WSBK – World Superbike: first tests 2016 in Spain – Guintoli and the R1 very comfortable in Jerez

World Superbike: first tests 2016 in Spain

WSBK - World Superbike: first tests 2016 in Spain - Guintoli and the R1 very comfortable in Jerez

Last week in Aragon, this week in Jerez: the Kawasaki team is seriously preparing for the 2016 WSBK season! The Greens were accompanied for their first fall outing by Ducati, and for the second by Yamaha, back with Guintoli.

Guintoli and the R1 very comfortable in Jerez

Yesterday and the day before (Wednesday and Tuesday) a second series of private WSBK tests took place, in which the Green champions Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes participated, as well as the new Blues Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes (read)

As in Aragon, the times given by the Kawasaki team are not official and must be considered with caution, even if the temperatures and track conditions were close to those encountered last September, during the Andalusian event of WSBK 2015….

The lap times allow anyway to establish a hierarchy within the KRT team. However, despite his absence from previous tests, the ruthless "JR" is ahead of his teammate Tom Sykes: the n ° 1 completed his best lap in 1 ‘40.6, against 1’41.0 for the n ° 66.

The two Ninjas are nonetheless tied in terms of falls! "Johnny", who had made a mistake in the rapid curve of Sito Pons (turn n ° 5), was able to return to the pits but had to observe a 2h30 break while his mechanics put his ZX-10R back in working order..

"Major Tom" crashed even faster, between the Criville and Ferrari breaks, but almost managed to regain control of his bike. The latter finished her slide on the tarmac, saving Sykes’ men a laborious DIY session…

"I also hit a bird !", says the champion 2013."I was surprised and had to return to the pits because of the impact. The bird hit the bubble then the front of my helmet, just between the visor and the chin guard! But in the end the test went well and prepared us well for the next one".

For his part, Jonathan Rea does not hide that he prefers racing Sundays to long days of testing, "but it was necessary to provide a constant effort because Kawasaki had brought a lot of new parts for the motorcycle of 2016", recognizes the champion 2015.

Deeply revamped, the Racing Ninja will ask the Northern Irish driver to stake this winter: "the character is quite different from last season and we had a lot to assess. The main thing was the balance of the chassis and it was positive on that side."he observes.

"The engine is also quite different from the one in 2015 so we worked with the electronics to get the most out of it and adapt it to my style.", continues the" green giant ", insatiable last season: as a reminder, Jonathan has climbed 23 podiums out of 26 and won 14 victories…

"We were able to test most of the gear that we had and we are happy because we were able to be much faster than the race weekend we had here in similar temperatures. It’s encouraging"… For him certainly, but not for his adversaries !

Rea rightly shared the track with two rivals who were making their debut on their new bike: 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli and 2013 English Superbike Champion Alex Lowes rode the World Superbike R1 together. !

The day before his first tests on the Yamaha Superbike, "Guinters" said he was excited and very interested: "this new bike has accumulated a lot of success this season in endurance but also in many championships such as in France, Japan or the USA".

For our favorite n ° 50, the 2016 season should allow him to bounce back: titled in 2014 on the official Aprilia RSV4, he finished "only" sixth in the 2015 championship riding the Honda Fireblade, carefully prepared by the team Ten Kate but not boosted enough by the HRC…

Guintoli naturally aims higher next year and his "first very positive contact with the YZF-R1", gives him reasons to hope for beautiful things!"We managed to do a lot of work, but the most important thing is that the base – the chassis and the arrival of power – is already doing very well.".

"I really enjoyed riding this bike, it reminds me a lot of the 2007 M1, I can see and feel the same philosophy behind the bike ", even dares to compare the former Tech 3 rider, delighted to join the big one – so happy, even in MotoGP ?! – Yamaha family…

Same crush for Alex Lowes who remains with the Crescent team but trades in the aging Suzuki GX-R1000 for a brand new Yam ‘: "It was my first ride on the YZF-R1 and absolutely loved it! We have a lot of work to do but the potential of the bike is really good".

"There are a lot of things I will have to learn and I also have to adapt my riding style.", realizes the n ° 22 who spent his previous season compensating for the lack of performance of his bike by pushing his own limits."I will have to improve on my own but it’s a challenge that I like".

The next WSBK trials will be held on November 16 and 17, still in Jerez. The Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha riders will be joined by those of the Honda Ten Kate team: the inevitable Michael van den Mark and a new kid …, American Superbike and Moto GP champion! To follow naturally closely on MNC: stay connected.

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