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Aug 24, 2018

World Superbike: Jonathan Rea Quickest During Two-Day Test In Portugal

Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

Motul FIM Superbike World Championship

Autodromo do Algarve

Portimao, Portugal

August 24, 2018

Combined Test Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kawasaki), 1:41.192

2. Alex Lowes, UK (Yamaha), 1:42.140, crashed twice

3. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yamaha), 1:42.182

4. Marco Melandri, Italy (Ducati), 1:42.254

5. Chaz Davies, UK (Ducati), 1:42.564

6. Xavi Fores, Spain (Ducati), 1:42.709

7. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Aprilia), 1:42.713

8. Leon Camier, UK (Honda), 1:42.718

9. Jordi Torres, Spain (MV Agusta), 1:42.800

10. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Ducati), 1:42.862

11. Eugene Laverty, UK (Aprilia), 1:43.112

12. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kawasaki), 1:43.299

13. Jake Gagne, USA (Honda), 1:43.361

14. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kawasaki), 1:43.529

15. Roman Ramos, Spain (Kawasaki), 1:44.572

16. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Kawasaki), 1:44.774, crash

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Scorching conditions see Rea end test with scorching pace

Official two day test concludes in Portugal with familiar order

First out of the blocks once more and top of the timing screens once again, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) wasted no time on day two of the Official Portimao Test, as he finished almost a second quicker than the rest of the field as track temperatures soared once again. Beating the lap record with a time of 1.41.192, the reigning world champion means business on his ZX-10RR.

It was a stronger day two for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, as Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark completed the top three, putting in over 250 laps between them across the two days. Lowes, who suffered from two crashes in this test, ended the day in second with a time of 1.42.140 as he worked on the new tyre from Pirelli, with the rest of the season in mind. Whilst van der Mark, who was on the same programme as his team-mate finished in third position, his time a 1.42.182. Working on this season and 2019, it was a productive two days in Portugal for the 2017 race winners.

Thursday’s fastest man Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) took a top four finish in the test, ending with a time of 1.42.254 and putting in the more laps than any other rider. Preparing for the final four rounds with the Ducati Panigale R, Melandri and team-mate Davies were working on the set-up for the Pirelli tyres on the final day. Putting in short stints and taking advantage of the stifling conditions in the afternoon, the duo worked hard to end fourth and fifth.

Fellow Ducati riders Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) put in two solid days of testing on their Panigale R’s, ending sixth and 10th respectively. Fores has been working with an illness, so had a tough two days out on track and was putting in the laps to improvevtheir Superpole pace throughout the morning. Rinaldi was working alongside the factory team, putting in shorter stints with the Pirelli tyres.

Italian Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) found an improvement on his opening day pace and ended in the top seven, as he was riding with the bigger tyre provided by Pirelli. His improvement of 1.42.713 after completing over 140 laps puts him in a more stable condition for the race here in September. Whilst Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) completed 146 laps and ended in 11th position, with the Irish rider having a tough test around the rollercoaster circuit.

It was a difficult end to the week for Red Bull Honda World Supebike Team, as Leon Camier was forced to cut short his final day due to pain in his back, after sustaining an injury in Suzuka 8 Hour testing. But with the team arriving on Monday for a two day private test, the British rider had put a lot of work in throughout the week on their all new bike, and ended in eighth position overall with a time of 1.42.718; with 74 laps completed. Whilst American team-mate Jake Gagne was going to sit out of the final day to make way for compatriot PJ Jacobsen, but the duo ended the day on track together in 13th and 15th respectively.

Spaniard Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) continues to work with his Italian machine and make steps as he is new to the squad for 2018. Looking at the swingarm, chassis and shockabsorber as well as electronics it was a busy two days for the team, ending in ninth position; his time a 1.42.800.

Riders will now continue with the summer break, ahead of the 10th round of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve from 14th - 16th September.

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:

WorldSBK Test Portimao: good feelings for Barni Racing Team

Portimao (POR), 24th August 2018. Barni Racing Team and his rider Xavi Forés just ended two productive days of test in Portimao, Portugal, which will held next MOTUL FIM WorldSBK round, on stage next 14-16 September. Testing various setting details, and providing feedback both on the front and on the rear Forés and Barni Racing team had a very busy days.

In the first day the Spaniard compared the bike he used in the winter and the bike he raced most recently at Misano. Standing a good pace he set his best time in the morning (1'42.856), being second overall at he end of the day, half a second far from the fastest rider, Marco Melandri. In the afternoon hot temperatures, 35° C in the air and 55°C on the asphalt, made pushing to put in a strong time-attack impossible for all riders.

Weather condition were similar in day 2 too. For this reason Xavi tried to make his best in the morning cutting until the 1'42.709, than he was forced to stop prematurely not only due to the sweltering heat but also due to his physical condition. The Spaniard suffered an hernia on the his neck, but he hope to be at his best for the race weekend.

The Barni Racing Team rider was sixth in the timesheet at the end of the two days with 96 laps completed.

The result of the hard work during the test was positive overall. The Barni Racing Team now is well prepared to face the last part of the season with the last four rounds around the world. Two stops will be in Europe: Algarve International Circuit, Portimão next 14-16 September, than Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, France, two weeks later. For the first time in history MOTUL FIM WorldSBK Championship will lands in Argentina at San Juan Villicum Circuit (12-14 October), to finish in Losail, Qatar (25-27 October).

