Jonathan Rea puts down early marker at official Catalunya World Superbike test
Jonathan Rea served a timely reminder of the task facing the challengers to his World Superbike throne as the Northern Ireland rider topped both days of the first official pre-season test at Catalunya in Barcelona.
Riding the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR, which features a striking aerodynamic design, the six-time champion pipped American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and last year’s runner-up, Scott Redding (Aruba.it Ducati) to the top spot in the final minutes, setting a benchmark of 1m 40.262s.
Gerloff, who had featured at the top of the timesheets for most of Thursday’s test, suffered a small crash in sector two as he attempted to better his time, allowing British rider Redding to move up to second place on his Ducati Panigale V4, 0.179s behind Rea.
Rookie Jonas Folger impressed as he slotted into fourth for the MGM Bonovo Action satellite BMW team on the new M1000RR machine.
The German rider was ahead of new Aruba.it Ducati signing Michael Ruben Rinaldi in fifth, while Tom Sykes completed the top six for the official BMW Motorrad squad, six tenths off Rea’s pace.
Eugene Laverty, who will ride for the new RC Squadra Corse satellite outfit on a BMW M1000RR, was absent from the test but is set to complete his first laps on the new ‘M’ bike in the coming weeks at Aragon.
Pata Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was withdrawn from day two of the test on Thursday after testing positive for Covid-19.
The opening round of the championship is scheduled to take place at Motorland Aragon in Spain from May 21-23.
Times from Day Two:
1. J Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’40.264s
2. S Redding (Aruba.It Racing Ducati) +0.179s
3. G Gerloff (GRT Yamaha Team) +0.233s
4. J Folger (MGM Bonovo Action BMW) +0.435s
5. M Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing Ducati) +0.492s
6. T Sykes (BMW Motorrad) +0.650s
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