Jerez, Spain

Marco Melandri: "The New Rules Are Hurting Ducati More Than Anyone"

The Jerez test offered the first chance to see the new regulations in action. For Marco Melandri it confirmed his worst fears; Ducati are being hit harder than anyone

That Ducati has been hit hardest by the 2018 regulations shouldn't come as a surprise, but following three days of testing at Jerez it was surprising how morose Marco Melandri felt. The Italian returned to WorldSBK in 2017 and was able to have a strong season that was highlighted by a victory in front of his home fans at Misano.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test Combined Times: Dovizioso, Rea Fastest From Jerez Test Week

With five days of testing complete at Jerez, the balance can be drawn up for the riders in all three series which were present. Conditions were almost perfect, with five days of sunshine and reasonably warm temperatures for the time of year. The track resurfacing, which took place during the summer, helped immensely, especially for the MotoGP teams, as they rode here on the old surface back in May.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test 1pm Friday Times: Rea Leads Sykes As Qualifiers Appear

Jonathan Rea was fastest at lunchtime at the Jerez WorldSBK and MotoGP test. Rea was into the 1'37s on a qualifying tire early on in the session, riders getting started early so they can finish up early. Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes is second quickest, also setting his time on a qualifier, while KTM's Pol Espargaro is the fastest of the MotoGP riders, just ahead of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins on the Suzuki.

Times at 1pm:

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test Thursday Times: Dovizioso Beats Crutchlow, Melandri Edges Lowes

Andrea Dovizioso finished as fastest on Thursday at Jerez, the factory Ducati rider using the morning to break Jorge Lorenzo's pole record from 2015 - though as this is a private test, this is only an unofficial time, and so Lorenzo's record will stand until the race here in May - going over a quarter of a second faster than Lorenzo did on the Yamaha two years ago. Cal Crutchlow was second fastest, also under the pole record, having spent a full and busy day jumping between three different bikes and racking up a grand total of 90 laps, more than any other rider on the grid. 

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test 1pm Thursday Times: Dovizioso Under Pole Record

It is another busy day at Jerez, with World Superbikes and MotoGP on track. Andrea Dovizioso is currently fastest, having dropped under Jorge Lorenzo's 2015 pole record thanks in no small part to the new grippy surface at the track. Dovizioso's Ducati teammate Jorge Lorenzo is currently second quickest, just outside his pole record, while Andrea Iannone is third. Tito Rabat continues to impress, currently fourth quickest ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test Wednesday Notes: Hard Work, Secretive Factories, And New Asphalt

It has been a very busy track at Jerez, with a total of 27 bikes on track at some point or other on Wednesday, with a good mixture of MotoGP, WorldSBK, and the Honda Racing BSB team of Jason O'Halloran and Dan Linfoot. What the first day of testing showed is that the WorldSBK bikes are almost as fast as a MotoGP machine – or at least, a Kawasaki is, shod with qualifiers and ridden with sufficient attitude by Tom Sykes in this case – and that the new surface means the track is a good deal quicker than it was when the MotoGP race was held here back in May. Full times are here.

As it is a private test, there is very little official communication from the teams, despite the fact that a group of journalists – including myself – is here in the paddock. KTM and Suzuki have been forthcoming and helpful, Ducati are cagey, Aprilia don't have much to test, and Honda are secretive – and all of the work is currently falling on Cal Crutchlow's shoulders, as the Repsol Honda team are saving their test days for next year. Honda are not as secretive as Yamaha, however, who are holding their private test over in Sepang, under a virtual media blackout. All we know about that is that Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco, and Kohta Nozane will be on the bike, as Jonas Folger is still not fit enough to be riding.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test Wednesday Final Times: Iannone Leads A Close Field

Andrea Iannone has topped the timesheets on the first day of combined testing for the MotoGP and WorldSBK classes at Jerez. The Suzuki rider made a push in the afternoon to take over top spot, and stayed there to the end. Cal Crutchlow took second spot, despite a very busy test schedule working on three different bikes (a 2017 bike, and two iterations of a 2018 bike), while Andrea Dovizioso just edged ahead of Ducati teammate Jorge Lorenzo to take third. The top four were close, however: just 0.138 separated Iannone from Lorenzo.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test 1pm Wednesday Times: Iannone Leads Sykes

The Jerez circuit is packed, with 27 riders from 3 different series all cutting laps. Andrea Iannone is fastest overall on the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP bike, already under Jorge Lorenzo race lap record. Tom Sykes has also matched that feat on the Kawasaki WorldSBK machine, a sign that the resurfaced track is a good deal quicker.

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