Portimao WSB test: Rea fastest in changeable weather
Poor weather was the enemy of all at the official Portimao WSB tests on day two.
An early rain shower made sure only eight of the 16 WSB riders in attendance would go out in the morning session, and only 12 in total set any laps all day.
The rain was relatively light and very sporadic, returning just as dry lines started to appear and this providing the riders with no chance to make consistent improvements in set-up compared to day one. Lap times were around 13s slower than day one for the fastest riders.
Quickest rider on day two, in slightly drying conditions, was Jonathan Rea on the Castrol Honda but Effenbert Liberty Ducati rider Jakub Smrz still holds the fastest overall time of 1:43.503, set on the dry first day.
Rea said: “The rain just keeps coming and going so we can't do the things we wanted to do.
"We have been using new electronics settings and suspension set-up at this test but also some new forks, which are a step up from what we were using last year. I think I used only three tyres all day in the dry yesterday, all of them different.”
Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) improved from his pain-filled first day to take second spot, with Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) a strong third. Smrz’ Ducati teammate Sylvain Guintoli was fourth.
Aprilia Alitalia riders Max Biaggi and Leon Camier missed day two, as they flew out by private plane to a Piaggio scooter launch in Monaco, but will return for the third and final day.
Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz did not ride to save potential injury to his still recovering left shoulder, leaving Tom Sykes to go it alone on the new ZX-10 and he wound up sixth in the standings today on the new Ninja. Lascorz will be back on track it is dry on Friday.
James Toseland, who had been struggling with weight transfer under braking and downshifting on his BMW Motorrad Italia S100RR, put in only 19 laps in today’s changeable conditions.