More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
#ESPWorldSBK – Day 1
Baz fastest on Friday, Rinaldi rampant in FP2
Four different manufacturers in the top five again as WorldSBK action hots up at Jerez
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s resumption continued under the scorching sun at Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, as Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) topped the day’s running ahead of the Pirelli Spanish Round. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) stole the headlines in Free Practice 2 by topping the session in scorching heat by three tenths of a second.
Baz’s time of 1’40.249s was just over a tenth faster than Italian rider Rinaldi’s time from the second practice session, but Rinaldi was able to bounce back from a crash in Free Practice 1 to top the second practice session. As temperatures got higher throughout the day, so did the action on track with 15 out of the 23 riders separated by one second in the combined times.
Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was second fastest overall with a 1’41.311s; less than a tenth behind Baz’s fastest overall time. Championship leader and Rea’s KRT teammate, Alex Lowes, was 10th fastest but within four tenths of the fastest time of the day; showing the competitive nature of the field and machines in action at Jerez.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was fourth fastest overall for the day as he continued his impressive pace at Jerez, with his teammate Leon Haslam finishing the day with the ninth fastest time. Bautista headed ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati duo Scott Redding and Chaz Davies, who were sixth and seventh respectively. The two British riders were separated by just 0.030s as the day ended, although Davies did have an incident at Turn 2 but was able to continue.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) was seventh fastest with a 1’40.507s, beating Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) by less than a tenth of a second. With the top 10 so close, the action throughout Tissot Superpole and racing is sure to be exciting.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and teammate Federico Caricasulo were 11th and 12th respectively for the day, with both riders able to show their pace throughout the two practice sessions; Italian rider Caricasulo able to improve slightly throughout Free Practice 2. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the highest-placed BMW rider in 13th place, with Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 15th; Laverty having a crash at Turn 1. WorldSBK returnee Marco Melandri continued to get up to speed throughout the day by finishing between the two BMW riders.
In 16th was Chilean Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) as he posted a 1’41.230, the last rider within one second of Baz’s fastest time of the day as he Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) in 17th place. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) were 18th and 19th, just edging Nuova M2 Racing’s Christophe Ponsson, a wildcard entry on an Aprilia RSV4. Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team), WorldSBK debutant Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team) and Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) completed the 23-strong field.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
KRT Restarts In Scorching Temperatures
Official KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes completed their first day back in competitive action by posting the second and 10th best lap times respectively, riding in what were hot and punishing conditions.
Arriving in Jerez after experiencing positive results from two recent tests at Misano and Catalunya, Rea and Lowes bonded early with their Ninja ZX-10RR machines in the high ambient and track temperatures in southern Spain. Despite some cloud cover early in the morning, temperatures rose to 34°C for FP2.
The lap times in the morning session were generally better for most competitors, as the track was cooler and offered more outright grip. Rea’s best lap was a 1’40.311, putting him just 0.062 seconds from the fastest rider. Lowes was just 0.357 seconds from the quickest time today.
After a five-month gap in action since the previous round in Australia valuable points will be available once more, starting on Saturday afternoon. Lowes leads the championship, with Rea fourth overall. Each KRT rider has won a race already in 2020 and will have three chances to do so again this weekend.
Saturday 1 August hosts race one, over 20 laps, with the 10-lap Superpole race and then the final 20-lap race two on Sunday.
Before any racing takes place there will be an FP3 session and then Superpole qualifying on Saturday, which will determine the grid positions for race one and the Superpole race.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We still have some work to do but I felt quite good out there today. Pirelli brought three possible race tyres for the longer races so we tried to understand what the best one would be. We did enough laps on each to draw some conclusions for tomorrow, and we narrowed it down to two rear options. The bike is working quite OK. We have moved away from our base set-up this summer, with two recent tests in Misano and Montmelo and the bike is turning well. We never really went for a time attack in the second session so this was just a working day really, to understand where we are.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I think the biggest challenge is going to be tyres in these kinds of temperatures, so in the afternoon session I just used the same tyre and tried to adapt the bike a little bit. We made a few small changes and rode until the end of the session. My pace was not too bad and I did my best laps at the end. That was quite good and I just need to improve the front set-up of the bike, during the trail-braking phase. If we can improve that for tomorrow I think we will be not too bad. This afternoon’s session was better than this morning’s session and I think it was more relevant for temperature. I felt a bit more comfortable and the races should be held in hotter conditions, later in the day.”
Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th after FP2, and less than one second from the fastest rider after a close and intense opening day. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 18th and Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) 19th.
