WSB: Rea quickest as 2017 testing gets underway

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World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea started the 2017 season where he left off last year as he stormed to the top of the timesheets on the first day of testing at Jerez.

The double champ pipped team-mate Tom Sykes to the top spot with a quickest time of 1’40.162, some 0.260 seconds quicker than the Yorkshireman on the second Kawasaki. 

Chaz Davies was third quickest for Aruba Ducati, 0.623sec off Rea’s pace while Marco Melandri enjoyed a strong first day as he looks to rejuvenate his racing career with the Bologna factory. The Italian was just 0.027sec off his team-mate in third. 

Alex Lowes set the fifth quickest time of the day for PATA Yamaha ahead of Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores, while Lorenzo Savadori impressed in the new colours of Milwaukee Aprilia in seventh.


Jordi Torres was ninth ahead of former MotoGP star Nicky Hayden, who sampled the all new 2017 Fireblade in race trim for the first time. The American spent the day attempting to get comfortable on the new machine and set a time 1.668seconds off the pace set by Rea.

Michael van der Mark completed the top ten as he continues his new adventure with Yamaha, while Eugene Laverty was 11th as he returns from the Grand Prix paddock.

Riding his new JG Speedfit Kawasaki BSB bike, Leon Haslam was 15th quickest, 2.6sec off the top while team-mate Luke Mossey ranked one position behind.

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing