24 Jan, 2020 @ 15:32
1 min read

Riders battle the elements in washout first test in Jerez

Jerez Circuit

FEELING the after effects of storm Gloria, the two day test at the Circuito de Velocidad in Jerez de la Fontera was always going to be a stop start affair.

Although east enough to miss the worst of the weather, teams still arrived early Tuesday to a wet track and grey skies.

Sadly this was the theme for the rest of the week however important info as learned and the world got to see a taste of what the riders had been up to during the off season.

The KRT Kawasaki boys of reigning champion Jonathan Rea and newcomer Alex Lowes had a quiet test, with Lowes putting in the most laps of the two, still adapting to a brand new motorcycle after 3 years on a Yamaha.

KAWASAKI: Circuito de Velocidad went ahead

Rea sat out the first day, choosing to preserve his fitness, but a glimmer of sunshine on day 2 saw him put in just 19 laps, enough for him to send a message of intent with timesheet-topping lap of 1m 40.983s.

Kawasaki’s main challengers, the Aruba Ducati squad, continued to work on the evolution of their Panigale V4R.

WorldSBK debutant Scott Redding continued his adaptation to the higher spec Ducati and learning important lessons on Pirelli wet tyres, something surprisingly he didn’t have much experience with after riding in the UK for 2019.

Chaz Davies is still recovering from injury and taking this time to get back to full fitness, putting in a solid 27 laps and setting an admirable 1m 44.276s on day 2.

One of the most exciting prospects of 2020 will be how young Turkish rider, Toprak Razgatlioglu will perform on the Pata Yamaha.

The 23 year old has already impressed during testing, and with a brand new bike and an enthusiastic teammate in Dutchman Michael van der Mark, the boys in blue promise to be the ones to watch.

Honda, or more precisely, HRC, undoubtedly stole the show however with their brand new CBR1000RR-R making its public debut under the hands of Brit Leon Haslam and Spaniard Alvaro Bautista.

Initial signs were positive, despite the conditions, with Haslam topping a very wet day 1, and both riders within sniffing distance of the top five on day two.

It will be interesting to see if the millions the Japanese giant is pouring into the project will help turn around the fortunes of the team.

As the rain subsides and the sun emerges, the teams will now pack up in search of better weather for a two day test in Portimao before heading over to Phillip Island in Australia for round 1.

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