While most of the world's attention was focused on the first MotoGP test of the year at Sepang, in Spain, a few of the World Superbike teams used a private test to prepare for their journey Down Under to the season opener at Phillip Island. The rain prevented testing for the first day of the test, but the second day took place under sunny skies, but with high winds and damp patches making going tricky.
Reigning world champion Tom Sykes topped the timesheets after the two-day test, ending two tenths ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Loris Baz. Aprilia's Marco Melandri and Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea shared the third fastest time, a tenth behind Baz. Melandri had a crash on the first day, but walked away unhurt. His teammate also crashed, not what Sylvian Guintoli was looking for on his first return to the track after surgery to fix the shoulder he injured last year. Like Melandri, Guintoli suffered no damage.
While Honda and Kawasaki were hitting the track in Southern Spain, the Voltcom Suzuki team were in the UK for the launch of their 2014 campaign. Riders Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes unveiled the machine they will be racing this year at the Crescent headquarters in Dorset.
The riders now pack up and head south to Australia for the season opener in two weeks' time. Before the season starts in earnest, there will be a final test at Phillip Island for all of the teams.
Unofficial times from the test, courtesy of the official WorldSBK.com website:
|1||1||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing||1:42.1|
|2||76||Loris Baz||Kawasaki Racing||1:42.3||0.2||0.2|
|3||33||Marco Melandri||Aprilia Racing||1:42.4||0.3||0.1|
|4||65||Jonathan Rea||Pata Honda||1:42.4||0.3||0.0|
|5||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia Racing||1:42.5||0.4||0.1|
|6||11||Jeremy Guarnoni||MRS Kawasaki - EVO||1:43.5||1.4||1.0|
|7||91||Leon Haslam||Pata Honda||1:43.7||1.6||0.2|
|8||44||David Salom||Kawasaki Racing – EVO||1:44.1||2.0||0.4|
|9||21||Alessandro Andreozzi||Pedercini Kawasaki – EVO||1:44.5||2.4||0.4|