The provisional 2017 World Superbike calendar has been released, but unlike the MotoGP calendar, which is unchanged, there are a couple of minor differences to the schedule. The World Superbike class will contest 13 rounds, just as they did in 2016, spread across three continents. Sepang and Jerez have been dropped, and Portimao makes a comeback.
Testing is underway again for 2016, with the Pata Yamaha and Aruba.it Ducati teams the first bikes to hit the track ahead of the new season. The two teams held a two-day private test at Portimao, to shake out the cobwebs and get ready for the season which is to come. The teams now move to Jerez, where they will be joined by more of the WSBK field for a test on 26th and 27th January.
The press releases issued by Yamaha and Ducati appear below:
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Concludes Successful Portimão Test
Press releases from the series organizers and some of the teams after Monday's World Superbike test at Portimao:
Rapid Giugliano tops Portimao test
Ducati rider on top as WorldSBK riders sample selection of new tyres.
Following the Nilox Portuguese Round which brought the curtain down on the first half of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season, the riders were back in action on Monday for no less than seven hours of testing which started at 9am.
The majority of the World Superbike field stayed on at Portimao for an official one-day test at the Portuguese circuit, taking advantage of the limited testing opportunities the WSBK riders have this year. Ducati's Davide Giugliano leaves the test as quickest, putting in a very quick lap at the very end of testing to finish three tenths ahead of yesterday's double race winner Jonathan Rea. Rea kept just ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, while Leon Haslam set the fourth quickest time on the Aprilia.
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the Portuguese round of WSBK:
Rea wins flag-to-flag opening race at Portimao
Sykes 2nd despite small technical problem on penultimate lap, Davies completes top-3.
|2||J. Cluzel||MV Agusta||110||-40|
|4||L. Zanetti||MV Agusta||81||-69|
The first race of the second half of the season, number fourteen of twenty-six, would not suffer from the bad weather that caused drama in the opening race.
Tom Sykes took the lead into the first turn with the Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies one again following him into turn one. Jonathan Rea, having pushed Alex Lowes offline, was fifth, behind Leon Haslam, but wasted no time in passing him a few turns into the first lap.
Both men having won here before, and the weather having dried up, the battle between Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu would continue unabated for 18 laps at the Algarve Circuit. Sofuoglu would be hunting a record-breaking fifth win in a row, while Cluzel would just be looking to get his title challenge back on track.
Clouds loomed near a windy Algarve circuit as the riders prepared to start the first of their two 20 lap races. Rain wasn't forecast, but that's never stopped it before.
Tom Sykes broke away from the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, but the best start was behind the front three as Jonathan Rea launched himself to fourth place from the third row, taking third off Giugliano after Davies passed his teammate and he took second place from Davies at the end of the first lap.