Sykes leads day one as WSBK pack reconvenes

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A damp start but a busy and dry finish on the first day of Jerez WorldSBK testing saw some familiar names at the top of the time sheets, as Tom Sykes (KRT) finished the first eight hours on top, with a 1’40.882. This compares to his track best time (set on qualifiers at the end of four days of testing last November) of 1’39.313.

Second fastest was the Ducati of Chaz Davies ( Racing-Ducati WSB) and third fastest Jonathan Rea (KRT) – making the same top three as the 2015 season overall, albeit arranged in a different order.

Fast again in testing proved to be ‘rookie’ Nicky Hayden (Honda), the recent MotoGP champion impressing his team and the stopwatches again with his pace and professionalism in what is still the very early stages of his WorldSBK career.

The still recovering Pata rider Alex Lowes fifth despite his restricted mobility and fitness levels, pushing his new Yamaha hard after his recent Portimao tests, despite sitting out the morning sessions.

Second official Ducati rider Davide Giugliano placed sixth fastest. Michael van der Mark (Honda) proved to be back from his recent surgery at a decent pace from the start, as he used a new engine specification to take seventh place on the day one rankings.

Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) was right behind van der Mark, Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha) placed ninth and the opening top ten was rounded out by Leon Camier on his revised MV Agusta F4.

In his return to WorldSBK competition Josh Brookes placed 14th but had a late bout of electronics issues reduce his track time in the dry afternoon period.

WSS Champion Kenan Sofuoglu was the top 600 rider on his official Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Ninja ZX-6R, with a 1’44.059.

One more day of testing remains in sessions where almost all of the top 2016 contenders are on show in identical conditions. 

Opening Day Top Ten Riders

  1. Tom Sykes (KRT) 140.882
  2. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1’41.041
  3. Jonathan Rea (KRT) 1’41.210
  4. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1’41.371
  5. Alex Lowes (Yamaha) 1’41.505
  6. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’41.792
  7. Michael van der Mark (Honda) 1’41’891
  8. Xavi Fores (Ducati) 1’41.900
  9. Sylvain Guintoli (Yamaha) 1’42.165
  10. Leon Camier (MV Agusta) 1’42.896

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Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie