Portimao Official Test
Images courtesy of WSBK
WorldSBK riders completed their second and final day of Official Portimao Test around Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. Sun shone down on both days, and scorching weather saw riders dealing with different track conditions between the two daily sessions, with the asphalt temperatures reaching nearly 50 degrees in the afternoon.
With that bear in mind, riders hit the track early this morning again, putting in their best laps and continuing from where they left off yesterday before the temperatures soared once again.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes was the fastest rider at the end of Day 2, after setting the quickest lap time in 1’41.153 this morning with qualifying tyres. While trying new chassis components and different soft tyres, the British rider took time also to understand his physical condition.
During the break, Lowes had surgery to solve a tendinitis problem in his arms, but after two days of testing, he is now sure to be fit and ready for the round in September. On the other side of the garage, it was an eventful day for Michael van der Mark, who had a small crash in FP1 and experienced a technical problem twice in FP2. Despite that, the Dutchman cannot be disappointed with his results as he set the fourth fastest lap time with Q tyres.
It was a stronger day also for the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders. Jonathan Rea closed again as second fastest just 0.218 s behind Lowes, with his best lap time improved of more than a second compared to the first day.
“The test was really good and to be honest I needed to test. I was a little bit slow in waking up yesterday. I have had a great summer break but I was not only readjusting to riding again. With the momentum I had from the endurance spec bike in Suzuka, I felt really fast coming here. At a circuit I am really strong at, I did not really feel I had much more yesterday. But this morning I woke up and we found a better lap time and also more consistency. In the heat of the afternoon I was much better compared to the opening day. I feel really positive.”
Teammate Leon Haslam was sixth, not far from the top of the time screens. While both riders spent Day 1 focusing on their overall package, today they worked mainly in preparation for the next WorldSBK round here in Portugal.
“We had a lot of things to evaluate and we ended up – on race tyres – the second quickest to Johnny. I was the only one who did not use a qualifier, an ‘SCX’ or a prototype tyre. So race tyre-to-race tyre we were just a couple of tenths off where Johnny was. We made a big step here and we were 0.7 seconds faster than we were in pre-season testing at Portimao, and in hotter conditions. I felt we got through all our items and it was a really positive test. It shows me as sixth on the time sheets but that is purely down to others using a qualifying tyre.”
After feeling unwell overnight, Toprak Razgatlioglu had to cut short his final day of testing. Third quickest today after two positive days, the Turkish rider prepared for the race weekend and tried different qualifying strategies with the rest of the season in mind.
It was a shorter day also for Alvaro Bautista due to pain in his shoulder, after sustaining an injury at the U.S. round, who also decided to sit out from FP2. The Spaniard completed the Portimao Test ninth overall ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who had a small crash with no consequence at the end of FP2. The Italian preceded the other official Ducati of Chaz Davies, who had a different swingarm and other new items to test. Completing the group of Ducati riders, Eugene Laverty finished eighth.
“These two days of testing have been very positive even though on the second day we weren’t able to do many laps. Unfortunately, the shoulder is not yet in a perfect condition and I felt a bit of pain. We preferred to stop early so as not to make things worse and to be in the best condition in a couple of weeks’ time. In any case, yesterday we did a lot of laps and all things considered I’m happy because I found a good feeling again with my Panigale. This was the first test since the last round at Laguna Seca, now we’ve got a few more days to fully recover.”
“It was a good two days and great to get back into the swing of things and actually just verify the progress that we have made since the test here in January. Coming here six months later, I felt like the bike responded pretty good all in all. Over the two days we worked on the chassis mainly, things felt good and the bike was working well. I go away from here pretty confident and can’t wait for the final part of the season to start.”
Loris Baz was the rider to put in the largest number of laps – 146 laps across the two days. Today the Frenchman found an improvement on his opening day pace as he set the fifth fastest lap time in 1’41.718. It was a busy test for Baz, as he was trying new tyres compounds and working on improving the weak points of his Yamaha YZF R1.
Continuing with his busy schedule, Sandro Cortese set the seventh fastest lap time, while teammate Marco Melandri closed thirteenth behind Tom Sykes. The latter had different items to test on his BMW S1000 RR but together with his teammate Markus Reiterberger (15th) they were able to gather enough information to work on for the next round.
