the essence of the championship and the true nature of WorldSBK, and by supporting the Portuguese Round, they will benefit once again of the global exposure guaranteed by the series.
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The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders are ready to fire up on all cylinders after their well-deserved summer break with a two-day test in Portugal, this Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th at the Algarve International Circuit of Portimao. The 4.5-kilometre rollercoaster will get the ball rolling for the final chunk of the season, firstly with this official test featuring riders from the WorldSBK and WorldSSP series, before racing resumes with all three categories on September 6th at the Portuguese Round.

The season so far has gifted us no small share of twists and turns, most notably the complete overhaul of the championship standings that happened between the months of June and July. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) approached Race 2 at Jerez with a desperate 61-point deficit to Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), but flash forward to the conclusion of Laguna Seca’s triple encounter, and suddenly the four-time champion finds himself 81 points ahead.

Consistency has been key to Rea’s latest turnaround, particularly the absence of no-scores on his scorecard (compared to Bautista’s five). And it could hardly come at a better time for the Northern Irishman, as up next he faces a racetrack where he remains undefeated since joining Kawasaki in 2015.
Bautista, on the other hand, is yet to race at Portimao. With two more unfamiliar tracks to follow (Magny-Cours and San Juan) and no more official tests on the horizon, the Spaniard will have this weekend pencilled in as the key date to assess his remaining championship aspirations. If he can prove himself to be a quick learner – yet again – they may be higher than some expect.

Outside of the front two, several riders will be looking to continue pushing the boundaries on their machines after recent performances, most notably the two frontrunners’ teammates. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the standout highlight of the Geico US Round, scoring his first victory in 15 months; something which Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) will hope to achieve before the year’s end to fully consolidate his successful return to the paddock.
The man he replaced in KRT, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), has been improving in leaps and bounds in recent times on the S1000 RR, including the German marque’s first pole position and podiums in six years. With the bike still at such an early stage in its development cycle, testing remains vital for both him and Markus Reiterberger… And also Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven), who will surely be keeping tabs on his future bike, while he prepares for his final rounds on the Ducati V4 R.

Tekst en Foto copyricht World SBK.

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