Rea vs Redding vs Sykes: midday at Catalunya sees Kawasaki prevail

Thursday, 9 July 2020 11:03 GMT

Three different manufacturers were inside the top three at lunch time and after a frenetic opening to the session, there’s surprises aplenty throughout the testing order…

It was a frantic morning for the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, as the two-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw the heat turned up on the final morning. Having topped the opening day, Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was dethroned by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the Northern Irishman once again back on the pace. All riders vastly improved on yesterday, using a Q tyre to set their quick lap times in what seemed like a mini Tissot Superpole session, before bedding in and testing parts whilst getting back up to speed.

Setting over 35 laps during the first session, Jonathan Rea continued to perfect his set-up in the heat of Spain throughout the morning. A lap time of 1’40.450 saw him set a new lap record for a WorldSBK machine at Catalunya and pip rival Scott Redding to morning success. Redding in turn was just 0.156s behind Rea but had technical problems that brought out the Red Flag early on in the session, although the Brit was OK. King of Superpole Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) stormed to third on his Q tyre, building on his first sensations of the circuit from yesterday.

Fourth place was Championship leader Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who made big steps forward in braking style on day one, continuing his switch from Yamaha to Kawasaki. His focus is rear end set-up and becoming more familiar with direction changes. Fifth place housed Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team), who was one of two riders to go faster in the final hour of the morning but crashed just moments before the end of the session, whilst he was OK. He was fractionally ahead of Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who confirmed BMW’s gains, making it a double top six for the team ahead of lunch.

Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team), like his teammate, was one of a few riders to improve in the morning but suffered a small issue in sector three later on. Loris Baz’s (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 2020 R1 showed that tyres were difficult to manage in heat, meaning a slower race pace; something he aims to improve throughout today. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was ninth and continued working on chassis direction and a fine showing for Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) meant he was in the top ten and focussing his efforts on braking in slow turns.

American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was in eleventh, whilst Max Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) crashed at Turn 5 but was OK. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was battling sensor issues whilst remarkably, Team HRC stayed in the garage for the morning whilst data was sifted over back in Japan, so Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam didn’t set a lap time. In WorldSSP, Corentin Perolari brought out the second Red Flag of the day after a crash, but we also OK.

Top six after day two’s morning session:

1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.450

2.) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.156

3.) Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.506

4.) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.687

5.) Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.768

6.) Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +1.044

Follow live timing for the test here, whilst continuing your own build-up to 2020’s return to battle with the WorldSBK VideoPass!