Jonathan Rea has topped the timesheets at the two-day test at Jerez, the Kawasaki Racing Team rider nearly two thirds of a second faster than the rest of the field. Alex Lowes ended the day second on the Pata Yamaha, while Leon Haslam made a big step forward to set the third fastest time, a second behind his teammate.
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A dry night meant the WorldSBK riders got underway much earlier on Tuesday, the riders taking to the track some time around 10:30am under sunny skies if chilly temperatures. The work from yesterday continues, the Yamahas, Ducatis, and Kawasakis circulating in preparation of the 2019 season.
Jonathan Rea finished the first day of testing for the WorldSBK riders on top of the timesheets, the 2019 Kawasaki ZX-10R proving to be as fast as ever with the Northern Irishman aboard. Alvaro Bautista adapted to the Pirelli tires and WorldSBK Ducati Panigale V4 quickly setting the second fastest time three tenths behind Rea, and a quarter of a second ahead of his Aruba.it Ducati teammate Chaz Davies. Alex Lowes was the fastest Yamaha in fourth.
Another day, another test at the Jerez circuit, this time with the WorldSBK riders. The Yamahas, Kawasakis, and Ducatis are at Jerez on their second test of the season, after kicking off at Aragon. It was another late start due to overnight rain, but the weather has been significantly better over the course of the day, and the track has been busy since it dried out enough to get some use.
A new era dawned for Ducati at the Motorland Aragon circuit on Wednesday, as the Panigale V4R took to the track for the first time in the hands of the riders who will be racing it. Chaz Davies of the factory-backed Aruba.it Ducati team and Michael Ruben Rinaldi of Barni Racing put the first serious laps on the bike after Michele Pirro has brought it to this point during testing.
After the shortened World Supersport race finished with almost a third of the riders not completing the race, the World Superbike race was cancelled. While World Supersport runs with treaded tyres, World Superbike's full slicks would have been a liability with all the standing water running across the track at fast corners. With nothing on the line, except Jonathan Rea's attempts at hording more records, the race was sensibly cancelled.
The last World Supersport race of the year was delayed by adverse weather in Qatar, first with a sandstorm, then a rainstorm. The championship decider between Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel was then reduced to just twelve laps on a dry track with rivers of water across a few corners.
World Superbike's penultimate race of 2018 took place under the floodlights of Losail, Qatar. The sun's departure gave the track a drop in temperature down to 30ºC. Jake Smrz missed out this weekend, leaving just eighteen bikes to contest the win over seventeen laps.
World Supersport qualifying started with the floodlights turning on over Losail, as the sunset turned to dusk. Hikari Okubo and Thomas Gradinger were the favourites to advance to Superpole Two where they could contest pole position alongside the Yamahas of Lucas Mahias and Sandro Cortese.
Superpole opened as the sun set over Losail, before the lights were needed for the Friday session. Leandro Mercado and Xavi Fores were the fastest riders to miss out on the top ten, being favourites for promotion, while Eugene Laverty was quickest in two out of the three sessions yesterday and would be aiming to take pole position ahead of World Champion Jonathan Rea and the man who took Laverty's 2019 seat, Tom Sykes. The long lap length of the track will mean fewer runs, making each lap more important than at shorter tracks.
Eugene Laverty ended the day quickest ahead of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Alex Lowes was tenth quickest, but his time from the second session kept him in the top four heading to tomorrow's Superpole. Jakub Smrz, after a crash in Free Practice one, was declared unfit.
Lucas Mahias and Sandro Cortese once again topped the session, this time the only two riders inder 2'01s. Randy Krummenacher was half a second slower than Mahias's quickest time, with Jules Cluzel another two tenths of a second behind him.
Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty were the only riders under 1'58 as the floodlights were turned on. The session was briefly red-flagged eight minutes from the end.
Lucas Mahias, fresh from having his unusual finish at Portimao instated as a win on appeal, tops the sheets, with only chanpionship leader Sandro Cortese able to join him in the 2'01s.
Fresh from being dropped by his team and not having a ride for 2019, Eugene Laverty bounced back with the top spot in Free Practice one of the last weekend of the season. Jonathan Rea was predictably second quickest, in spite of an early crash.