January 24th

New WorldSBK machines break cover as winter testing gets underway at Jerez

The Superbike World Championship season bursts into life in Australia in just a month’s time, with teams and riders gearing up for the year ahead during the first official test day of 2017 at the Jerez circuit in Spain today (Tuesday).

Reigning champion Jonathan Rea emerged fastest at the end of the first day of running, 0.260s ahead of Kawasaki team mate Tom Sykes, with the Ducati Panigale of fellow Brit Chaz Davies in third. The Welshman’s team mate, the returning Marco Melandri, was fourth quickest ahead of Donington local Alex Lowes.

Several new-for-2017 bikes made their first appearances during the test, including the Milwaukee Aprilia team, a new partnership for 2017, who showed off their RSV4-RF machine in the morning. Riders Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori were a promising seventh and eleventh fastest respectively.

Meanwhile Nicky Hayden debuted the 2017-specification Honda Fireblade and posted the ninth fastest time.

Testing at Jerez resumes for a second day tomorrow.

The only UK round of the championship takes place at Donington Park on 26-28 May, with tickets now on sale at early bird prices until 14 February. Spaces also remain on the infield campsite which will again offer spectacular views of the action, as well as plenty of entertainment long into the evenings. For more information or to book, click here.

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