The two-day test was interrupted by wet track conditions, with only Scott Redding taking part across both days
Three teams and four riders from the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship headed to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for two days of winter testing, with the weather interrupting the test on day one. Six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ended the test fastest as preparations for 2023 ramped up in southern Spain, while there was a debut for the new BMW M 1000 RR machine in the hands of Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).
Rea was the pacesetter during the test despite only taking part on the second day, with the six-time Champion posting the only lap in the 1’39s bracket. Completing 50 laps on his ZX-10RR, Rea posted a best time of 1’39.911s to top the timesheets by two tenths of a second as he begins his preparations for the 2023 season. Rea’s best lap time came on his 39th tour of the Jerez circuit and was his only lap time in the 1’39s as he ended the test with top spot.
Only Redding took to the track on day one, with the track wet from showers in the morning, racking up 56 laps and setting his best time, a 1’45.675s, on lap 53 during his day. Redding was the first WorldSBK rider to take to the track on the second day of action too, joining the track just under an hour into the session which began at 10am Local Time (GMT+1). The track did not dry completely throughout the day, with Redding taking advantage of an empty track to test on day one.
Redding was the busiest rider on day two as well as he racked up 91 laps across the eight-hour session, taking advantage of a wet track in the morning to get some mileage in wet conditions on the new-for-2023 BMW M 1000 RR machine. His best lap time on the second day was comfortably faster than on day one, lapping the circuit with a best time of 1’40.104, only two tenths down on Rea’s pacesetting time. It meant Redding racked up a total 144 laps across the two days, including in both wet and dry conditions.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed the joint-most laps of any Kawasaki rider on track with 50, taking to the track at around the halfway stage of the day on his ZX-10RR machine. His fastest lap time, a 1’40.342s, was set on his last flying lap of the day as he lapped around four tenths slower than teammate Rea. Lowes set 11 laps in the 1’40s bracket, ranging from 1’40.342s to 1’40.998s across his different stints on day two.
The returning Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the final rider in the classification and completed 35 laps on his return to Kawasaki machinery, only taking part in the second half of the final day of the test; the 2013 Champion left his box after around four hours had passed in the session as he waited for the track to dry. Sykes’ best time was a 1’40.949s, just over a second off Rea’s pace, which he set on his 32nd lap as he re-adjusted to the ZX-10RR machine as well as WorldSBK-spec electronics after a year in Britain.
Discussing his test, and opening up on the new components, Rea said: “It has been a very worthwhile test because we had to make decisions on some ‘hard’ parts for the off season, so that we can start in a good way next year. We just had three or four of these important items to say yes or no on. Riding the 2023 bike is good. There are some areas we need to improve, because we are still doing the early work, especially from the electronics side. But step-by-step we will put the package together. The track was never in perfect shape as there were still some damp patches out there but we were able to make some decisions. I am happy to go into the off season healthy and happy. I look forward to a few weeks holiday now.”
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