This just in from WSBK press
Jonathan Rea tops the timesheets after a two-day Supported Test at MotorLand Aragon
Titles contenders Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu were just split by three tenths before heading into the Pirelli Aragon Round
The key points from the WorldSBK Supported Test
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) concluded the Supported Test on top of the timesheets, with a best time of 1’48.714 on Day 2. He was the only rider to lap in the 1’48s bracket: “Step by step we are building the package. I felt the conditions, particularly in the afternoon, FP5 & 6 were much better than yesterday and the morning. We were able to get a meaningful work done… We confirmed our bike.”
The 2021 WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) ended the two days of testing in second place, finishing 0.354s behind Jonathan Rea. He made the most of the sessions to further test the electronics on his Yamaha YZF R1. “The test was great. We improved the bike. We used some new parts and we are happy with them.”
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) was third 0.380s adrift from the leader. The Spanish rider tackled the test with this weekend’s Aragon Round in mind. “Today has been very positive. The feeling with the bike improved. Yesterday, we only used the SC0 tyre and today we could compare it with some other tyres. We found some improvements and the feeling with the bike improved,” he said.
American rider Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished in fourth as he tried new components previously tested by the Pata Yamaha squad, using the full 2022 bike for the first time. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was the first BMW rider in fifth as he posted a 1’49.383 in FP5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) completed the top six as he finished 1.117s behind Jonathan Rea, and just 0.032s in front of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati). Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) was the first Honda rider in eighth, with his teammate Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) finishing 0.039s behind him in ninth.
The Aragon test ends with Bautista third and Rinaldi seventh. Bulega finishes fourth in WorldSSP
The last winter tests of 2022 ended today at the Motorland Circuit of Aragon (Spain), which from Friday will host the first round of the new WorldSBK season.
As yesterday, the day started with extremely low temperatures, but track conditions improved significantly during the afternoon.
The two riders of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team worked on the final details ahead of the first official free practice of the Pirelli Aragon Round scheduled for Friday at 10.30 am.
In today’s three sessions, Alvaro Bautista completed 48 laps, setting in FP3 his best time of 1’49.094 to eventually finish third, three tenths behind Rea (Kawasaki) and just 26 thousandths of a second behind Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
For Michael Rinaldi 44 laps completed and the seventh position in the combined standings thanks to a time of 1’49.863 set in the early afternoon session.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“It was a positive test, even though the low temperature this morning didn’t allow us to get the most out of every session. Anyway, we did a good job: today we focused on adjusting the set-up with the goal of improving the race pace with the harder tire and the results were positive. We collected a lot of data to work on and this is very important. I’m really happy because the feeling is very good”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“Without a doubt, I expected more from these tests, but even in the difficult times, we can still find data that can help us. We’ve understood what we’re missing to be competitive and I hope that in these two days, after carefully analyzing the data, we’ll be able to find a solution that allows us to improve. In any case, we arrive at the start of the season with a great desire to do well”.
Due to the low temperature, Nicolò Bulega and the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team only took to the track in the afternoon but had to deal with a small issue that stopped the Italian rider after 8 laps. In the last session, however, Bulega lapped steadily (18 laps completed) finishing in fourth place (1’53.621) but only 240 thousandths of a second behind the best time of Cluzel (Yamaha).
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I’m happy because during all the winter tests we did a really good job. The feeling with the bike is very positive even if sometimes we struggle to find the right setup on a new machine that lacks experience. Anyway, we are always able to find positive solutions and that gives us great confidence. We are ready to start the season”.