Jerez hosts first WorldSBK off-season test, Gardner fastest on Day 1
On a day marked by challenging weather conditions at Jerez, the first off-season test saw a mix of achievements and setbacks among top riders. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) emerged as the standout performer, setting the pace with an impressive 1’39.837s, despite limited track time due to rain. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Motocorsa Racing) secured the second spot with a lap time of 1’40.034s.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) made his debut with Yamaha, securing the fourth position. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) faced a more challenging day, experiencing a crash at Turn 13, but he managed to set a lap time of 1’40.564s, placing him in fifth. His new teammate, 2023 WorldSSP Champion Nicolo Bulega, finished eighth, focusing on adapting his riding style and bike setup.
Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) marked his return to racing bikes with 26 laps and a lap time of 1’41.922s, while Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made his first appearance with the KRT team, finishing ninth with a lap time of 1’41.333s. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the lead rider for BMW, posting a lap time of 1’41.193s, while Scott Redding made his debut with the Independent BMW outfit.
Jonathan Rea marked his first appearance with the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team, achieving a fourth-place finish.
Jonathan Rea | Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK
“It was fantastic to get the first laps on the R1 because you always have anticipation and maybe a preconception of how the bike’s going to be. I’ve been super excited until this morning, and then I got really nervous all of a sudden. I was thinking ‘can I be fast with the bike?’ or ‘what’s it going to feel like sitting on the bike during the bike fit?’. I got comfortable but the position felt strange, and I couldn’t imagine riding the bike. As soon as I exited pitlane, there were a lot of positives straight away I could take. We did three outings. The weather has been far from perfect. Even this morning, at a lot of corners, it was full of wet patches. Just before lunch, we got a lot of drizzle and then the track got soaked. We considered keeping the bike nice and dry for tomorrow and keeping with the test plan. Hopefully the track can dry out tonight, maybe it’ll be a late start tomorrow, but it’s also important to ride in the wet.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi secured the second spot with a lap time of 1’40.034s on his Motocorsa Racing debut.
Despite a crash at Turn 13, Alvaro Bautista managed to secure fifth place in the timesheets.
Nicolo Bulega finished in eighth position, lapping around seven tenths slower than his experienced new teammate Bautista.
Andrea Iannone completed 26 laps and set a lap time of 1’41.922s, as he focused on rediscovering the feeling with the bike.
Axel Bassani made his first appearance with the Kawasaki Racing Team, securing a tenth place finish.