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Sep 18, 2017

World Superbike: Jonathan Rea Tops Official Test At Portimao

Jonathan Rea (1) in action Monday at Portimao.

British rider continues his sensational pace in Portugal

12 riders took to the track in the aftermath of the tenth round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, and in a day with minimal distruptions there was some solid progress made. But it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who ended the day on top, 0.398s ahead of the rest of the field.

An overcast day greeted the WorldSBK riders in Portimao, and testing was underway at 9am local time before the red flags were waved following a technical problem for Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) at turn nine in the opening half hour. Once the track was clear, riders were back on track with Althea BMW Racing Team welcoming Michele Fabrizio as their test rider and Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) swung his leg over the Honda once again.

Kawasaki Racing Team were present with only one rider following Tom Sykes’ crash on Saturday, and Rea spent the day working on some chassis set up as well as beginning work on the 2018 ZX-10RR. However this is still a work in progress, and the reigning champion is keen to keep his mind on the next three races – especially as he is yet to win at Jerez and Qatar in WorldSBK. His lap time of 1.42.313 after 53 laps put him up on top at the end of the day.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) had a solid day in Portugal, finishing in second position on the timing screens after a tough weekend. Working on electronics and set up for the remainder of the season, they were also working with some set-up surrounding the Pirelli tyres. His team-mate Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) was in the top three, 0.704s off Rea’s time, which keeps in line with his consistent pace so far in 2017.

European Superstock 1000 rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was out on track on the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing bike in Portugal, and impressed many riders throughout the day. Finishing in the top four, with a lap time of 1.43.429, he was able to get some good mileage out of the ZX-10RR and received praise from Rea.

Circuit ambassador Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) put in the most laps out on track following his most successful weekend since his return to the series. Finishing in fifth position with a lap time of 1.43.257, the Irishman and his team were working on the consistent issue they have with grip. Looking at race pace with used tyres as well as some electronic set-ups, alongside his Italian team-mate Savadori – who finished in eighth - they were also covering some 2018 parts.

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team-mates Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes ended the day in sixth and seventh position as the team focused on testing parts of the bike that they are unable to over a race weekend. Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) suffered a crash at turn nine which caused the session to be red flagged, which was caused by an issue with electronics. He suffered some slight pain but was able to continue throughout the day as he focused on the different Pirelli compounds on offer. Ending in the top ten, Torres’ best lap time was 1'43.602.

See the full results here, as the teams will now back up and head off to the French circuit of Magny-Cours for Round 11 in two weeks time, and you can keep up with all the pre-round action on the WorldSBK VideoPass.

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull Honda WSBK Team:

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team completes constructive test at Portimão

The one-day official test for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship has drawn to a close at Portimão’s Autodromo do Algarve. The Red Bull Honda World Superbike team worked hard with Davide Giugliano, who jumped back on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 after making his debut with the team last month at Lausitzring.

Blessed by yet another perfect day of late summer in the southern coast of Portugal – which was only slightly let down during the last hour by some drizzle – the team progressed the work made with Stefan Bradl last Friday and Saturday at the same track, while evaluating a slightly revised version of the engine, along with some updates to the electronics and a new suspension link. 27-year-old Italian Giugliano completed a good amount of laps around the fast-flowing and undulating Portimão circuit and he is now looking forward to his on-track return in a fortnight’s time at Magny-Cours.

Davide Giugliano 34

It’s been a very busy day for us because, unlike in our original plans, I was obviously the only one on hand for the team for this test. I have raced here before but never with the Fireblade, so I had to spend the first part of the test getting used to riding this bike around the circuit and checking that everything was working well. We then tried several things – mostly with electronics – with some interesting results. It’s good to be back on the bike and this has definitely been a good way to get ready for Magny-Cours.

Ronald ten Kate

Team Manager

Davide had a lot of work to do today. We started with some functional tests to check that everything was ok, then we started implementing some new bits and pieces step by step, because he had to carry out all the work on his own due to Stefan’s absence. We are happy with most of the components we have tested here, but too bad that it started raining towards the end because that’s when we were planning to put everything together and go for a quick lap. It’s been a good test for us and we got some valuable information ahead of the next round.

More, from a press release issued by Althea BMW Racing:

 Althea BMW concludes testing at Portimão

Portimão (Portugal), Monday 18 September 2017

Having concluded the tenth World Superbike round just yesterday, the Althea BMW Racing team was back at the same Autódromo Internacional do Algarve today for a day of official testing.

