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Sykes fastest at Jerez, Lowes on the pace

Tom Sykes dominates the final World Superbike group test of the 2013 season at Jerez, while Alex Lowes shows strong pace on his second Suzuki outing.
Tom Sykes has brought his title-winning 2013 World Superbike Championship to a fitting climax by dominating the final two-day test of the year at Jerez.

Back on track just over a month after securing Kawasaki's first WSBK riders' title since 1993, Sykes ended the two days with an unofficial best time of 1min 40.3secs, which put him more than half a second up on team-mat Loris Baz.

In all, 14 Superbike riders were out on track in Spain – of which six were potential EVO entries -, with new Aprilia signing Marco Melandri getting up to speed on the factory RSV4 with a time of 1min 41.2secs, while BSB champion Alex Lowes was an impressive fourth best on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki (1min 41.2secs) as he inches closer to a WSBK deal with the British team.

On the other side of the garage, the test also marked the much anticipated Suzuki debut of 2013 WSBK runner-up Eugene Laverty, but persistent issues would prevent him from completing much mileage.

Meanwhile, MV Agusta joined the WSBK ranks with new signing Claudio Corti riding an early development version of the F4RR. The Italian would end the test 2.6secs slower than Sykes, but within two seconds of everyone else.

Of the six EVO riders on track, David Salom was quickest on a 'factory' Provec-run machine, the Spaniard expected to ride a third official entry in the new sub-category as Kawasaki looks to get a head-start on its rivals for the 2015 season.

He was marginally faster than double Superstock 1000 champion Sylvain Barrier, who is set to ride a BMW Italia S1000RR EVO bike in 2014, while Pedercini Kawasaki trialled Luca Scassa, Alessandro Andreozzi and Christian Iddon on its EVO ZX-10R, and Jeremy Guarnoni rode an MRS version of the bike.

The WSBK winter testing ban comes into force on December 1st, with new Ducati Superbike Team riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano scheduled to ride the 1199R at Jerez before the end of the week too.

Unofficial times Jerez test (25-26 November)

1. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 1m 40.3secs
2. Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing Team 1m 40.9secs
3. Marco Melandri Aprilia Racing 1m 41.2secs
4. Alex Lowes Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1m 41.2secs
5. Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 1m 41.8secs
6. Leon Haslam Pata Honda 1m 42.2secs
7. David Salom Kawasaki Racing Team (EVO) 1m 42.6secs (EVO)
8. Sylvain Barrier BMW Italia 1m 42.6secs (EVO)
9. Eugene Laverty Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1m 42.9secs
10. Claudio Corti MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1m 42.9secs
11. Alessandro Andreozzi Pedercini Kawasaki 1m 42.8secs (EVO)
12. Christian Iddon Pedercini Kawasaki 1m 43.0secs (EVO)
13. Luca Scassa Pedercini Kawasaki 1m 43.2secs (EVO)
14. Jeremy Guarnoni MRS Kawasaki 1m 43.5secs (EVO)




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