Rea fastest in Spain

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Jonathan Rea bounced back from his crash at Guadix on Friday to post the fastest times on Saturday (March 3, 2007) and Sunday (March 4, 2007) of the BSB test aboard the HM Plant Honda.

He was the first rider to dip into the 1m 12s on Saturday around the 3km circuit with a 1:12.81 and then went even quicker on Sunday clocking a 1:12.74.

Rea said: “The test went really well and my new bike is great. It’s got more power than the Red Bull Honda I rode last year and a smoother power delivery.”

Second quickest was Shane Byrne on the Stobart Honda, the only other rider to break the 1m 13s barrier with a 1:12.90 on Sunday, though he said he reckoned he could have gone quicker had the temperature not dropped after lunch.

Byrne said: “I’m more comfy on the bike now. The weather cooled right off on the last day, which was a bit of a shame because I’d like to have a run on a soft tyre just to see what we could have done but it’s been a good test.

“We tried loads of stuff but we’ve still got more to get through, including a new software package from Marelli that will improve the bike even more.”

Chris Walker headed the Guadix times on the first day of the test and finished third quickest  overall with a 1:13.1 he set on Saturday before the Rizla Suzuki team packed up for home.

Walker said: “It would have been nice to have headed the timesheets for a second day in a row but we made a conscious decision to avoid qualifying tyres and focus on consistency.

“That was our plan coming from Almeria. I was the only rider consistently putting in strings of low 1:13s and that was the kind of performance that will matter in BSB-length races.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari shook off the effects of jet-lag he suffered at Almeria and was fourth quickest with a 1:13.29 but he spent a lot of time concentrating on different chassis set-up and tyre testing.

Cal Crutchlow suffered his second crash in two days but walked away unhurt. His best time on the Rizla Suzuki was a 1:13.5.

Honda Racing’s Leon Camier worked through a wide range of chassis settings before setting a best of 1:13.6.

After looking so smooth and fast at Almeria and running under a second behind team-mate Byrne, Tom Sykes could only manage 1:14.2 on the Stobart Honda.


Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin