Testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes has wrapped up for the winter, as the riders completed the second and final day of testing at Valencia. It was the turn of the Italians to shine, with Pecco Bagnaia topping the timesheets in the Moto2 class, while Enea Bastianini took the honors in Moto3. Bagnaia was fractionally faster than Miguel Oliveira on the KTM, while Monday's fastest man Alex Marquez ended the test in third.
Tom Sykes ended the second day of the Jerez combined WorldSBK test as fastest, taking advantage of the absence of his Kawasaki Racing Team teammate, though he came up just four hundredths short of Rea's time. Rea was absent due to an appointment to collect the MBE he was awarded at Buckingham Palace.
Loris Baz made a massive leap forward on the Althea BMW, improving his time by nearly a second, taking second ahead of Eugene Laverty on the Milwaukee Aprilia, who was also six tenths quicker than he had been the day before.
Scott Smart was tasked with improving the show in 2018. Here the FIM Superbike Technical Director explains the thought process behind the new regulations
Scott Smart has been tasked with writing and rewriting the rule book for Superbikes around the planet. The FIM Superbike Technical Director has been instrumental in bringing about the recent regulation changes for WorldSBK, and speaking at the season ending Qatar round he explained the philosophy behind the changes.
“There's a lot of benefits to these changes but the biggest factor is that we want to find a way to have more exciting racing in WorldSBK,” explained Smart. “With the new regulations each team on the grid has the chance to run the same specification as the factory teams or to develop their own parts. This gives a private team the chance to have a bike with development work already having been completed by simply buying the relevant parts for their bike. This should improve reliability up and down the grid while also improving the quality of packages in the midfield which should improve the racing.
The WorldSBK and BSB riders kicked off the first day of a week-long test at Jerez. With the WorldSBK riders now working under the new rules, the teams are coming to grips with the rev limits put in place.
It didn't slow the KRT Kawasakis up much, however. Jonathan Rea was fastest, as he has been all year, posting a time just under seven tenths slower than his Superpole time back in October. Tom Sykes was second quickest, just over a third of a second behind his teammate, but over a second faster than Eugene Laverty on the Milwaukee Aprilia.
When the 2018 WorldSBK season begins, Jonathan Rea will face arguably the biggest test of his reign as the series champion. He spoke to us about the changes
Three years of unparalleled success have seen Jonathan Rea notch up 39 victories, 70 podiums and three WorldSBK titles. To put those numbers into context, only Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss, and Nori Haga have won more races in their WorldSBK careers. It truly has been a historic run of form for Rea and Kawasaki.
For WorldSBK, though, the achievements have been outweighed by the reaction of fans to these results. Feeling that significant changes were needed to ensure a more competitive balance for the field, they have introduced a wide range of new regulations to curtail the Kawasaki dominance. The goal isn't to stop Rea and Kawasaki winning but simply to allow other manufacturers to get on an even keel.
After testing last week at Jerez, some of the Moto2 and Moto3 have migrated north again, back to Valencia. At the end of Monday, Alex Marquez was the fastest of the Moto2 riders, a couple of tenths quicker than Pecco Bagnaia and Luca Marini. Joan Mir showed good improvement as a rookie, moving up to eighth quickest overall, eight tenths slower than Marquez.
As winter testing begins, we take a look at the regulation changes for WorldSBK in 2018.
The opening round of the 2018 WorldSBK season may be 100 days away but the race to get ready for Phillip Island has begun in earnest. The majority of the paddock are in the south of Spain to begin winter testing at Jerez, and there is certainly a lot of work to be done.
The biggest single change in the history of the series will see widespread changes to the technical regulations. The headline act has been the introduction of mandated - and variable - rev limits for each manufacturer, in a bid to curtail the dominance enjoyed by Kawasaki and Ducati in recent years.
The time schedule for the 2018 round of MotoGP at Qatar is to undergo a radical shake up. As we have previously reported, from next season, the time slots are to be moved up much earlier, with most of the action taking place during the day, and only the MotoGP race to take place completely at night.
The change has been made to address a range of problems at Qatar. The 2017 race came under threat when rain started falling between the end of the Moto2 race and the planned start of the MotoGP race. Fortunately, the track dried sufficiently for the race to start with a 45 minute delay, but the later start pushed the race right into the time period during which the dew usually starts to settle on the track, rendering it treacherous.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the two-day test at Jerez:
Oliveira and Binder start 2018 preseason with strong showing
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders begin preparing for next year with two-day test at Jerez Circuit, in which the Portuguese rider was fastest.
11/17/2017 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
Miguel Oliveira and Aron Canet leave the Jerez joint Moto2 and Moto3 test as the fastest in their respective classes. Among the Moto2 riders, Oliveira knocked nearly eight tenths off his time from Thursday to go a tenth quicker than Pecco Bagnaia, who was fastest yesterday. Alex Marquez - who will be staying on to ride the Honda RC213V MotoGP bike next week - ended Friday as third fastest, ahead of Oliveira's Red Bull KTM teammate Brad Binder. Danny Kent had a very strong day on Friday, setting the fifth fastest time just four tenths off Miguel Oliveira.