A wet Superpole in France and all bets were off. Without a choice of tyres, everyone apparently getting the new wet weather Pirelli, we would not get the usual shift on a race tyre followed by a shift on a qualifying tyre as the better tactic is to just go out and get as many laps in fourteen minutes as possible.
Tom Sykes was quickest, ahead of Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Leon haslam, in this untimed session.
With nobody beating Jonathan Rea's quickest time from yesterday, Chaz Davies was quickest this morning, ahead of Rea, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.
Superpole qualifying will have Luca Scassa and Matteo Baiocco as the two favourites in Superpole One to get promoted to Superpole Two. Impressive German wildcard Markus Reiterberger qualified for Superpole Two.
Press releases after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:
Jonathan Rea was the only rider under the 1'38 mark, heading off Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes. Sylvain Guintoli, in front of his home crowd, was the only rider not to improve on his morning's time.
Tom Sykes leads the four riders under 1'39, comprising of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies. The top eight all posted times under two thirds of a second off Sykes's fast time.
As had been long predicted, Yamaha is to return to the World Superbike championship in 2016 to race the YZF-R1. Yamaha Motor Europe is to throw its weight behind the Crescent team run by Paul Denning, and will field 2014 WSBK champion Sylvain Guintoli and Crescent's current rider Alex Lowes.
Great things are expected of the new R1. Once the teams got it dialed in, the bike has performed exceptionally well in its debut year in the BSB and MotoAmerica championships, as well as in World Endurance. Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro and Katsuyuki Nakasuga took the bike to victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours race as well.
The Yamaha set up will be very similar to that of the highly successful Kawasaki team, where Crescent receive factory backing from Yamaha, while running the team independently.
2015 Jerez World Superbike Post-Race Test: Baiocco Fastest On Qualifiers, Kawasakis Quickest On Race Rubber
The vast majority of the World Superbike grid stayed on at the Jerez circuit on Monday, to continue work for the remaining two rounds of the WSBK season. Work was focused primarily on set up, and especially electronics, with Pirelli bringing new tires for the riders to try.
Ducati worked on electronics, including traction control and engine braking strategies, as well as some new fork parts to optimize front end feel. Kawasaki had new engine and chassis parts to test, the bike working well enough to finish as fastest on race rubber. The focus for freshly-crowned WSBK champion Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes was improving performance during the second half of the race, when tire wear starts to play a role.
Aprilia had a lot of work to do, chasing power delivery through electronics and also chassis set up. Honda were less busy, having new brakes to test and playing around with chassis geometry. Crescent Suzuki had the easiest day, choosing not to participate in the test on Monday.
Press releases from the teams and series organizers after the World Superbike and World Supersport races at Jerez:
A press release interview with the 2015 World Superbike champion:
Jonathan Rea: Superbike World Champion 2015
After finishing fourth in the first WorldSBK race at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) became the FIM Superbike World Champion for the first time in his career.
Born in Northern Ireland in 1987, Jonathan only joined the Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2015 season, after taking part in his first full WSB season in 2009.
He made an immediate impact on the Ninja ZX-10R in winter testing and won the first race of the year for Kawasaki, at Phillip Island on February 22nd. He won 12 of the first 20 races, and has not finished off the podium in any of them, before arriving in Spain to lift his crown.
A Q&A with Jonathan follows, below, plus some of his remarkable facts and statistics and comments from Kawasaki and his KRT team.
Q: What does it feel like, personally, to have a year like this, especially after having been in the championship for such a long time?
A press release on Jonathan Rea from the series organizer:
Jonathan Rea: 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Champion
An undeniable talent seals an indisputable world title.
The Pirelli Spanish Round has gone down in history as the WorldSBK race meeting at which Jonathan Rea was crowned World Champion of 2015. The British rider, standard bearer of the Kawasaki Racing Team, clinched the ultimate goal in Race 1 courtesy of his fourth position. He has been pursuing the title since his first full campaign in 2009.
Rea first mounted the all-conquering Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R at MotorLand Aragon on 17 November 2014, supported all the way by Team Manager and former rider Guim Roda. The Northern Irishman arrived in Malaysia at the start of August already with a mathematic chance of claiming the title, despite three rounds still remaining of the 13. After Race 1 at Jerez, he has now won 12 races this year and picked up 20 podium finishes from the first 21 races. He is chasing Doug Polen’s 1991 record of 17 race victories in one season, which can now only be equalled.
The temperature climbed to 29ºC, taking the track to a slow 43ºC.
Jonathan Rea needs a top ten place to secure the title, but can he manage that in the cool weather without his favourite SC2 front tyre?
Superpole took place under a warm Spanish sky, the clouds doing nothing to lower the scorching temperature. Jordi Torres had the fastest time going into qualifying.