During the day, and making the most of the mainly dry conditions, rider Jordi Torres completed the planned work together with his technicians, making a total of 70 laps of the Portuguese track. As well as testing some development tyres provided by Pirelli especially for this test, the Italian squad also worked with a new swing-arm, which the Spanish rider deemed an interesting solution.

Torres was today flanked by a special test rider in the shape of Michel Fabrizio. The former SBK rider completed 69 laps over the course of the day and took the opportunity to provide the team with feedback that it is hoped will prove useful for the future development of the BMW.

The team declared itself satisfied with the work completed and now returns to its base in Rome where preparations for the next World Superbike round, set to take place at the French track of Magny-Cours over the weekend of 1 October, will continue.

Jordi Torres:

“This morning we started working on the the tyre testing schedule. Unfortunately I had a small crash at turn 9 though – I didn’t hurt myself but there was some damage to the bike. So I continued with the second bike, testing the tyres and providing our feedback to the Pirelli technicians. We also worked with a different swing-arm, but unfortunately it came on to rain so we didn’t have time to really test it fully. The day hasn’t gone badly, and luckily I came out of the crash unscathed.”

Michel Fabrizio

"It's been a great day, being back on track together with some of my former Superbike rivals after a few years away. I don’t have much mileage under my belt of course but it’s been fun and I thank Genesio for the opportunity. We’ve worked well I think. I’ve done my best to do what I was asked, providing my feedback to the team, info that I hope can be useful to them as they move forward...”

More, from a press release issued by Racing Ducati:

Test concludes at Portimão for the Racing - Ducati team, next stop: Magny Cours

The day after the tenth round of the WorldSBK Championship at Portimão (Portugal) – which resulted in three podiums overall – the Racing - Ducati team resumed action at the Portuguese track for a one-day, official test. The riders evaluated different chassis and electronics’ configurations to move forward with the development of the Panigale R.

Davies and Melandri posted a personal best of 1:42.711 and 1:43.017 respectively. The Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Magny Cours for the eleventh round of the season, scheduled for September 29th - October 1st.

Chaz Davies ( Racing - Ducati #7) 1:42.711

“It was an important test, we zeroed in on what works on this track. We’ve been playing around, going in and out a lot, trying different configurations. We tried a new development rear tyre, but we were cut short by the rain. It would have been nice to get a longer run, but the first sensations were good. We also had a couple of new things to evaluate, which had some positives and negatives, and I think we got a better grasp of where we’re at. We’ll keep what’s positive and bring it to Magny Cours, where we’ll try to take home as many points as possible.”

Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati #33) 1:43.017

“It’s been a long and positive day. We explored new setups, working a lot with the electronics and weight distribution, and collecting important data. We also tried a new development rear tyre, with good feedback, but the rain didn’t allow us to do many laps with it and we couldn’t go for one final time attack. I think we’re heading in the right direction. With each day, we improve our knowledge of the package, and I hope this will help us to anticipate potential issues from now until the end of the season. We’ll go to Many Cours with more experience, and I can’t wait to see if we can make further improvements. The team has done a great job as usual, now we’ll take a short break to recharge ahead of the next battle.”

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Pata Yamaha Complete Successful Test at Portimao

The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team enjoyed a productive Monday in Portimao at the official one-day test following on from round ten of the 2017 FIM World Superbike Championship. Fresh from his maiden Yamaha podium in Race 2 on Sunday, Michael van der Mark was the busiest rider on track, completing 83 laps and setting the sixth fastest time. His teammate Alex Lowes also managed to get some essential work done despite having to ride through the pain barrier after his highside during Race 2, putting in 46 laps to finish the test in seventh.

The Pata Yamaha team took part in a full day's testing in Portimao, where it remained dry and sunny until the last hour when a few drops of rain appeared. Van der Mark was keen to continue the progress that saw him cross the line in second in Race 2 on Sunday to record his first Yamaha Podium. The 24-year-old Dutch rider did not have many 2018 development parts to test, but instead focused on improving his feeling with the Yamaha R1 and was happy with the work done. It didn't take long for him to improve his best time from the weekend, and he continued to put in the effort even when drops of rain appeared around the undulating 4.593km track in the final hour. In the end, he put in 83 laps, more than any other rider on Monday, and set a best time of 1:43.330, which was good enough for sixth on the overall timesheets.

