WSBK – Testing WSBK Jerez: Daddy Sykes is back –


WSBK Jerez Testing: Daddy Sykes is back

WSBK - Testing WSBK Jerez: Daddy Sykes is back -

Tom Sykes was back on his Kawasaki ZX-10R for the last Superbike tests of the year, carried out in Jerez (Spain). The very young dad took the opportunity to remind his opponents that he is the “ number one ” and intends to remain so !

Absent from the Aragon tests to attend the birth of his first daughter, Tom Sykes was back on his Kawasaki this week in Jerez where the final 2013 Superbike tests took place. Bad news for his opponents: the new daddy has nothing lost of its velocity … On the contrary, it now turns even faster !

Major Tom, on another planet

Replaced two weeks ago by his precious "Lieutenant Bazooka" on the timesheet (read), the reigning world champion has taken over the head of operations in Jerez, signing a simply incredible time: 1 ‘39.6 d ‘after his official Kawasaki team !

Unofficial, this time is clearly below the reference entered by Eugene Laverty during the Superpole event of the WSBK 2013 final. On October 19, the former Aprilia rider had completed the 4.423 km of the same route in 1 ‘40,620, a second slower than Sykes this week !

Even more impressive: with his alien chrono "Major Tom" could have placed his ZX-10R on the third row of the Spanish Grand Prix, alongside Nicky Hayden’s Ducati prototype. "The Ninja works well", he confirms before recalling"that Jerez is not my best circuit"…

"We tested many different pieces, which we don’t always have the chance to do during the season", explains the n ° 1 of the Greens, who will indeed run with this plate in 2014. Listening to him, Tom would gladly ride between each race weekend to improve again and again !

"We tried some things again to validate them definitively, especially over long distances, and I’m happy with the results.", says Sykes. Its chief mechanic Marcel Duinker confirms:"we wanted to test our equipment over longer distances than in the last tests and we improved our bike". The opponents know what to expect !

Baz approaching

Teammate of Sykes and nevertheless a competitor, Loris Baz once again distinguished himself by being the only other driver to drop below the 1 ’40 mark (for information, an unofficial list of times circulates on the web, but it unfortunately does not correspond at the rare times published by certain teams)…

Credited with an excellent 1 ‘39.9 by his team, the n ° 76 had a little trouble on the second day: "the track conditions have changed, I think, but we still improved our lap times and we got closer to Tom", points out the Savoyard cheetah !

"There are a few things we would like to have for next season and I think we will have them as of the next tests in January, because we have gathered enough information.", welcomes our national Loris.

"I will miss my Babygreen during these 45 days !", testified on his Facebook wall the young driver who will continue his intensive training, at his home in Chamonix (see the tour with Romain Lanusse, Superstock driver)

Melandri looks for her path

Third rider to have made his best public time (1 ‘40.7 according to Aprilia), Marco Melandri is more than a second behind Tom Sykes but declares himself very happy because, he says, "I am not yet 100% satisfied with the way I ride my motorcycle".

The Hedgehog of Ravenna considers that he has time to make use of the brakes before slow turns. However, there are three on the Jerez circuit. This is why the n ° 33 is finally delighted to have been able to turn regularly in the 1 ’41, a better pace than that which allowed him to dispute the victory to Eugene Laverty during the .

"We really have a better race pace than my fast lap would suggest", Marco insists,"but I’m sure we can do even better by exploring new ways in terms of tuning".

While waiting to be able to play with her factory RSV4 again, Melandri rushed to undergo surgery on her damaged ankle last month. Like his new teammate Sylvain Guintoli, Marco wants to start the 2014 season at 100% of his means. This is the minimum against a Sykes who, between his 2013 title and his daughter, carbide at 120% !

Tom Sykes’ compatriots, on the other hand, do not seem to be able to challenge him at the moment. After encouraging tests on the long and wide track of Aragon, Jonathan Rea found it more difficult to tame his Fireblade on the – a little – more narrow circuit of Jerez.

"It’s hard to pinpoint our problem", regrets" JR ","but I have the feeling that the character of our engine is relatively aggressive and that it makes the task difficult here !". A Honda CBR1000RR too temperamental? Some owners of the production model would not say no !

Honda relapse

"I have completed more than 200 laps (Melandri did 237, Editor’s note!) so I’m really happy to start the winter break", admits the No.65 of the Pata Honda team." I hope to make more progress on the CBR when we return in January. Happy holidays, friends! "

Leon Haslam is perhaps happier than his teammate, not to say relieved: 2013 has been "horribilis" for the No.91, and 2014 could hardly be worse. "I am optimistic that the new parts that will arrive next year will allow us to take the necessary step".

Like Johnny, Marco and Sylvain (!), Leon will use the month and a half break – without a motorbike – provided for by the regulations to rebuild himself physically. Mentally, Haslam also has a job: he hasn’t been on a podium for over a year and a half and hasn’t finished in the Top 5 once in 2013..

Vice-world champion Eugene Laverty, for his part, discovered his new mount, the GSX-R 1000 from the Fixi Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team! Blocked in the pits by electronics concerns on his Gex, Laverty was entitled to two additional days…

"Frankly, we failed to unravel the mystery, and it did slow Eugene down.", admits his team manager Paul Denning,"but we prepared a second motorcycle for him and extended the tests".

"This test was stirred", confirms the Irish n ° 58, before paying tribute to his men:"I want to send a big thank you to my new team who allowed me to stay a few more days: it changed everything and I was really lucky to be able to do it".

Laverty is boosted

The times made by "Youdjine" have been kept confidential but the Suzuki rider says that with a little work, "especially when exiting bends and in electronic management", he can quickly claim victory. Very quickly even, if a certain Alex Lowes continues to work hard !

"It was good to have my new teammate in the tests"says Eugene."I’ve known teammates who have never been so motivated in testing, but he was there and was quickEven before his arrival is formalized, the British champion is talking about him. Will he be faster – and luckier – than his elder Leon Camier?.

The official MV Agusta Yakhnich Motorsport team also made its debut in the big leagues, along with its driver Claudio Corti and the F4RR "whose assembly was completed on Friday 22nd, just in time to leave for Jerez", innocently specify the Italians !

MV Agusta take off

Author of a stopwatch in 1 ‘42.9, Claudio is ecstatic: "I have never ridden a motorcycle with such a feeling on the front axle, and the engine seems to be a very good base for work". Expert in the Superstock category, the" rookie "is eager to discover the final version of his bike. Has the Varese factory promised him some" bonus horses "in order to get closer to the leaders of the discipline ?

Entered in the Supersport category next year also, the Italian-Russian team is particularly satisfied with the times posted by its two pilots, Jules Cluzel and Vladimir Leonov: "they turned around the 1 ’45, without pushing too much", she assures !

The Russian, who was already racing last year with Yahknich Motorsports alongside champion Sam Lowes, is certain that the F3 will soon be very fast: "I spent the first day fine-tuning my position on the bike, much smaller than the R6", he specifies in passing,"but now everything is fine".

Our national Jules may have descended from the imposing GSX-R 1000, it did not take him longer to find his marks on the little Italian: "I had to get used to driving a Supersport and its tires again, but at the end of the second day I was starting to enjoy myself again".

Now formally convinced that "the potential of the F3 is very high", the 2012 Supersport runner-up is aiming more than ever. Forza Jules !

Ducati still running

The official Ducati team was still racing in Jerez today and no information has yet leaked from their box. Chaz Davies, via Twitter, just informs us that he had his first crash on the Panigale but points out that he was able to get back on it and join the pits. "According to the theory of Sam Lowes therefore, it is not strictly speaking a fall !". They are crazy these British…

Finally, note the participation in these last autumn tests of double Superstock champion Sylvain Barrier on an S1000RR of the BMW Italia team and of Jeremy Guarnoni on a ZX-10R prepared by the Kawasaki MRS team.

Both were able to compete with other pilots who also have machines corresponding to the next EVO category ("stock" engine and SBK chassis to simplify, if not read), in which we hope to see them compete next year !

Barely back from his three days of testing, Jeremy posted the "SBK EVO chronos in Jerez: Salom 42.3 race tire, Guarnoni 42.5 race tire. 41.6 of Salom Qualif tire", just before completing:"And @lorisbaz 42.2 in a racing tire !". Arsouilles to follow on Site, of course: stay tuned !

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