More testing action for World and British Superbike stars
The 2017 seasons for both the World Superbike and British Superbike Championships are fast approaching, and competitors have been busy once more this week with testing in Europe.
Reigning two-time champion Jonathan Rea was the fastest World Superbike runner as European testing for the series came to a conclusion at Jerez in Spain yesterday (Thursday). Despite a rain-interrupted two days, Northen Ireland’s Rea showed his class with a lap time over 1.6 seconds clear of nearest rival, team mate Tom Sykes. Other riders in action at the two day test included former MotoGP ace Alex de Angelis, Leandro Mercado and newcomer Riccardo Russo. The best times from the test came on Wednesday when conditions were more favourable, with only limited running available on Thursday.
The World Superbike runners are back in action at the official Phillip Island test on 20-21 February, just before the first round of the 2017 season which commences at the same circuit on 24-26 February.
Meanwhile a number of riders from the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship have also been out in testing action, as the first round at Donington Park draws closer.
Reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Be Wiser Ducati team mate Glenn Irwin were also in action at Jerez having spent several days at Portimao in Portugal previously, and were encouraged with developments on the bike, despite the poor weather.
Byrne, who was faster than some of the WorldSBK runners at the test, commented: “We got two good days in Portugal and a good few hours at Jerez. We started making some good progress with chassis settings on the first day in Jerez and looked forward to continuing that work today (Thursday) but unfortunately it rained all day, bringing a premature end to our testing. We have some new parts on the horizon and can hopefully get back to Spain in March to be sure we’re fully prepared for what promises to be another great season.”
Meanwhile, Donington-local Leon Haslam has also been in action and has sampled both the JG Speedfit Kawasaki bike he’ll race in British Superbikes this year and a World Superbike Puccetti Kawasaki, as he substituted for the injured Randy Krummenacher. His latest action was in Portimao where he impressed on the WorldSBK machine, setting times comparable to the leading runners.
Tickets for the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship on 31 March – 2 April at Donington Park are available by clicking here. Tickets for World Superbikes at Donington on 26-28 May are also on sale now, with a special earlybird offer for weekend and camping tickets offering savings until 14 February. For more information on WorldSBK tickets, click here.