Reigning WSBK champion Tom Sykes set the pace during a two-day test at the Portimao circuit.

The 2014 title leader steered his Kawasaki to a best time of 1m 42.719s to finish the test 0.235s clear of his nearest championship rival Sylvain Guintoli.

Sykes and team-mate Loris Baz, third fastest, mainly focused on fine-tuning their ZX-10R as well as testing new items, whilst KRT EVO peer David Salom tried out new parts developed for what will be next year's Kawasaki machine.

Aprilia Racing team-mates Guintoli and Marco Melandri had the chance to evaluate a range of things that were left to be tested from earlier on in the season, but their on track duties were affected by crashes, fortunately with no major injuries.

Guintoli's test was brought to an early end in the final minutes of second day, as the rear of his RSV4 Factory came around throwing him to the ground. Guintoli chose not to return to the track after being checked by the medical staff.

Italian Melandri, who had a high speed fall on day one, was able to return to action on day two, making up for lost time by completing 75 laps to finish fourth on the timesheets.

The Ducati Superbike Team concentrated their efforts on practicing starts with Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, while also putting further miles on previously developed solutions that the team could not yet try during race weekends. The pair finished fifth and sixth fastest respectively.

After missing the last round at Laguna Seca due to injuries sustained one week earlier at Portimao, Claudio Corti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) proved to be back on form by lapping the Portuguese track 93 times over the course of the two days on his way to seventh position.

Other EVO riders Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) made good use of the track time available to further gel with their EVO ZX-10R machines.

All riders also had the chance to try new development tyre compounds brought by Pirelli, designed to increase tyre performance and durability in the hottest rounds of the season, starting from next year's season-opener at Phillip Island.

The World Superbike riders will now enjoy a six week summer break before the tenth round of the season takes place on September 7-9 at Jerez, Spain.

Portimao WSBK Test: Top ten
1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1m 42.719s
2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1m 42.954s
3. Baz (Kawasaki) 1m 43.110s
4. Melandri (Aprilia) 1m 43.315s
5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1m 43.592s
6. Davies (Ducati) 1m 43.742s
7. Corti (MV Agusta) 1m 44.485s
8. Salom (Kawasaki) 1m 44.487s
9. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1m 44.924s
10. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1m 45.109s


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why have they gone from Portimao to Laguna back to Portimao ........... seems a bit silly when everbody wants to cut costs !!!