Rain forced the WorldSBK teams assembled at Jerez to abandon the test planned for the past two days. Though the weather was better on Thursday than it had been on Wednesday, the track took a long time to dry out, and with only 8 days of testing for the season, the teams decided to call off the test instead.
Honda and Kawasaki will return to Jerez next week, with Honda testing for two days, on January 27th and 28th, and Kawasaki to test on 28th. The forecast for that period is currently for good weather, which promises a dry track.
Though the official teams skipped the test, there were riders out on track. Stefan Bradl continued work on the 2021 Honda RC213V MotoGP machine, which features a new frame and swingarm. The frame is much beefier around the swingarm mount, a sign that Honda is playing with stiffness in search of rideability. A full gallery of photos can be found over on the Italian GPOne.com website.
Johann Zarco also took to the track on a Ducati Panigale street bike to get accustomed to speed again, and the Frenchman put in a total of 37 laps. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was also at the circuit, testing Ducati's WorldSBK machinery, rather than the MotoGP bike. Pirro and Zarco lapped in the mid to high 1'45s, nearly 7 seconds off lap record pace, a sign that the track was too wet to produce too much useful data.
Press releases from some of the teams present appear below:
Superbike test scheduled to take place this week has now been cancelled due to wet weather.
Team HRC was looking forward to testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain yesterday and today, but the weather conditions have unfortunately put paid to its plans. Rain and a constantly wet track meant that there was little point in sending Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam out with their CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Team HRC waited until lunchtime today to see if conditions might improve enough to make testing worthwhile, but although it eventually stopped raining, the track remained wet, temperatures not particularly cold but also not warm enough to allow the surface to dry quickly.
In an attempt to fully exploit the annual allocation of test days, the session has therefore been rescheduled and Team HRC will return to the Andalusian circuit on 27-28 January, ready to complete the work it had planned for this week.
WEATHER CONDITIONS CANCEL KRT TEST
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea were unable to take to the track for a planned two-day test at Jerez on 20-21 January, due to wet weather.
Needing a dry track surface to confirm the development programme of the exciting new Ninja ZX-10RR in WorldSBK specification, a completely wet first day - and no prospect of a truly dry track surface on day two - led the team to call an end to their immediate test plans.
New rules that limit the number of available private test days in 2021 to a total of ten also contributed to the final decision not to take the track in wet conditions.
Much of the pre-season evaluation and data-gathering has was done at the end of the 2020 season, during tests at Jerez and Motorland Aragon in November, but to re-confirm some items and try new elements of the performance package KRT is now aiming to schedule another test day at Jerez, on 28 January.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It is a great shame not to test but the track is not going to be perfect today, so we decided to call it early. The guys can pack up and everyone can go home a little bit earlier. With the new regulations in place for limited test days, we need to be clever and use these days when they are most important. Right now we need to confirm some important items in dry conditions, that we already tested at Jerez the end of last season.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “This is typical English weather - so I must have brought it with me! It is a shame but the first thing to say is that there has been so much effort from the guys, especially with the Corona virus restrictions, to put everything in place to get us down here to test. So thank you to them. It is a shame the weather did not cooperate this time but it has been nice to see everyone – and see my bike again.”
Pere Riba (Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea): “We were here for a two day test but still the track is wet and it is raining. With the new rules we have, for a limited number of testing days through the year, we decided to cancel. It is a shame because we had some engine items to test, but this is life; something we cannot control.”
Marcel Duinker (Crew Chief for Alex Lowes): “After the November test, where we did 95% of the job we normally do in a winter test, we were very confident here to re-start the 2021 schedule. Unfortunately, we have had some wet conditions but on the other side we are confident of the job we have done so far. We already said to each other that if we had to race tomorrow, we would be ready. Next week we have the opportunity to test for one day at a sunny Jerez, so we will return and continue our plan.”
Private test at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) cancelled due to rain
After the heavy rain that cancelled the first day of the private test at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), the Angel Nieto Circuit was still very wet today, partly due to sporadic showers that prevented Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi from getting on track to do some solid work with their Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Due to the restrictions on testing days introduced by Dorna this season, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team preferred not to take to the track, working immediately to find a new date and circuit as soon as possible.
Rain prevents Pedercini Racing from making their 2021 on-track debut with Loris Cresson
The planned two-day test at the Jerez Circuit in Southern Spain which should have seen OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini back on-track for the first of several pre-season tests has unfortunately been cancelled due to bad weather.
Whilst naturally disappointed to postpone their first 2021 outing, the squad made the decision to avoid wasting one of their limited test days and will now focus on a revised test schedule ahead of the FIM Superbike World Championship season opener at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands in April.
Lucio Pedercini – Team Manager: “It’s been frustrating for everyone over the last two days and I know Loris was keen to ride again but in the end the weather stopped us. We waited until the final moment, hoping the weather would improve enough for Loris to ride but in the end, it was not possible. The track was damp and not fully dry so what would Loris benefit from riding in less than perfect conditions? With Johan Zarco and Michele Pirro several seconds off the pace we saw no point in losing two test days from our allocation. We now need to evaluate when and where we will test before what already had planned at the beginning of March, but we need to time to see when and where it could be possible.”
Loris Cresson: “It’s not great to start the year like this but it is how it is and was the same for everyone. On Tuesday when it was clear we couldn’t ride I went back to the hotel and to the gym. I was hoping to ride on Wednesday but unfortunately the weather was still against us. Nevertheless, it was great to meet the team again and I am even more excited to get back on track as soon as we can!”