World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea remained in control as the 2017 season got underway in Jerez this week as he set the quickest time on both days of the first pre-season test.
Rea was almost untouched on the second day of action at the southern Spanish circuit with only Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori getting close on qualifying tyres while Rea’s time of 1’39.809 was set on race rubber.
It was a day with numerous incidents with no fewer than four riders crashing at various points. Jordi Torres was the first man to fall at Turn 3 ruling himself out of action for the rest of the day, while Tom Sykes, who finished the day third, highsided out of the final corner.
Rea would also crash out at Turn 3 during some Kawasaki publicity filming, before the red flag was brought out for a considerable amount of time following an incident involving Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori.
Marco Melandri showed he means business as he returns to the series by outpacing team-mate Chaz Davies in the overall standing. The pair were split by just a hundredth of a second after the two days as they worked through a rigorous testing programme.
Nicky Hayden placed sixth as he continues to familiarise himself with the 2017 Fireblade, although it’s understood the American’s quickest time was recorded on qualifying rubber.
Alex Lowes, who put in a strong race run on Wednesday afternoon, placed seventh quickest for Yamaha ahead of Xavi Fores and new Honda recruit Stefan Bradl, while Yamaha new-boy Michael van der Mark was tenth.
Struggling with chatter issues, MotoGP returnee Eugene Laverty was 13th quickest, just ahead of the British Superbike contingent of Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey who recorded times of 1’41.928 and 1’42.349 respectively.
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