First day no show from top riders

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Because of seriously low track temperatures none of the Kawasaki Racing Team and Pata Honda riders took the chance to ride on day one Motorland Aragon testing. Only the Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki pairing of Christophe Ponsson and Santiago Barragan, plus late arrival David Salom and his Pedercini Kawasaki, took their Superbikes onto the track. Salom only did a handful of laps near the end of the day, to shakedown his new machine.

Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark opted to not ride and Rea in particular felt the loss of his latest testing opportunity - partly as he is still learning his new KRT Ninja ZX-10R’s secrets, and partly to give feedback to KHI in Japan before the first race at Phillip Island in just over a month’s time.

“It sucks not to ride today. It is important now to ride because the guys back at KHI have been working really hard with some new parts, and a lot of updates from last year, so we really need the time now.”

Rea continued, “We need to decide which direction to go in the first race because we cannot go there with all these new parts to test. We want to be hitting the ground running.”

The intense cold and lack of sunshine at Aragon left Rea in no doubt that riding was not a risk worth taking.

“It is meaningless to ride with 5 °C on the track. It is not safe, really. You can do no meaningful testing because the lap time will be slow. Unfortunately as tough as it is to sit and see the bike not being ridden, it was the only option.”

One day remains for the WSB riders to find suitable conditions at Aragon, on Tuesday 20th January.

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Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie