Full World Superbike test results from Jerez

Jonathan Rea has started preparations for the 2018 World Superbike championship on the front foot by topping the timesheet on the opening day of the Jerez pre-season test, where the bulk of the grid were on track getting up to speed with the new technical regulations.

In dry and sunny conditions, the WSBK teams were allowed on track at 12pm after an earlier car test with a total of 27 bikes in action including entries from British Superbikes and World Supersport.

Rea leapt to the top of the times early on and set the marker to beat with a 1m 39.868s on the opening day while adjusting to the new rev limiter rule set for the 2018 campaign. Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes split the pair of factory Kawasaki riders at the top of the times with a best lap just 0.202s off of Rea with Tom Sykes ending the day third overall.

Aruba.it Racing Ducati duo Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies had a solid day getting up to speed for 2018 with the Panigale R in fourth and fifth on the times respectively to edge Michael van der Mark into sixth for Pata Yamaha.

Melandri and Davies were part of a group of keen onlookers as the Ducati Panigale V4 got its race-specification testing debut with Lorenzo Zanetti at Jerez. The V4 model won’t make its debut until the 2019 World Superbike championship but the Italian rider was still able to take 15th on the overall timesheet.

Eugene Laverty led the Milwaukee Aprilia charge in seventh on the times – almost a full second off of Rea’s top time – with new Red Bull Honda signing Leon Camier enjoying a low-key start to the year in eighth.

Yamaha factory rider Nicolo Canepa and Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori rounded out the top 10 on the opening day of the Jerez test with World Superbike returnee Loris Baz in 11th on the sole Althea BMW entry. With Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi 12th, Jordi Torres made a tentative start to his MV Agusta career down in 13th just ahead of British Superbike rider Leon Haslam for JG Speedfit Kawasaki.

Yonny Hernandez made his official test debut for Pedercini Kawasaki, while new Red Bull Honda rider Jake Gagne and Puccetti Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu also enjoyed their maiden test outings of the year.