2014 World Superbikes Private Jerez Test Results: Sykes Tops Timesheets Before WSBK Flies South

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:

Pos No Rider Team Time Diff Previous
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


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Can't wait for the season to get going.

David, is Jared still on board for the WSB write-ups?

I thought Haslam would be a WSB Title Contender after his stint with BMW. He's lagging behind Rea again on the same machinery! I've always known that Rea is an exceptional talent riding the slow Fireblade to podiums and race wins. Every team-mate that Rea has had only illustrates just how good he really is. I hope Rea stays healthy and the team gets the Fireblade-SP sorted out finally before Rea's chances at the title are gone again.

I know this test had limited participants. Where has EBR and their 1190RX (?) been testing?

if rea was exeptional other and better factorys would have sign him. and he wont be riding that old fart again.!

They probably tried, but he's loyal to Honda hoping that they will provide him with a path to MotoGP one day. And he seems to believe their promises that they will finally improve his ride. I think the only way the Fireblade is going to be competitive is when all bikes have to be EVO, the same with Suzuki.

Can't necessarily agree with yogi bear. A rider's stock in the racing classes can be severely curtailed by the equipment they are saddled with. Just ask about anyone other than Casey Stoner who has sat in the saddle of a Ducati MotoGP bike. I think Melandri in particular would agree with me. An example on the flip side, also from MotoGP, is the buzz Aleix Espargaro is generating at the moment.

I wonder if the Pirelli's are going to insta-shred within 8 to 10 laps like the Bridgestones in MotoGP did last time out?

Isn't that standard operating procedure for the Pirellis everywhere?