Marco Barnabò, Principal Manager

"In the first day, till the track conditions were good enough, Xavi set a good pace without struggling too much. Unfortunately in the afternoon temperatures got too high so we worked testing different kind of tyres and we decided to use the bigger tyre both at the front and at the rear. Unfortunately in the second day we were forced to stop earlier because of the injury of our rider, but I think a positive setup was found for the next race weekend, so I’m quite satisfied."

Xavi Forés, #12

"Despite a long summer break I was immediately able to be fast. The feeling with the bike was good and the rhythm got fast enough even with used tyres. I’m not at 100% but I'm not worried about that, the most important things was to have a good sensations with the red machine, and I had."

More, from a press release issued by Racing Ducati:

The Racing - Ducati team successfully concludes a two-day collective test at Portimão

Ahead of its return to the track next month, the Racing - Ducati team concluded a two-day collective test at Autodromo do Algarve in Portimão (Portugal). With some chassis and setup upgrades to evaluate, as well as several new tyre options brought by Pirelli, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri took advantage of the time on track to also prepare the upcoming race on the Portuguese track, scheduled for September 14-16.

Melandri, who led the time sheets in the opening day, finished the tests in 4th position overall with 158 laps under his belt, the best of which in 1:42.254. Davies, who suffered a collarbone fracture about a month ago, proved to be in strong physical conditions to clock 119 laps and placed himself in 5th position with a personal best of 1:42.564.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi also enjoyed a chance to get acquainted with the Portimão track onboard the Panigale R of the Racing - Junior Team, showing steady improvements in between the two sessions and posting a 1:42.862 to finish in 10th position. The Racing - Ducati team and the Racing - Junior Team will resume action on September 14 at Portimão for the 10th round of the WorldSBK Championship.

Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:42.254 (4th)

"The test went well. Last year we struggled on this track due to the bumpy tarmac, but I have to say they did a good job, especially in fast corners. The conditions were still tricky though, especially in the afternoon when the temperatures rise and the wind blows stronger. We had some interesting things to try, and lots of new tires with different measurements, so we had a comprehensive program to follow. We progressively improved our performance, focusing on fine-tuning the setup for the race, while we still need to improve with a qualifying tire. Our pace was more consistent today, and we're all pretty close at the top in this regard."

Chaz Davies ( Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:42.564 (5th)

"I'm pretty happy, we got an overall idea of a base setup for the race and we also tried some components which give us a better understanding of where we're at. I didn't want to push it too much and overstep the mark, and I also didn't use a qualifying tyre, in contrast to the riders in front of us. We focused on different upgrades in terms of brakes, suspension, and electronics. Obviously the shoulder was also something important to test, I wanted to check the collarbone under braking, which doesn't get much harder than at turn 1 here, and I didn't feel any pain so I'm very happy."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing - Junior Team #21) – 1:42.862 (10th)

"This test was very useful. Given that it's been a while since the last time we rode, on the first day I had to reacquaint myself with the Panigale R. Today, on the other hand, we tried to go for a quick lap time in the morning with a cooler tarmac, then we focused on the race setup but we still improved the lap time towards with a race tire and 50 degrees on the tarmac. I'm very happy, we did a good job and we're not far from Chaz and Marco, even though our pace can still be better."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea And KRT On Top After Portimao Test

Jonathan Rea proved to be the fastest rider after two days of testing at Portimao, having secured the quickest lap time of 1’41.192 on his Ninja ZX-10RR. Rea rode on his own inside the official Kawasaki WorldSBK team at this test after his fellow KRT rider Tom Sykes was forced to withdraw due to a recent ankle injury.

Under varying track conditions across both days, from the relative cool of the morning to over 50°C in the afternoon, Rea and his crew worked on both preparations for the forthcoming race at Portimao and new set-up ideas and options for the future.

The team also worked with new Pirelli tyres, with both the larger diameter rear and front options, to help continue the overall development programme with WorldSBK’s single tyre supplier.

Rea’s sheer speed was unmatched at this official test, with the three-time champion going 0.948 seconds faster than the second-placed rider. He also went under both the Superpole and race lap record lap times.

With the mid-season testing programme now complete the tenth round of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place between the 14th and 16th of September. Rea will be aiming to extend his already impressive championship lead. Tom Sykes is working to be fit in time to compete at Portimao.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was super-hot at this test but we were able to finish with a good lap time and still put in a consistent level of pace even in hot conditions. It was 53°C on track yesterday and the air temperatures was in the mid 30s. It was good to get re-acquainted with this bike after riding in the Suzuka 8-hour race in Japan. We did not get as many laps in yesterday as we did today, as we made a big change in the middle of the session. We tried some chassis balance items, to create more stability when entering corners. We started at 9am this morning, when they opened the track, and we also got through some Pirelli tyres that we had to test. We finished all the work we had to do before the end of the sessions. The finer set-up details for a race weekend can always be dependent on the grip levels of the track, so we will do that when we come back here for the next round.”

Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea’s Crew Chief, stated: “This was a very good test for us. Maybe it sounds like we always say that, but it is true. Even though Johnny came here from the Suzuka 8-Hour race, where he was using a different spec of bike and tyres, he jumped straight onto his WorldSBK bike and right away he was very good. In Portimao he is always very fast as he really likes this track. Pirelli brought some rear tyre options, and we also worked with new big front tyre we used in Misano. In addition, we worked to understand our best set-up for the Portimao race weekend, some new set-ups for this year’s championship and for 2019. There were some upgrades that made us go forward and Johnny showed that he is at a very high level also.”

Other KME-supported teams were in attendance at the Portimao test, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 12th fastest, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Racing Kawasaki) 14th, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 16th and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 17th.

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