Superbike is still for two weeks waiting to fly to Great Britain for the Donington round, but the teams are not taking a break. Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and BMW headed to Navarra, where today and tomorrow they will carry out two days of testing on the track that enters the calendar this year.
For the teams this was the first approach to the Spanish track, which will debut in the championship next August with the Navarra round, but which has already seen the presence of Ducati riders during the winter. The riders of the Red from Borgo Panigale will be the only ones absent in these two days of testing, having already lapped before the start of the season.
Winning this first day of testing is Garrett Gerloff, who set the best time in the afternoon session, just before the rain peeped, one hour from the end of Day 1. With a time of 1’37 ” 329, the GRT team rider ousted his brand mate Toprak Razgatlioglu from the first position, second at 44 thousandths after dominating the morning session. The two drivers completed 74 and 97 laps respectively, many laps which served to familiarize themselves with the track, on which they had never lapped.
Even in the tests, the two make the difference at the Yamaha home: Andrea Locatelli in fact remains more delayed at the end of the day. The reigning Supersport champion had hoisted himself into second position, only to close with the seventh time, the fastest of the 85 laps he had scored. Khota Nozane, on the other hand, closed the first day early due to a fall at Turn 13 that forced him to go to the medical center for a check-up. After 25 laps, he settles in 11th position, at the bottom of the group.
The leading Yamaha duo precedes the duo of Kawasaki riders, with Alex Lowes leading Jonathan Rea. The two bearers of the ‘green’ took to the track much later than their rivals in the morning session, concentrating their work in the afternoon. Lowes completed 63 laps, the quickest of which allowed him to be third, while Rea finished 67 and finished fourth.
Behind the reigning champion we find Tom Sykes, also for the first time in Navarra with BMW. The Briton worked on many technical aspects of his M 1000 RR, focusing on the frame, handlebars and calipers to try to take that step forward that BMW is still looking for. Michael van der Mark remains behind his teammate, in eighth position and six tenths behind. The Dutchman crashed at Turn 3, fortunately without consequences. On the track we also found Jonas Folger, who contributed to the development work for BMW on the M 1000 RR of the independent team Bonovo MGM Action. The German ended the first day in tenth position.
Not only BMW: even Honda, which in this phase of the season is collecting less than it hoped for, takes the opportunity to get to know the track better and try to make progress. With Leon Haslam he closed the first day of testing in sixth position, after 80 laps completed. His team-mate Alvaro Bautista made nine less, whose best time of the 71 laps allowed him to finish in ninth position.
Day 1 times, Navarre test:
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’37 ”329, 74 laps
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’37 “373, 97 laps
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’37 ”521, 63 laps
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’37 ”642, 67 laps
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’37 ”967, 85 laps
- Leon Haslam (Team HRC) 1’38 ”328, 80 laps
- Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’38 “419, 85 laps
- Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’38 ”567, 78 laps
- Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) 1’38 ”574, 71 laps
- Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) 1’38 ”824, 52 laps
- Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) 1’40 ”921, 25 laps