The third day of the combined World Superbike and MotoGP test at Jerez saw a lot more action on track at the Spanish circuit, as some teams left and several more arrived to start testing. The BMW Althea and Kawasaki teams were the absentees, while the Ten Kate Honda teams, Barni Ducati and Aruba.it Ducati teams, Leon Camier at MV Agusta, and the Crescent Yamaha World squad all joined the World Superbike fray. The Repsol Honda and Gresini Aprilia teams were both out with their official MotoGP riders, while Michele Pirro was on testing duties for Ducati. The Aspar Ducati team were also circulating, with Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernandez out working on the GP14.2.
Despite the (relatively) heavy traffic on track, the timing sheets remained relatively empty. Only the Ten Kate Hondas, the Ducati Panigales and Leon Camier's MV Agusta F4 were fitted with transponders relaying official timing back to the circuit systems. The Yamahas of Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli, as well as all of the MotoGP bikes, were out without any official timing, and so no lap times were reported.
Of the times reported, Nicky Hayden was the fastest rider, making an impressive start on just his second outing on the Honda Fireblade. The American was at or near the top of the timesheets all day, ending the day just under a tenth of a second faster than Chaz Davies on the Ducati 1199R. Hayden's time was just a couple of tenths shy of his best lap in the race back in May aboard the Open class Honda, and seven tenths off the pace set by reigning WSBK champion Jonathan Rea on his first day at the track.
Xavi Fores, who will be racing for the Barni Ducati team in 2016, was third quickest, three tenths off the pace of Hayden, and two tenths behind factory rider Davies. Leon Camier ended the day in fourth, taking over testing duties on the MV Agusta from Marco Melandri again, and riding with a transponder. Davide Giugliano was fifth quickest, the factory Ducati man making his return after a long lay off with a back injury. Dutchman Michael van der Mark was the slowest of the officially timed WSBK riders, a second off the pace of his Ten Kate teammate. PJ Jacobsen was the only World Supersport rider to record a time, his best lap six tenths off the time set by WSS champ Kenan Sofuoglu on his first day of testing.
Though no times were made available, there were a few conclusions to be drawn from MotoGP testing. Honda were out in force, with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez having two 2016 bikes including minor chassis updates from the Valencia test, and one 2015 bike for comparison. The main objective was to work on the 2016 software, and assess the 2016 engine which they tried at Valencia. Aprilla were also focusing on the 2016 software, while the Aspar Ducati riders were continuing to work on set up for the GP14.2 bikes they will be fielding in 2016. No official times were recorded, but British newspaper MCN's man on the ground Steve English compiled a list of unofficial times. In a press release, Repsol Honda gave Marc Marquez as having set a time of 1'39.92, and Dani Pedrosa of 1'40.12. Marquez' time is about a second off his fastest lap during the race here in May.
There were a few riders who took a tumble on Wednesday. Alex Lowes lost the front of his Yamaha YZF-R1 at Turn 3 late in the afternoon, while Dani Pedrosa also fell a little earlier at the final corner. For Pedrosa to fall is unusual, the Repsol Honda man being a very infrequent crasher in recent years. Pedrosa himself put the crash down to having missed the race this year due to injury, and a lack of data at the track, but suspicion will also fall on the Michelin front, which continues to trouble the riders.
On Thursday, the Pramac Ducati pairing of Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding will also take to the track, as well as the Avintia duo of Hector Barbera and Loris Baz. The Factory Ducati team of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone will have one day on track on Friday.
Times for the WSBK and WSS riders who used a transponder, and reported times from Repsol Honda:
|1||93||Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||MotoGP||1:39.920|
|2||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||MotoGP||1:40.120||0.200||0.200|
|3||69||Nicky Hayden||Honda CBR1000RR||SBK||1:41.512||1.592||1.392|
|4||7||Chaz Davies||Ducati 1199 R||SBK||1:41.595||1.675||0.083|
|5||12||Xavi Fores||Ducati 1199 R||SBK||1:41.809||1.889||0.214|
|6||2||Leon Camier||MV Agusta 1000 F4||SBK||1:42.039||2.119||0.230|
|7||34||Davide Giugliano||Ducati 1199 R||SBK||1:42.525||2.605||0.486|
|8||60||Michael vd Mark||Honda CBR1000RR||SBK||1:42.556||2.636||0.031|
|9||99||PJ Jacobsen||Honda CBR600RR||SSP||1:43.977||4.057||1.421|