While Honda's MotoGP riders have headed to the far east to continue testing, their World Superbike counterparts have trekked south to Jerez, joining a large group of WSBK riders testing at the circuit. The choice of the World Superbike men proved to be a far better one than HRC's, with the test taking place under close to ideal conditions at the circuit in the south of Spain.
The name at the top of the timesheets is no surprise, Tom Sykes carrying the momentum he gained at the end of the 2012 WSBK season on into testing. Though both Kawasaki men went out without transponders, their reported times were fast, Sykes ending the day with a lap of 1:41.3, nearly nine tenths quicker than anyone else. Second fastest man was Michel Fabrizio, the Italian now riding an Aprilia RSV4 with the Red Devils Roma squad, and impressing in his early rides on the bike. Fabrizio ended ahead of factory Aprilia man Eugene Laverty, though the margin was slim, just over five hundredths of a second.
Loris Baz set the 4th time on the second Kawasaki, a second behind his teammate, but half a second faster than Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman making his debut with the factory Aprilia team, despite any official notice of him having signed for 2013. That announcement appears to be just days away, possibly depending on how Guintoli performs at the test. So far, he has been very pleased with his first ride on the Aprilia, his crew chief Bruno Vecchioni telling leading French magazine Moto Journal that Guintoli had returned to the pits after a few outings and said "This thing is a missile!" Guintoli was faster than the two Ten Kate Honda men, who have new engine parts to evaluate at Jerez.
Among the World Supersport men present, Dutchman Michael van der Mark made an outstanding debut on the Ten Kate Honda, lapping Jerez as fastest, over a second ahead of reigning WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu. The Kawasaki rider in turn finished ahead of another pair of Hondas, those of Lorenzo Zanetti and Jack Kennedy, while Fabien Foret ended in 5th on the Kawasaki, over 2 seconds behind Van der Mark.
|1||60||Michael van der Mark||Honda||1:45.908|