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.
Fresh from his Tissot-Superpole on Saturday, it was Davide Giugliano who led the way with a leading lap time of 1’42.346 – three tenths of a second quicker than the best race rubber lap time of the weekend from Jonathan Rea. Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team partner Chaz Davies was sixth quickest, concentrating on further development with the new exhaust. Incidentally, Giugliano continued to feel the affects of flu but was still able to post the fastest lap of the day.
Kawasaki Racing Team filled spots two and three, with World Champion Jonathan Rea ahead of team-mate Tom Sykes. With Sykes’ issues of Sunday having been diagnosed as a sensor problem in Race 1 and a damaged wheel rim (apparent from around the eighth or ninth lap) in Race 2, Monday featured much work on engine, electronics and suspension geometry; unlike over the race weekend, there was now enough time to carry out back-to-back comparisons on suspensions.
Many of the riders focused on their own programmes in the morning before moving on to tyre work in the afternoon, following a one-hour break in track activity. Pirelli rolled out a mammoth 13 new compounds (five front and eight rear); with not enough time available to test all of them, riders were required to decide which compounds they were most willing to sample across the course of the day. Conditions fluctuated between bright sunshine and more overcast spells, with track temperatures reaching some 40 degrees Celsius on what is the southernmost tip of Portugal.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) was fourth overall, leaving team-mate Jordi Torres to undertake most of the tyre development in order for the British rider to have a lighter workload as he continued to feel the affects of his rib injury, worsened by a high-speed crash in Sunday’s first race. Therefore Haslam focused on chassis work while Torres ran a new rear shock.
The top five was completed by Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes, feeling far more comfortable as he and the team made significant strides with its Magneti Marelli electronics package. Team-mate Randy de Puniet was less fortunate; although his best lap time on a race tyre was half a second quicker than his leading effort on Superpole rubber two days earlier, the Frenchman twice parked up his bike due to technical problems in the morning.
Althea Racing had a busy day for more reasons than one. Nico Terol’s entry to the test was modified at late notice, with it being made official at the end of the day that the former Grand Prix World Champion has now parted company with the squad. A full-time replacement is yet to be announced, while in the meantime the bike was ridden by Althea Superstock 1000 rider Raffaele de Rosa. On the other side of the garage Matteo Baiocco was all smiles, fully confident that advancements have been made with the electrically operated traction control and engine braking systems.
Numerous riders had good reason to be pleased. At MV Agusta, Leon Camier overcame early problems to put in a strong run, simultaneously looking into a new rear link and rear swingarm. New electronics strategies pleased both rider and team, with Camier now feeling more confident as he applies the throttle as well as enjoying better engine braking. Further along the pit lane, Team Pedercini analysed new front and rear suspensions; David Salom found two to be particularly to his liking and will continue to trial them at Misano next weekend. Like the aforementioned Baiocco, Majorcan Salom spent the latter part of the day surveying the action trackside as other riders elected to take the chequered flag at 5pm local time (GMT +1).
A total of 19 riders were on-track. This included reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark, as the Pata Honda World Superbike Team tested a new rear shock linkage and a new swingarm as well as continuing with its electronics development work. There were no-shows for Niccolo Canepa and Santiago Barragan, as the Grillini SBK Team did not test, and also for Leandro Mercado as the Barni Racing Team outfit had no new parts to try.
The WorldSBK field will now rest up before blasting back into action next Friday for opening free practice ahead of the Riviera di Rimini Round at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
WorldSBK Portimao DWO Official Test
1 - Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team 1'42.346
2 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +0.315
3 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.336
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team concludes a positive day of testing at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Monday 8 June 2015 - Immediately after concluding the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve yesterday, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team was back on the same track today, with official riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano, to take part in an official Dorna test day.
In hot and sunny conditions (air temperature 30°C, track 52°C), the Italian squad’s work focused principally on testing the various front tyres provided by Pirelli especially for this test. With a whole day available, the riders also tested various set-up solutions for their Panigale R bikes, identifying some interesting things ahead of the next races.
Over the course of the day, Davies completed 74 laps and Giugliano 58, with the team collating a lot of data which it is hoped will be of use in upcoming races, particularly those that will be run in hot conditions.
The Misano World Circuit is the next destination for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team, with round 8 of the World Superbike Championship scheduled to take place over the weekend of 19-21 June.
Quotes at the end of testing:
Davide Giugliano - (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34)
“We have tested various set-up solutions, something that needed to be done calmly during testing as they have taken us quite far from the way we normally work. At the end of the day I can say that some of these configurations have worked very well. Next up is Misano, another hot track, and so I think it’s also important I was able to make my fastest lap today during the afternoon session with a track temperature of over 50°C. The Pirelli solutions have proved to be very effective. All in all, it’s been a really useful day which has brought very positive results for us.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7)
“I have found a bit of a better feel for the front tyre by working with the weight distribution on the bike, but we haven’t really found what we were looking for in terms of getting the bike to turn better, despite having tried a lot of different things. I’ve tested the tyres made available for us by Pirelli and it looks like they have developed some good solutions for future races, especially the hotter ones, so it was good to get a feel for them. I’m still disappointed though because I hoped to find a set-up that would help me when conditions are hotter, but we have nevertheless collected a lot of important information for the next races.”
