With Superpole entry decided with the two one-hour sessions on Friday, getting up to speed quickly is more important than last year, and all but one rider, Karel Abraham, improved on their morning's times to determine which session they qualify in tomorrow. Tom Sykes was quickest, almost a second quicker than Chaz Davies's time set in the first hour, with Davies and Michael van der Mark completing the provisional front row. Lorenzo Savadori, reigning FIM Superstock 1000 champion, was an impressive fifth quickest, between Davide Giugliano and Jonathan Rea on the provisional second row.
Motorland Aragon, Spain
Red flags were brought out with just over nine minutes remaining and Kyle Ryde and Glenn Scott were taken to the medical centre after crashing at turn two. After the restart, Jules Cluzel set the fastest time three times before the session ended, with Randy Krummenacher, Kenan Sofuoglu and PJ Jacobsen also putting in their fastest times before the flag came out. Glenn Scott was taken to Alcaniz Hospital for a left tibia open fracture.
Chaz Davies opens the first European round of World Superbike with the quickest lap on his Ducati Panigale ahead of the Hondas of Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark. Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes make it four manufacterers in the top five quickest bikes while the BMW and Aprilia of Jordi Torres and Alex De Angelis fight it out for the top speed in tenth and eighteenth respectively.
With Ducati refining the already competitive GP15 into the Desmo16, and Suzuki bringing a seamless gearbox and new, more powerful engine for the GSX-RR, the battle among the manufacturers in MotoGP is getting closer. The one exception so far has been Aprilia, who soldiered on through 2015 with an uprated version of the ART machine, which was still based on the RSV4 production bike, while they worked on a brand new prototype.
The FIM have today at last finalized the 2016 MotoGP calendar. The two circuits which were still subject to contract, Brno and Jerez, have now had their contracts confirmed. The calendar is unchanged from the provisional calendar published between Sepang and Valencia last year.
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
2016 Calendar, 10 February
The FIM and Dorna are pleased to confirm that the FIM Grand Prix World Championship calendar published as provisional on November 2 is now final.
The Milwaukee BMW and Kawasaki World Superbike teams issued the following press releases after their final private test in Europe at the Motorland Aragon circuit, before flying off to Australia for the tests and opening round of WSBK:
Milwaukee BMW make progress at WorldSBK Aragón test
The Milwaukee BMW team gained more data from their S1000RR despite difficult weather conditions at the Motorland Aragón circuit.
Aprilia's MotoGP project has suffered a setback. The 2016 version of their RS-GP MotoGP machine will not be ready in time for the first official IRTA test at Sepang, according to a report by Crash.net's Neil Morrison. Instead, it will make its debut in a private test at Qatar, ahead of the third preseason test of 2016, with its first public outing coming in that third and final test, two weeks before the start of the 2016 season.
The FIM today released the provisional 2016 calendar for the World Superbike championship. There is good news and bad news in the calendar, with Portimao disappearing from the calendar, but Monza making a welcome return. World Superbikes will also be returning to Germany, with the entire circus turning up to the Lausitzring, just north of Dresden. The best news is that there are no direct clashes with MotoGP, but WSBK will be running on the same date as F1 for nine rounds, though only the Donington and Monza rounds happen in the same timezone.
Press releases from the World Superbike teams after testing at Aragon:
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team concludes another winter test session in Spain
Aragón (Spain), Tuesday 17 November 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team and its rider Chaz Davies have completed another two-day test session at the Spanish circuit of Motorland Aragón. Chaz Davies was joined on track this week by Xavi Forés.
Jonathan Rea leaves the Motorland Aragon circuit as the fastest man from the two-day World Superbike test at the circuit. Rea spent the day working on the engine management and electronics. The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R has shown itself to be a powerful machine, but the acceleration is not as easy to manage as the 2015 bike. Rea's Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes also lapped Aragon on Tuesday, after choosing to sit out the first day of the two-day test due to the weather conditions.