More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
Rea fends off Redding and Gerloff to end Catalunya test on top
The second day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya came to an end on Thursday with Jonathan Rea claiming top spot
The Supported Test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya came to end on Thursday with the day ending with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) fastest despite fierce competition from Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) as the trio battled it out for fastest lap in the last few minutes of the test.
American rider Gerloff had spent the majority of the day at the top of the timesheets before Rea overhauled Gerloff with a few minutes to go in the test. Towards the end of the day, the pair were on track at approximately the same time as they both looked to set the fastest lap time, with Rea coming out on top after Gerloff had a small crash in the second sector. Rea, who posted a 1’40.264s and completed 66 laps, had been trying out small items on his new Kawasaki ZX-10RR while Gerloff, who also had a crash at Turn 1 during the day, was working on the base setting of his Yamaha YZF R1, with Gerloff completing 69 laps on the second day.
Gerloff’s crash allowed Redding to move into second place right at the end of the session as the British rider continued to work on improving his Ducati Panigale V4 R, with teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi in fifth place despite a late technical issue that brought his session to a halt, and one of two separate incidents around the same time to bring out the Red Flag.
Jonas Folger (MGM Bonovo Racing) secured a top five finish for the day with a late lap to move the German into fourth, less than a tenth ahead of Rinaldi, with Folger looking into the finer details of his BMW M 1000 RR and getting through a long list of settings to try out. Fellow BMW rider Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) made it two BMWs in the top six as he finished in sixth as he worked on the set up of his BMW.
Rea’s teammate, Alex Lowes, was in seventh place as his recovery from a shoulder injury continues with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) the lead factory Yamaha rider in eighth; Locatelli had been spending the two days focusing on long runs. Team GoEleven’s Chaz Davies secured a top ten position with tenth place; the test Davies’ first chance to get on his machine for the first time in five months.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the lead Honda rider in tenth place as the team worked on numerous items such as seat positions to improve the centre of gravity of the CBR1000 RR-R, as well as new exhausts, an engine upgrade and new swingarms. Teammate Alvaro Bautista completed just six laps today, with the Spaniard opting to not test too much following a chest injury he picked up in a motocross accident recently.
Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished the test in 11th place following a late run on the SC0 Pirelli tyre in Barcelona, having first tried it in Misano, leap frogging Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in the closing stages of the test. Bassani had hoped to have a time attack on the qualifying tyre which is new for him.
Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) racked up 111 laps on day two of the test as he continued to get accustomed to his new surroundings, improving his time throughout the afternoon to finish the day in 13th place. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had an eventful day with two crashes in the afternoon: a small incident at Turn 1 where he was able to return to the pits and a crash at Turn 5 which, along with Rinaldi’s technical issue at the same moment, brought out the Red Flag.
Van der Mark’s former Yamaha teammate, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) completed only nine laps on day two, with the Turkish rider being withdrawn from the test in the early stages following two positive PCR tests for COVID-19 which he took today. He is now self-isolating in accordance with Spanish health authority guidelines.
Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was in 16th place, just a tenth behind Razgatlioglu, as he got to test the 2021 ZX-10RR for the second day as he worked on understanding the new bike which features different engine characteristics and electronics. Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) was working on braking issues from day one where he was sliding under braking, finishing in 17th place with Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) rounding out the field.
More, from a press release issued by HRC Team:
HRC Team concludes two positive days of testing at home track of Catalunya
Team HRC has completed two days of intense work at their home track of Montmeló in Catalunya, Spain, which lies just a few kilometres from the team’s European headquarters.
It proved to be a busy and satisfying two-day session for the factory Honda squad, although Alvaro Bautista only rode on day one, still carrying a minor injury that he sustained in training last weekend. His chest was quite painful after an intense day on the track, so Alvaro and his team decided to end the session early. Having worked hard on various aspects of the bike’s set-up, especially the electronics, the Spaniard was satisfied with the improvements made by the Japanese engineers and the set-up work completed so far.
Leon Haslam made the most of both days, which offered ideal weather conditions, allowing the British rider to work on the electronics, chassis and his position on the bike, among other things. He was the second fastest rider on track on day one and finished sixth fastest overall.
Team HRC will now head back to base before returning to the track to continue its preparations ahead of the start of the season in mid-May.
Alvaro Bautista 19
1’41.950 (DAY 1)
“Last weekend I had a small crash while training with the MX bike and I hit my chest. Once I got on the bike here in Barcelona, I realised that the pain was more intense than I expected but, luckily, we were still able to complete yesterday’s testing schedule. We had a lot of new items to test, across different areas of the bike, from the engine setup to the electronics, the weight distribution, and my riding position. HRC has done a great job over the winter. We are happy and are preparing a good base for the start of the season, and the bike is much more consistent throughout the entire lap, especially in terms of the electronics. This morning I was unfortunately in a lot more pain and, considering that we did a lot of work yesterday, the team and I decided that I wouldn’t ride. I tried, to see if I could make some finishing touches but I stopped after a few laps. Anyway, we gathered a lot of information to send to Japan and I’m very confident that we can make further progress during the next tests.”
Leon Haslam 91
1’40.900 (DAY 1)
“I’m happy with how these tests have gone because we’ve enjoyed great weather conditions and we’ve been able to make good use of both days. I realised straight away that the updates HRC brought for the bike were promising, because we were fast right away, at a track where I wasn’t particularly comfortable last year. And I really like the change they’ve made to turn ten too, as my feeling is now much better through that section. Most importantly we haven’t just been quick over the single lap, but also in terms of our race pace, which is crucial and one of the points I wanted to improve on compared to last year. In Jerez we worked a lot on my riding position and balance, while here we’ve focused mainly on the electronics. Day two saw us try a few different things but in the end we came full circle, ruling out certain things and reverting back to yesterday’s setting. Towards the end of the final session, I tried to improve on my best time of day one, but my lap was interrupted when the red flag came out unfortunately. Overall, we’ve had some constructive track time here though.”