Iannone quickest in Jerez with Kawasaki in the mix
Andrea Iannone led the way as most of MotoGP field joined the party at this week’s joint Grand Prix and World Superbike test at Jerez.
After two days of just ten bikes on track, things were a lot busier on Wednesday as the 29 riders confirmed for testing for the remainder of the week headed out.
With MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike machines on track at the same time, the timesheets made for interesting reading as the Kawasaki World Superbike boys once again mixed it up in the top ten with the GP regulars.
Iannone’s quickest lap would have seen him narrowly miss out on pole position for this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, although the circuit has been resurfaced since then and is now understood to provide much more grip.
Cal Crutchlow was second quickest, as he undergoes a hefty testing schedule with HRC with no fewer than three RC213Vs to test, two in 2018 spec as well as this year’s bike.
Dovizioso was the quickest Ducati, ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo while Pol Espargaro continued to show KTM’s recent improvement to lap within just 0.2 seconds behind the Ducati duo despite a crash at the fast third turn.
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Tom Sykes led the way in the Superbike class, sitting an impressive sixth quickest overall after lapping within a whisker of the time with which team-mate Jonathan Rea topped this joint test this time last year. It’s understood Sykes’ time came on qualifying rubber.
Tito Rabat was seventh quickest as he continues to show promise after a move to the Avintia Ducati team, ahead of the second Kawasaki Superbike of Rea, who unlike his team-mate stuck to race rubber throughout the day. The Northern Irishman shrugged off a fast crash at Turn 12 earlier today, but went to have his neck checked at the end of the day as a precaution despite returning to track to go faster.
Bradley Smith was ninth quickest for KTM while Scott Redding rounded out the top ten in his second test with the Aprilia.
Marco Melandri led the way for the remainder of the Superbike class in 12th, ahead of Yamaha’s Alex Lowes.
Eugene Laverty swapped his Milwaukee Aprilia for the Aprilia MotoGP machine as Aleix Espargaro sits out.
With Tom Luthi still out of action, the Estrella Galicia team shared their second bike between Takumi Takahashi and Alex Marquez, who starts his first full test on a MotoGP bike after two short outings in the last two years.