More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:
P 1, THAT’S AMAZING!
A Friday morning to forget, at Jerez, with Go Eleven’s plans upset due to a technical problem and the following crash, then an unbelievable afternoon, a couple of laps from goosebumps, a perfect ride brought Michael Rinaldi in first position, with almost three tenths faster than the second: it is our first time (ours, both of the rider and of the Team) and what a cool place to stand there in front of the main WorldSBK riders!
An incredible emotion, about a minute and a half endless lap. But these are the moments when you have to keep your feet firmly on the ground, aware that the hardest part of the game has yet to come; head down and working, as they say, especially in view of the race, considering the really high temperatures that will “warm” us in the coming days.
Head down and work yes, but tonight we can enjoy the moment, with the V4-R by Go Eleven and Michael Ruben in the Olympus of the WorldSBK!
Michael Rinaldi (Rider):
“I am happy because after the problem we had this morning the best way to end the day is to score first! We still have work to do on the race pace because twenty laps in this hell will be tough; but I am satisfied. The bike works well, the Team works well, this morning we had a technical issue, but these are things that can happen and in the afternoon we showed great laps. Tomorrow we will concentrate on the race pace: being constant in these conditions, both physically and grip, will be difficult. So we have to work a lot , save energy and understand how to manage ourselves until the end of the race. “
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Positive feelings for Scott Redding and Chaz Davies on the first day of free practice at Jerez.
Scott Redding and Chaz Davies proved to have arrived in the best possible conditions at Jerez for the second round of the 2020 WorldSBK season. On a Friday characterized by great heat and a surprising balance in terms of lap times, the two Aruba.it Racing – Ducati riders were consistently in the top positions in both FP1 and FP2, finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the combined standings after working on the race pace with satisfactory results.
Scott Redding finished the FP2 in P2 setting his best lap time at the end of a virtual long run on a heavily used tyre as Chaz Davies also worked on the race distance at a convincing pace. The appointment with the time attack is scheduled for the Superpole tomorrow at 11.00 am.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“It’s been a very good day even though the conditions are really extreme, especially for the tyres. I tried to work in this direction this afternoon and we had positive results. I think that this weekend it will be very important to manage not only the tyres but also our body as we’ll have three races and they will all be particularly demanding. I am very confident though: I feel I am in the best possible condition”.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“I think today we have seen the improvements we made in the last two tests in Misano and Barcelona. The bike has worked pretty well and the feeling is extremely positive. The objective for this weekend? I want to fight for the podium in every race. The pace is good even if in the race it is always a different story. In FP3 tomorrow morning we will continue to work to improve the feeling and get to the Superpole in the best conditions”.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Tough Start for Pata Yamaha Pairing as Loris Baz Tops the Timesheet in Jerez
After a near five-month sabbatical, the battle for the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship title was resumed today in Jerez. Hot and humid conditions made for a tough return for Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official riders, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Michael van der Mark, who ended the day in seventh and eighth place respectively. It was Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported rider Loris Baz who best mastered the tricky conditions, with the Frenchman topping the timesheet at the conclusion of the opening day.
Phillip Island race-winner Razgatlıoğlu was sixth fastest in the cooler conditions of the opening free practice this morning, in a session that saw the top 10 separated by less than 0.5s. Like the majority of his rivals the Pata Yamaha rider was unable to improve on his lap time in the much hotter conditions this afternoon and ended the day seventh on combined times.
Van der Mark was less than a tenth off the time of his Pata Yamaha teammate in the opening session, ending seventh fastest. Although he too struggled to match this pace in the sweltering conditions of FP2, the Dutch rider was still able to finish the opening day in Jerez in eighth place and confident of further improvements ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team riders impressed again today in Spain, with promising pace around the 4.428 km circuit. Garrett Gerloff continued to improve during the morning practice session and in the final few moments jumped into the top 10, which became 11th on combined times, as the American was unable to match his previous pace in the trickier conditions this afternoon.
Federico Caricasulo was 11th quickest this morning, just behind his teammate. The Italian also showed strong pace in the warmer afternoon session, where he placed seventh to go 12th overall for the day.
Ten Kate Yamaha’s Baz played a starring role in both free practices, holding top spot throughout most of Friday’s morning session, where he remained unchallenged. The Frenchman completed more laps than anyone else in the afternoon, in preparation for tomorrow’s race, and ended the day fastest overall.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team
“Today was good start, but we were trying new set-ups on the bike that didn’t always give us the improvements we maybe expected. It’ll be a long race and very hot and, while we don’t have the best feeling at the moment, hopefully tomorrow we can make another step. Because of the track conditions, the bike is sliding quite a lot, but we will work to improve in this area tomorrow morning ahead of qualifying and Race 1.”
Michael van der Mark: Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team
“It’s awesome to be back on track with all the other guys again. To be honest I couldn’t find a good rhythm this morning and struggled with set-up, but in the afternoon we changed quite a lot on the bike. I didn’t feel too comfortable with it under braking but then we made another big step during the session. We did a longer run and I felt much more comfortable. We’re missing a few tenths from the race pace, but at least I’m feeling more confident with . Tomorrow morning, we should be able to make another big step, but qualifying and the race are the most important and, as I said, we just need to find a couple of tenths for both.”
Federico Caricasulo: GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team
“Today was very tough, as it was really hot and FP2 was particularly hard. We did a good job because we improved the bike between the practice sessions and managed the same lap time, despite the hotter temperatures. I’m happy because I didn’t use the soft tyre, I just focused on race runs. I think we are very close to all of the other Yamaha riders, which is good, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Garrett Gerloff: GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team
“It was definitely a positive start, it felt good right off the bat. We made some changes in Barcelona that have definitely worked here. This afternoon with the track much hotter, we struggled to maintain the same consistency and outright pace, but we made some good progress in the end. We will focus on improving in the hotter temperatures, as that is what the race conditions will be tomorrow. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’m confident that we have a good bike. The race pace isn’t bad, we’re not far off so after a few changes we’ll be right where we need to be.”
Loris Baz: Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported Team
“It was a good first day back, even if it was a bit up and down this morning with a small technical issue. We decided after the tests in Barcelona and Assen that we have to change something on the bike, especially for the heat, so we made some adjustments this morning and I’m confident ahead of the race tomorrow. It’s always great to finish a session in first and to improve the lap times, even if it’s only a Friday. This afternoon we did 20 laps on one set of tyres and it felt pretty good, so I think we’re in a strong position.”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team complete day one of the WorldSBK return in Jerez.
Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK’s Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty today finally returned to the WorldSBK Championship ahead of the highly anticipated Round 2 at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto (SPAIN).
This morning’s FP1 session did not get off to the best of starts for the #50 of Eugene Laverty following a minor clutch problem in the opening moments, losing some important session time. Despite the setback Eugene still managed to get 13 laps in with a best of (1’41.685) ending the session in P16.
The luck didn’t continue for Eugene in FP2, following a crash at T2 midway through the session. Laverty however was showing some fast pace in the early stages and lapped a (1’41.201) which put him into P9 at the end of FP2.
Tom Sykes went through FP1 making some slight adjustments to his BMW S 1000 RR which did not have much impact on his overall pace, however making good progress ready for FP2 later in the afternoon. Sykes ended the session in P14 (1’41.409)
The temperature expectedly increased for the afternoons FP2 session and the Yorkshireman Sykes managed to improve on his lap time set earlier that morning. FP2 result P8 (1’41.134)
Shaun Muir, Team Principal:
“We hit a few unexpected problems today, however, despite that in the more difficult session of FP2, both riders were able to put some really good race simulations in which overall potentially placed them P6,P7 so on paper that was very promising.
Overall, we had a few issues to sort out which I’m glad happened today and not tomorrow. I feel FP3 will be a good session for us to go do another race simulation. Thereafter we go into Superpole where hopefully we can get both riders onto the front two rows which will put in good stead for the race.
This morning was just one of those sessions, we had some bedding in to do with the braking system which wasn’t ideal and had a few changes to do, so this morning I wouldn’t say was a wasted session but we got a lot of things out of the way ready for FP2. The afternoon session we focused on working towards a race time and estimating the tyres and temperatures which I felt pretty good in, especially during that first exit so I am looking forward to tomorrow to see what we can do on the BMW S 1000 RR.
“Its nice to be back at a race weekend, we’ve been testing a fair bit recently but nothing compares to it when your against the clock. Unfortunately this morning that didn’t work well for me as a I had a small issue with the clutch, which lost us a lot of time which is never easy as your up against it from the word go. FP2 was really good in the first half, we were able to push and put some good laps in which were towards to top of the leader board but unfortunately I had a crash at T2 which again set us back in the session. We are a little behind in the sessions but ideally I am pushing to get myself into those first two rows which will help us hugely for the race.