It’s time to rev back into action for the second MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship pre-season test of the winter, as momentum for 2019 continues to build. Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto is the setting for the second test of the off season, as the teams travel to the south of Spain and there is plenty more work to be done ahead of the winter testing ban in December. All eyes will still be on the Ducati Panigale V4 R as it makes its second outing on track, but the Kawasaki ZX-10RR won’t be far behind. There is a lot to keep up with next week!
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK will continue to hit the ground running as the reigning champions return to Spain for their second lot of 2019 testing this month. Only getting one day of on track action in around MotorLand Aragon last week due to bad weather, the team will be continuing to work with their new ZX-10RR. For Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), he was happy with the opening day and set the fastest unofficial time, however he is always looking for more. “It needs a bit more of a base setting because the new engine character has more power and more potential, especially under acceleration and on the brakes. That requires a little bit of a different riding style.” Explained Rea. Whilst for KRT newbie Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), it is all about getting to know his new crew as well as the bike he will be riding next season. Not moving too fast with the championship winning bike, the British rider was able to improve his times on each outing around MotorLand and will be hoping to do the same in Jerez, where two more days should continue to help with overall set-up.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati has another big test ahead of them, as they will not only continue with their all new Panigale V4 R but it will be the first time Alvaro Bautista joins his new team as he makes the move over to WorldSBK. As the Spaniard missed out on the debut test last week at MotorLand Aragon, he will be preparing for a big challenge ahead of him in Southern Spain. Whilst Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) will look forward to his getting his hands on the new beast once again, hoping to make up for some lost time on a dry track. Getting some strong laps in last time around MotorLand, Davies has been pacing himself with the V4 R as he has a long winter ahead. Not wanting to get carried away with his new bike, he will be working more on understanding the bike next week at Jerez.
Leading the way for the two factory Yamaha teams this season, Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes are preparing for their second test with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, which offered mixed results for the pair. For Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), it was a strong opening day to 2019 as he secured the second fastest unofficial time last week, but Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was unable to set a lightning quick lap time out on track. As they are both working on slight upgrades to their race winning YZF-R1 machines, they will be looking for a bit more to bring the fight to the green and red in 2019.
It will be a big two days for Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha Team) and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha Team) as they make their debuts with the new team for 2019. Announced just two weeks ago, the pair will join forces for the first time in Southern Spain and will have a lot to work on. Reigning WorldSSP champion Cortese prepares for his first ever ride on a Superbike machine, as Melandri will have to take his memory all the way back to 2011 for the last time he rode a Yamaha in SBK®.
Feilding the last WorldSBK team next week will be Team Pedercini Racing, as Italian youngster Gabriele Ruiu will prepare for his full-time debut with the Italian team. After a season in STK1000, he will now prepare to make the step up in 2019, with his first test next week. Continuing with the ZX-10RR, the team are focusing on achieving top 10’s next season, something they can start to work towards.
But it’s not only WorldSBK teams out on track next week, as some of our FIM Supersport World Championship bikes will unleash their 2019 beasts next week. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team will be out on track on Monday and Tuesday, whilst MV Agusta Reparto Corse take to the track with Rafaelle De Rosa, who put on such a stunning fight for the team in 2018.
Keep up with all the highlights, reaction and action from the two day Jerez test from 26th – 27th November.
Grid Girls Gallery by Grid Girls UK