Jonathan Rea once again laid down the marker as preparations for the 2019 World Superbike season got underway with the first winter test at Aragon.
Getting a first taste of the 2019-spec ZX-10RR, Rea lapped 1.5 seconds quicker than anyone else at the test to show he means to pick up where he left off.
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However, all eyes were instead focused on Chaz Davies as he made his debut on the new Ducati V4 R, which had stolen headlines as it was unveiled at EICMA last week with 234bhp figures in stock trim as well as its MotoGP-style winglets.
Davies was narrowly slower than second-quickest man Alex Lowes, with both riders 1.5 seconds off champion Rea, in what appeared to be a strong start for the new machine.
British Superbike champion Leon Haslam was fourth quickest as he made his debut with the Kawasaki Racing team, ahead of the second Ducati V4R of Michael Rinaldi, who will compete for the Barni Racing team next season. The second Yamaha of Michael van der Mark was sixth quickest.
Davies’ 2019 team-mate Alvaro Bautista was absent from the test as he competes in his final round of MotoGP at Valencia this weekend.
The second day of the test failed to get started with bad conditions leading to Kawasaki and Yamaha calling it a day while Davies and Rinaldi completed around 40 laps of wet testing between them.
World Superbike riders will be back on track at Jerez in just under two weeks’ time, where they’ll be joined by the new BMW Motorrad World Superbike team for the first time as well as a number of other teams. It’s not thought the new Moriwaki Althea HRC Honda effort will be present.
Unofficial times from MotorLand Aragon:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1.49.668
- Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1.51.157
- Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1.51.180
- Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team – WorldSBK) 1.51.479
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) 1.51.656
- Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) 1.51.852
Pic: Kawasaki Racing