Without the World Champion competing, Randy Krummenacher having quit his team for reasons that have now come to light, World Supersport returned to qualifying after a five month break. Without a specific qualifying tyre, best times could be set early or late in the session. Qualifying, for the first time in World Supersport history, now counts for grids on two races with an added Saturday pandemic race every weekend this year.
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World Superbike qualifying took place in a twenty-five minute session at 11am, before the weather really heats up, but was still hot enough to limit the longevity of the Pirelli Superpole tyre.
Lucas Mahias topped the session but was unable to better Andrea Locatelli's Friday morning best time.
With the cooler temperature in the early morning, almost everyone set their quickest laps with Michael van der Mark holding off Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz, and four Yamahas in the top six.
Andrea Locatelli was quickest again, but none of the top ten riders could improve on their morning's times.
As the weather hotted up and the laptimes rose in sympathy, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was the only rider in the top ten to improve on his morning's time, setting the quickest lap of the session ahead of Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista.
Championship leader Andrea Locatelli was over four tenths of a second quicker than the rest of the field in the morning's free practice, ahead of Steven Odendaal and Philipp Oettl. Championship rivals Jules Cluzel and Lucas Mahias were fourth and fifth respectively, with Isaac Viñales sixth quickest.
In what promises to be a hot weekend in Spain, the longest break in World Superbike finally comes to an end.
In a session that spend most of the time with Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Toprak Razgatlioglu at the top, Loris Baz set the quickest lap two thirds of the way through the session. Jonathan Rea was second quickest with Alvaro Bautista getting a decent time out of the new Honda to go third quickest. Scott Redding took his time to get up to speed, but he sneaked in above his teammate Chaz Davies in the last minute.
Jonathan Rea has ended the Barcelona WorldSBK test at the top of the timesheets, after a battle of wills with Ducati's Scott Redding. The pair chased each other to impressive heights during the morning session, throwing new tires at fast times until Redding decided that focusing on used tires was a more productive use of his time than continuing to chase Rea's fast time. "It was fun, it was spicing up the day, but I said, OK, one of us is going to end up with a big crash, because we keep going faster and faster and faster!" Redding commented afterwards.
Testing is underway again for the WorldSBK series, with the main protagonists assembled at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, near Barcelona. Scott Redding ended the day as fastest, the Aruba.it Ducati rider getting up to speed quickly again, finishing nearly two tenths faster than reigning champion Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki.
Testing has concluded at the Misano private test, with a few changes to the riders present on Thursday. KTM skipped the final day, while a group of WorldSSP riders entered the fray.
Aleix Espargaro was the fastest rider on the final day, getting to within a couple of hundredths of Miguel Oliveira's best time from the day before, demonstrating the potential of the 2020 Aprilia RS-GP. Espargaro was happy with both the speed and the pace of the bike, though the reliability of the bike remains a question mark, which will only be removed once the racing begins. The Aprilias were the lone MotoGP bikes on track on Thursday.
Bradley Smith closed the gap to the front by half a second, the Englishman preparing to take the place of Andrea Iannone for the first races of 2020, while the Italian is waiting for his appeal against a doping ban to be heard.
The weekend attendance of 54,437 were treated by close racing in the first two races with a promise of more for the last race of the weekend.
World Supersport has slick tyres available to them for the first time, and for safety, there is a mid-race pit stop for a tyre change. No more than ten laps can be raced on one rear tyre, and at least forty five seconds must be spent in the pits.
The first ten lap Superpole race of the year would award points to the top twelve finishers, with the top nine determining the grid for race two. Garrett Gerloff was un fortunately ruled out of the rest of the day due to a crash caused by Sandro Cortese. Cortese would start the race from the back of the grid. Eugene Laverty also crashed in the warm up and suffered a concussion, ending his weekend.
The opening race of 2020 took place on a try track that is notoriously punishing on tyres as riders are only upright down the straight, spending the remainder of the lap on the sides of their tyres. With the weather behaving, and no horrible geese invading the track, twenty two laps of close racing ensued.