Portimao (Portugal), 8 June 2015 – The official Superbike test day has concluded at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, where the races making up the seventh round of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship took place yesterday.
The team completed an important day’s work at the Portuguese track, testing some new electronic solutions on Matteo Baiocco’s Ducati Panigale R.
Baiocco worked hard to test all of the materials made available and recording some impressive lap times, positioning close to the top of the timesheets together with Rea and Sykes earlier in the day. Considering the results obtained and without anything else to test, he agreed with the Team to not participate in the afternoon’s session. Despite not taking part in the last three hours, Matteo still finished seventh in the final standings with a best of 1'42.969. A time that would have allowed him to fight for the podium in yesterday’s races. These new updates that have already been used by Ducati in recent races seem to be very effective and can surely make a difference in upcoming races.
Raffaele De Rosa was also out on track in light of Nico Terol’s unavailability. The talented Superstock 1000 rider just had time for a taste of the Superbike and, though the focus was not on lap times, this was nevertheless a good experience for him, and one that might be repeated in the future.
Matteo Baiocco: “We concentrated on fitting our work into the morning’s session as we only had a few electronic updates to test. They proved to be interesting and helped me improve my performance quite a lot – we’ve definitely taken a good step forward. I’m sure that the work carried out here will help us in the next races at Misano and so, all in all, it’s been a positive test. It’s a pity we didn’t have these updates for yesterday’s races, as things would have gone very differently if so, but they’ll be useful as the championship progresses.”
KRT Riders Make Best Use Of Portimao Testing Opportunity
Kawasaki Racing Team competitors Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes took part in an official Dorna World Organisation test session at Portimao on Monday 8th June, just one day after the end of the Portuguese round of the championship.
Rea was fastest in the morning test session, with a 1’42.661 lap time and only went to second place overall at the very end of the afternoon session, after he had completed his large workload on track.
Sykes was third fastest of all with his 1’42.682 lap but like his team-mate Tom concentrated his efforts on improving real race performance rather than just aiming for a quick lap time. He also worked through a selection test items and set-ups, with each KRT rider doing over 80 laps of the intense Portimao circuit.
The conditions at the 4.592km circuit were hotter than on raceday and with a run of forthcoming WSB venues that should also deliver hot track temperatures, this was a particularly valuable test.
WSB tyre supplier Pirelli brought several front and rear tyre options for the teams to evaluate, meaning this rare chance to test mid season, by regulation, also had a strong element of tyre testing included in the schedule of work.
Now the KRT team will focus on the next challenge, the Misano round of the championship, to be held between 19 and 21 June.
Jonathan Rea: “We got through our whole work plan and if testing today gave you points I think we would have scored 25, because we ticked everything in the box. There was a lot of work this morning for Pirelli, with front and rear tyres to get through. Then we had to evaluate some things to try in the front forks, the rear shock and some brake items as well. We have also tried other things to generate more grip. It has been a good day and I am really happy with the work we have done.”
Tom Sykes: “We went through many variables today trying to get the bike around this circuit a little bit better. We tried too many to think about really and overall the function test was very good. I think the lap times were more convincing than on raceday, even though we had a good package then. I want to thank all the mechanics. My crew chief Marcel had a big list of things to try so they were working overtime again. Overall, I think we improved our feeling a little and we can have a good debrief in the next few days and think about it. We have some hot tracks coming up and the best thing about this test is that we set our best time this afternoon, in hot conditions, on a tyre that was more of a consistent race tyre than one designed for pure performance. I am happy about that and hopefully we can transfer that to Misano.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, commented: “We had a very tight schedule because before the test I did not expect this amount of work with Pirelli. They brought some new tyres front and rear. Maybe we could have cancelled some of the tyre options but we have to make the effort, as tyres are so important. We had to try them, especially the fronts, because Jonathan works a lot with the front end. It is his style and he needs really good confidence in the front. We made a good test for Pirelli and we also have the information for us. At the same time we followed our test plan. We had something from KHI to test, and from my side also some small items about suspension, just trying to understand for the next step. I am so pleased with the job Johnny did and he put in a lot of laps in one day.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes, commented: “It was very hot today and we made over 80 laps with Tom. We have only one test day over most of the season so we had to make a very efficient plan. Out of the list of things we had coming here we selected the most important ones. We gave those things a good test and the race pace compared to yesterday improved. The track conditions were not better than yesterday so for that point of view I am happy. It is always good to test after a race weekend because you cannot have any better reference than that. For the second part of the season I am sure we have improved our package.”