Latest World Superbike Results
While the Moto2 and Moto3 riders are busy in Almeria, the World Superbike teams are busy at Jerez. As usual, Tom Sykes is dominating proceedings, the newly-crowned WSBK champion circulating well under pole record pace at the Spanish circuit. Sykes lapped six tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz, and nine tenths faster than Marco Melandri, the Italian now riding the factory Aprilia.
Alex Lowes made a very strong debut, lapping Jerez at the same pace as Melandri on his first run out on the Voltcom Suzuki machine, while Jonathan Rea was the fastest of the Honda men. The teammates of Rea and Lowes were less fortunate: Leon Haslam's test was interrupted when his Pata Honda CBR1000RR caught fire, while Eugene Laverty only managed a handful of laps as the Voltcom Suzuki team worked to set up the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The Jerez test also saw a large contingent of EVO class entries testing, giving a chance to compare the new bikes - basically, Superstock engines in WSBK-spec chassis - against the existing WSBK machines. Salom was fastest of the lot, 2.3 seconds behind Sykes, but only four tenths off the pace of Haslam, and ahead of Eugene Laverty and Claudio Corti, both of whom did not spend much time on track.
On Wednesday, the World Superbike riders will be joined by some of the MotoGP riders racing as Open entries.
Loris Baz has topped the timesheets at the two-day test held at Aragon for some of the World Superbike teams. Baz had spent the test working on bike set up, on a track he has not run well on in the past. The Frenchman ended up three tenths quicker than Jonathan Rea, at his first full test after returning from a broken femur. Rea and Pata Honda teammate Leon Haslam spent most of their time working on electronics, making big steps with the HRC package they had struggled with for most of the season. Rea was two tenths quicker than Chaz Davies on the factory Ducati, the Welshman making his second test on the Italian machine, and ending up ahead of Marco Melandri on the factory Aprilia.
Major absentee at the test was reigning world champion Tom Sykes. The Yorkshireman had been scheduled to test, but his wife went into labor before the test started, and Sykes rushed back to be with his wife as she gave birth to their baby daughter.
Unofficial test times:
2013’s World Superbike season is done and dusted. All the appeals are settled and the points are final. The racing at Jerez was nearly touched by the weather, but luckily for the series, it stayed dry for the world championship races.
World Superbike race two at Jerez would end in the traditional Spanish fireworks being lit by the world champion, but would they be lit on the track? With Marco Melandri sitting it out due to an injured foot, hurt at home, not on the track, a major catalyst for action would be missing.
Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu came to Jerez with five race wins a piece this year and a score to settle.
Twenty one laps of a dry race at Jerez, after a damp Superstock race, would not be the most exciting race for the most part, but moments of absolute brilliance shone through.
In the second timed qualifying, Federico Sandi either didn’t see or ignored a black flag with orange circle and was fined €500 by Race Direction. As he qualified for Superpole in that session, it’s unlikely he will be complaining much.
The last Superpole of the year opened with fifteen riders vying for twelve spots, as usual in dry sessions, with two qualifying tyres to spend in three sessions.
Tom Sykes, after just nine laps of free practice, crashed his bike and sat out the rest of the session, but six laps earlier, he set the fastest time in a session that looked like riders were testing tyres rather than hot-lapping. Jules Cluzel recorded the second fastest time ahead of Toni Elias.
Vladimir Leonov, teammate to newly crowned world champion Sam Lowes, leads Kenan Sofuoglu by three tenths of a second, with Lowes third fastest. The session was red-flagged with under a minute to go due to a crash. No riders were injured. Fabien Foret, aiming for third in the championship, continues his standard of leaving it until Sunday, two seconds off front-row pace.
Davide Giugliano and Toni Elias, each of whom topped a session yesterday, beat out the factory Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, while Tom Sykes, fastest throughout a large portion of today's session, held off the BMWs of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. Lorenzo Lanzi was, as has been the case all weekend, faster than both the factory Ducatis.
World Superbike racing has not been held at Jerez since 1990, favouring the MotoGP men for experience, much like Istanbul. However, many teams used the track last winter for testing, so none of the title contenders arrived blind.
Of all the tracks to favour a particular motorcycle, the fates gave this one, the last race weekend of the year, to Aprilia, throwing a lifeline of tantalising hope to Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli. Aprilia use Jerez as their test track and, as is evidenced by all four Aprilias occupying four out of the top five positions in both sessions, it looks like the results are in.
The data that Aprilia garnered from the Jerez tests also assisted Davide Giugliano and Toni Elias, with the latter never having ridden an Aprilia at the track before while the former rode the Alstare bike at Jerez last winter, as his first track time on his new bike. Elias, of course has GP experience at the track as well as a bike that suits it.
Davide Giugliano takes provisional pole ahead of Aprilia's party spoiler Marco Melandri and three other Aprilias. Eugene Laverty rounds out the provisional front row, with Toni Elias, the morning's pace man holding the top spot until an early crash, fourth fastest ahead of Sylvain Guintoli.
Sam Lowes and his teammate Vladimir Leonov topped the timed session with Kenan Sofuoglu rounding out the provisional front row.
Toni Elias leads title hopefuls Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli ahead of the last race weekend of the season. Davide Giugliano demonstrates the Aprilia dominance of the session in fifth place behind Marco Melandri. Tom Sykes in sixth is just ahead of Lorenzo Lanzi on his old porky Ducati 1098R, embarassing the factory Panigales.