World Superbike Update: Testing Ban Now In Effect
by Venancio Luis Nieto
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

With the World Superbike testing ban now in effect, World Superbike Rider and Manufacturer's title winners Kawasaki and Aprilia have now completed their last test of the year at Jerez, where they enjoyed the good weather in the south of Spain over their three testing days. In addition, Pata Honda Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam also rode, plus Suzuki's new rider Eugene Laverty.

Reigning champion Tom Sykes spent his time at Jerez refining the set-up of his bike and managed a best lap time of 1:39.6. The British rider also announced that next season he will replace his personal number 66 with the number 1 plate full credit as the champion of 2013 season:

"We did a bit of everything at this test and it has been very good for us. The Ninja ZX- 10R is working well even though Jerez is not one of my strong points. That shows info we have improved our package, which is the main thing," Sykes said after the test.

His teammate Loris Baz tested new parts that will be part of his racing package in the season and got a new personal record of 1:39.6: "We have just tested the last things we wanted before the test ban. We have some new things that we want for next season and I think we are going to have them all ready for our next test in January. Weather was good but track conditions changed a bit for me on day two, but we still improved our lap time at the end and we got close to Tom at this test."

New Aprilia signing Marco Melandri and longtime Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann were at Jerez with Aprilia. The Italian rider was on track for a massive 237 laps over the three days. He spent his time to get a better riding feeling on the RSV4, making a good pace and getting a best lap of 1:40.7. After the test was over Melandri said: " I'm very happy about this testing period, particularly because I'm still not 100 % satisfied with the way I'm riding the bike. We especially need to work on braking entering slow turns. We definitely have a race pace faster than my fast lap time would suggest, but I'm sure we can get that even better by exploring new ways in terms of the setup."

Pata Honda riders Rea and Haslam tried improve their still being refined electronics package, while Eugene Laverty had his first contact on track as a new Suzuki rider. The Irish rider spent multiple days riding at Jerez. Honda man Jon Rea was off on a family holiday after the test. 2013 saw the Irish rider show promise before he crashed and broke his leg.

WSBK teams and riders will be on track again after the testing ban ends.


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