His teammate Lowes was still feeling rather battered and bruised after his highside on Sunday, which he miraculously walked away from without any serious injury. Showing just how tough he is, the 27-year-old British rider shrugged off the pain to get through his testing schedule, managing to complete 46 laps around the physically demanding Portimao circuit as he tried out a number of different setting configurations. Lowes also managed to improve on his best lap time from the weekend's races, setting a 1:43.517 to finish in seventh, just 0.173s behind his teammate.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action at round eleven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at Magny-Cours on the 29th September-1st October.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 83 laps - 1:43.330

"Today we tried many things on the bike and I was quite fast from the start. I was faster than yesterday which is always good, we tried lots of different settings on the R1 and I did a lot of laps. I felt really happy on the bike! We also had some tyres to test for Pirelli, which had some positives and some negatives, but anyway, I am quite happy with the test today and I really look forward to Magny-Cours!"

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 46 laps - 1:43.517

"It was a good test! Obviously, it was quite a difficult weekend for me but we managed to get quite a few laps in today. We tried a couple of things, although clearly, I couldn't do too much as I was a bit stiff from yesterday. I am looking forward to Magny-Cours now, where hopefully we can have a better weekend."

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

"It has been a good day for the Pata Yamaha team here at the official Dorna test in Portimao. We haven't had a lot to try in terms of 2018 development parts or new components, so today has been more about trying to find more confidence for the riders by trying different setting directions that we haven't had time to test over a race weekend. It has been positive, especially on Michael's side, as he found a different chassis balance that helped him and his consistency in lap times has been very, very good. For Alex, it was incredible that he was even able to go out on the bike at all considering the physical condition he is in and he did a great job. We got through a lot of good work and we leave here happy and in a positive frame of mind for Magny-Cours."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea Fastest In Portimao Testing

Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea took his Ninja ZX-10RR to the fastest lap time of all in post-race testing at Portimao, just one day after completing a stunning race winning double.

With his team-mate Tom Sykes out injured after a crash in FP3 on Saturday, championship leader Rea was the lone official KRT rider on track today. He made the most of his opportunities on a dry surface, posting a 1'42.313 lap as he worked his way through test items and chassis settings in readiness for both the next race in France and next season. His best pace today was under the existing lap record of 1’42.475.

Rea also had two different Pirelli rear tyres to evaluate during back-to-back long runs, to provide valuable feedback for the championship’s single make tyre supplier.

In good conditions, with bright sunshine for much of the day, Rea also helped Kawasaki Puccetti Racing STK1000 rider Toprak Razgatlioglu with his first ride on a non-factory Superbike-spec machine, showing him some Superbike racing lines and offering invaluable advice that helped him to finish fourth fastest from the 12 riders at the test.

Rea and his crew had completed their work plan before spots of rain appeared on the Portimao track surface with 45 minutes of the full day remaining.

Next up for the entire KRT squad is the 11th round of the championship, to be held at regular WorldSBK venue Magny Cours, with race weekend starting on Friday 29th September and ending on Sunday 1st October.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is always useful testing after a race weekend because you have a good rhythm. So we did not rush into too much today. We started with the bike set-up how we finished the race and then we started work on set up ideas, namely trying to optimise our chassis balance. We know the chassis next year is going to be very important for us. Showa brought some good test items and I found some positive things. I then did some Pirelli tyre tests at the end, based on a tyre that was here on the weekend. I did not so many laps today but I also spent a little bit of time on track with Toprak, trying to help him round, which was enjoyable. He got up to speed really fast so it is clear that the base package of the Ninja ZX-10RR is really good.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “Mainly we confirmed some items that we used on race weekend. This track is a special one with its ups and downs, and a lot of bumps. When we came here in April we made a base set-up for this track, which is a little bit different compared to the base set-up we use in other tracks. We made some changes to understand for the next race. We made some tests about geometry and then we moved onto chassis and suspension with Showa, already thinking about 2018. Then we tested tyres as the request from Pirelli was to make 15 laps on one tyre and then 15 on another tyre. We made in total of 55 laps, and 30 of those were for the tyre test. We finished early as we had dome enough and now we are thinking about the next race in France.”

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