Jonathan Rea tops official Portimao test
12 riders took to the track in the aftermath of the tenth round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, and in a day with minimal distruptions there was some solid progress made. But it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who ended the day on top, 0.398s ahead of the rest of the field.
An overcast day greeted the WorldSBK riders in Portimao, and testing was underway at 9am local time before the red flags were waved following a technical problem for Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) at turn nine in the opening half hour. Once the track was clear, riders were back on track with Althea BMW Racing Team welcoming Michele Fabrizio as their test rider and Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) swung his leg over the Honda once again.
Kawasaki Racing Team were present with only one rider following Tom Sykes’ crash on Saturday, and Rea spent the day working on some chassis set up as well as beginning work on the 2018 ZX-10RR. However this is still a work in progress, and the reigning champion is keen to keep his mind on the next three races – especially as he is yet to win at Jerez and Qatar in WorldSBK. His lap time of 1.42.313 after 53 laps put him up on top at the end of the day.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) had a solid day in Portugal, finishing in second position on the timing screens after a tough weekend. Working on electronics and set up for the remainder of the season, they were also working with some set-up surrounding the Pirelli tyres. His team-mate Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was in the top three, 0.704s off Rea’s time, which keeps in line with his consistent pace so far in 2017.
European Superstock 1000 rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was out on track on the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing bike in Portugal, and impressed many riders throughout the day. Finishing in the top four, with a lap time of 1.43.429, he was able to get some good mileage out of the ZX-10RR and received praise from Rea.
Circuit ambassador Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) put in the most laps out on track following his most successful weekend since his return to the series. Finishing in fifth position with a lap time of 1.43.257, the Irishman and his team were working on the consistent issue they have with grip. Looking at race pace with used tyres as well as some electronic set-ups, alongside his Italian team-mate Savadori – who finished in eighth – they were also covering some 2018 parts.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team-mates Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes ended the day in sixth and seventh position as the team focused on testing parts of the bike that they are unable to over a race weekend. Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) suffered a crash at turn nine which caused the session to be red flagged, which was caused by an issue with electronics. He suffered some slight pain but was able to continue throughout the day as he focused on the different Pirelli compounds on offer. Ending in the top ten, Torres’ best lap time was 1’43.602.
See the full results here, as the teams will now back up and head off to the French circuit of Magny-Cours for Round 11 in two weeks time, and you can keep up with all the pre-round action on the WorldSBK VideoPass