CLICK HERE for full unofficial lap times from Jerez

Jonathan Rea got his and Kawasaki's preparations for the 2015 World Superbike Championship off to a good start by emerging quickest on the first day of private testing in Jerez.

The last chance for teams to put finishing touches to their bikes before heading out to Australia for the official pre-season test and the opening round at Phillip Island, the Jerez test is being attended by most of the manufacturer teams, including Kawasaki, Ducati, Suzuki, Aprilia, Honda and EBR, and a handful of privateer entries.

Cool but dry conditions allowed teams to complete plenty of laps, with Kawasaki newcomer Rea emerging quickest with his time of 1min 41.327secs, a mere twelve thousandths up on Crescent Suzuki's Lowes, while Sykes on the second of the Provec-prepared ZX-10Rs was also less than eight hundredths adrift.

The rebranded Racing Ducati followed up in fourth and fifth in the order of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, just two tenths off the front as the top five proved closely matched.

The only BMW rider testing in the absence of newcomers JR Racing and an expected entry from Team Toth, Sylvain Barrier was an encouraging sixth best on the S1000RR as he progresses from an EVO-spec bike.

World Superbike rookie Randy de Puniet was seventh fastest and within a second of the top spot, ahead of fellow newcomers Michael van der Mark on the PATA Honda and Jordi Torres on the Red Devils Aprilia.

Matteo Baiocco rounded out the top ten for Althea Ducati, ahead of team-mate Nico Terol and Barni's Leandro Mercado, now recovered from an off-season wrist injury.

Elsewhere, Leon Haslam managed just six laps on the second of the Red Devils Aprilias, but Max Biaggi and Michael Laverty were on track to ride the RSV4, though neither were classified with a lap time after running without transponders.

Erik Buell Racing's Niccolo Canepa was 15th best of the WSBK riders, 2.6secs off the top spot.

Following the official launch of his title defence over the weekend, 2014 champion Sylvain Guintoli endured a bad start to the week when he crashed after just four laps, ruling him out for the remainder of the day as he was checked for a sore neck and ankle.

Testing continues tomorrow.



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