WSBK – WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon – WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon

WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon

WSBK - WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon - WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon

The four main teams entered in 2016 in World Superbike (Ducati, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha) met this week on the Aragon circuit (Spain). Their pilots were chilled by the chilly temperatures… except Rea of ​​course !

WSBK 2016: testing continues in Aragon

The third World Superbike autumn testing session was held Monday and Tuesday on the long and technical track of Motorland in Aragon. The four big teams of the 2016 championship were present: the Bologna Reds, the Akashi Greens, the Tokyo Reds and the Iwata Blues.

Trapped by thick fog and gripped by the cold temperatures, the pilots could not turn much on the first day. One of them, however, was able to work warm in his box: Nicky Hayden was indeed resting his butt on the Fireblade for the very first time. !

While his new comrades impatiently awaited the arrival of the sun, the "Kentucky Kid" could already rough up the first settings: "our main assignment on day one was to change the rear brake to match its unique riding style", reports the technical manager of the Honda team.

Once her first marks had been taken, Nicky was able to start tackling the bulk of the work, juggling two Fireblades set up differently, especially on the front end: "i liked different things about the two, now you have to combine it all and see if the general feeling improves", notes n ° 69.

Credited with the seventh fastest time, the 2006 MotoGP world champion is still a long way from the "Top3" still made up of Rea, Davies and Sykes, but he can be satisfied to be only three tenths of a second behind his young and talented teammate Michael van den Mark.

"We are only at the very beginning and the weather certainly did not help us", retains the American pilot."But I enjoyed riding the bike and working with the team. We now have a free week to review the data collected before going to Jerez. It’s a different circuit and we’ll see what happens there".

Site readers – who, as everyone knows, are a little more far-sighted than others – naturally expect that next week the three strongmen of the 2015 championship will compete for first place in the standings of the last tests of the l ‘year…

In Aragon, Jonathan Rea again dominated his two big rivals and compatriots, the British Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes. And not just a little, since the "Number One" of the discipline turned seven tenths faster than the n ° 7 Ducati and eight tenths faster than his teammate n ° 66 !

To sign his impressive time of 1’50.3 despite the temperatures remained cool Tuesday, Jonathan had to play on the inertia of the new 4-cylinder of the ZX-10R 2016, modify the balance of his machine, test a new spring of rear shock absorber and validate the experienced swingarm to .

The ruthless "JR" would even have found a new lethal weapon: "I directly compared the new rear tire that Pirelli had brought. It looked like the SC1, with harder shoulders that provided more stability. It was a big step forward for my riding style". And this was verified against the clock !

Absent from the first autumn tests in Aragon, Rea managed the feat of turning faster than Sykes. The latter, on the contrary, was half a second slower than three weeks ago on the same track. Two tenths off his best time at the end of October on the Catalan track, Davies has therefore seized second place of the week….

On his Panigale R, Chaz Davies tested "many new pieces that have had a positive impact overall", but that was not enough to beat Rea, or even to stay in his rhythm. Capable of competing with the 2015 champion at the end of the season," Chazie "would he have lost his speed ?

"I wanted to go out one last time to attack really hard, but the weather stopped me dead", regrets the Ducati rider. However, the morale of the Welshman remains high because the next tests will take place in Jerez, where he was the (second then first).

It should be noted in passing that his teammate Davide Giugliano – replaced by Xavi Fores for these tests – will make his big comeback at the helm of the second factory Ducati. Present on Monday for the presentation of the, the Roman pilot had made his first laps the day before for a long time…

"What a great emotion to get back in the saddle after 3 months, 5 days and 12 hours", tweeted the flamboyant # 34 on Twitter. His message was accompanied by a photo of him having fun on his supermoto … be careful not to overdo it all the same, Davide !

Third fastest in practice at Aragon, Tom Sykes was very careful. Judging with his team that the track conditions were too bad on Monday, the English Ninja preferred not to leave his box.

The next day, the took advantage of the appearance of the sun to evaluate new parts, without touching the basic settings established during his previous Spanish tests and by staying all day on hard tires..

"There were three or four points tested last week in Jerez that we wanted to prioritize", is content to comment on its chief mechanic, Marcel Duinker."We have now confirmed on two circuits that they are improving our performance. Not only over a lap, but also over the duration of a race".

Widely beaten by his teammate, Sykes esteems himself "really satisfied with the lap times and (her) constancy". Best driver in qualifying last year (247 points in the Superpole" classification ", 220 for Rea and 191 for Haslam)," Major Tom "wants to become the fastest in the race (7 records in 2015, against 11 for Rea) … But he is not the only one !

Author of the same time as Tom (see the unofficial classification of these tests on the following page), Alex Lowes shows that he will have to be counted on next year! On the handlebars of his brand new Yamaha, the n ° 22 also made a race simulation…

"We then worked on the bike and its settings, getting a better feeling when entering a curve."Says the former Suzuki rider, but still a member of the Crescent team which now works with Yamaha and its factory..

"We get better with each ride, we still have a lot of work to do but I feel really good"… So much so that the 2013 BSB champion set his absolute best time in Aragon:"I’m starting to really understand the YZF-R1", he attests !

On the other side of the Yamaha Pata box, the tests were less fruitful … Tuesday evening, Sylvain Guintoli appeared – good ?! – last on the timesheet, more than 2 seconds behind the leader and 1.4 seconds behind Lowes. What The Flute ?!

"We unfortunately encountered small problems this week, of a weather and technical nature ", observes our compatriot and,"so that we were not able to really deepen the work started in Jerez".

"These are just getting started", try to reassure Sylvain,"but they prevented me from doing the number of laps I would have liked". So while Lowes completed 88 laps in two days, our dear" Frenchie "only completed 56.

Braked in his learning, Guintoli hopes to be able to remove his unwanted and unexpected obstacles to "go ahead in Jerez again next week, as the R1 seems to be really, really good base !"

Sylvain’s former teammate, Michael van den Mark, had plenty of time to work on his weaknesses in 2015: "qualification and pace at the start of the race", underlines the technical manager of the Honda team, Pieters Breddels.

During its 80 revolutions – including 70 just Tuesday! -, the 2014 Supersport world champion was able to break in new brake pads and experiment with new programming … while waiting for a "biggest engine update that will be available in January", promises his team. To follow on MNC: stay tuned !

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