2012 championship runner-up Tom Sykes has recovered well enough from his broken left wrist and three broken ribs sustained in a testing crash at Phillip Island in February to set the fastest time of the opening day of the three day test at Aragon, Spain.
Speaking to MCN, the factory Kawasaki rider said: “It all went relatively well and I put in a nice number of laps 66 – which is a great number! (Sykes’ race number) It was nice to get out there and try my wrist and my physical condition seems good, I just need to get up to speed a little bit better with the muscles.
I will be a lot better for the race now so I am happy about that. We are in fairly good shape and did our best time on hard tyres and found a good pace on that..”
The only other rider to have lapped close to Sykes, according to the unofficial but trusted times, was another Briton, Leon Camier from Fixi Crescent Suzuki.
Pata Honda duo Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea went back to basics with their electronics after some tough experiences at Phillip Island recently.
Weather conditions were dry and sunny but no more than 20 degrees, and there was a high wind that meant that the lap times were a little slower than some had hoped.
Ducati fielded Matteo Baiocco on the official Alstare Panigale in the absence of the still-recovering Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini who both suffered big crashes in the opening round of the series at Phillip Island five weeks ago.
World Supersport rider Sam Lowes crashed his Yakhnich Racing Team Yamaha and sprained his wrist, but was still fastest of the 600c riders before his fall. Two more days of testing remain, with the BMW GoldBet official team also set to start ther own private testing at Jerez on 4th and 5th April.
Unofficial Times Day One
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:58.6,
2.Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1:58.9,
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda)1:59.6,
4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:59.8,
5. Leon Haslam (Honda) 2:00.3,
6. Matteo Baiocco (Ducati) 2:01.5,
7. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 2:01.9,
8. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 2:03.3,
9. Alex Lundh (Kawasaki) 2:03.5.