Kawasaki Independent Team riders Jordi Torres and Leandro Mercado closed 14th and 16th respectively, as they both worked to improve the overall package of their ZX-10RR machines across the two days.
Moriwaki Althea Honda Team riders Takumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kiyonari finished seventeenth and nineteenth respectively as they both worked on the base setup of the Honda CBR1000RR, while Ducati wild card entry Silvain Barrier closed 18th overall.
“This track is quite difficult, and it is not easy to set good lap times. Having said that, I tried my best over these two days and ultimately, we were able to improve our settings and our lap times but honestly not by as much as we would have liked. Anyway, all in all, it has been a good experience.”
“I really enjoyed these two days of testing. We tried many different settings and even if I did not make any really big improvements in terms of lap times, I feel that the potential is there to do a good job with the bike’s setup when the race weekend arrives. So, I look forward to coming back in September for the Portuguese round.”
Official Test Portimao – Two-Day Combined Superbike
- A. LOWES (GBR, Yamaha) 1’41.153
- J. REA (GBR, Kawasaki) 1’41.371 +0.218
- T. RAZGATLIOGLU (TUR, Kawasaki) 1’41.428 +0.275
- M. VAN DER MARK (NED, Yamaha) 1’41.489 +0.336
- L. BAZ (FRA, Yamaha) 1’41.718 0.565
- L. HASLAM (GBR, Kawasaki) 1’41.758 +0.605
- S. CORTESE (GER, Yamaha) 1’42.035 +0.882
- E. LAVERTY (IRL, Ducati) 1’42.055 +0.902
- A. BAUTISTA (ESP, Ducati) 1’42.087 +0.934
- M. RINALDI (ITA, Ducati) 1’42.124 +0.971
- C. DAVIES (GBR, Ducati) 1’42.161 +1.008
- T. SYKES (GBR, BMW) 1’42.172 +1.019
- M. MELANDRI (ITA, Yamaha) 1’42.212 +1.059
- J. TORRES (ESP, Kawasaki) 1’42.264 +1.111
- M. REITERBERGER (GER, BMW) 1’42.457 +1.304
- L. MERCADO (ARG, Kawasaki) +1’42.712 1.559
- T. TAKAHASHI (JPN, Honda) 1’43.544 +2.391
- S. BARRIER (FRA, Ducati) 1’44.111 +2.958
- R. KIYONARI (JPN, Honda) 1’44.474 +3.321
BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team rider Federico Caricasulo was the fastest among the WorldSSP riders. The Italian set the quickest lap time in 1’45.281 ahead of compatriot Raffaele De Rosa.
Race winners Jules Cluzel set the third fastest time despite a small crash in the afternoon today. The Frenchman closed ahead of the Yamaha of Spanish rider Isaac Viñales who worked well during both days.
Championship leader Randy Krummenacher was the fifth quickest around Portimao after having set the pace at the end of Day 1 yesterday. The Swiss worked on improving his feeling with the front end of his bike, testing also his physical conditions.
Krummenacher returned to the tarmac at Portimao after suffering a slight knee injury at the beginning of the two-month summer break, but he looks now to have fully recuperated.
Official Test Portimao – Two-Day Combined Supersport
- F. CARICASULO (ITA, Yamaha) 1’45.281
- R. KRUMMENACHER (SUI, Yamaha) 1’45.392 +0.111
- R. DE ROSA (ITA, MV Agusta) 1’45.449 +0.168
- J. CLUZEL (FRA, Yamaha) 1’45.459 +0.178
- I. VINALES (ESP, Yamaha) 1’45.573 +0.292
- A. BADOVINI (ITA, Kawasaki) 1’45.836 +0.555
- K. SMITH (GBR, Kawasaki) 1’45.950 +0.669
- C. PEROLARI (FRA, Yamaha) 1’46.145 +0.864
- G. RUIU (ITA, Yamaha) 1’46.422 +1.141
- T. GRADINGER (AUT, Yamaha) 1’46.565 +1.284
- J. DANILO (FRA, Honda) 1’46.798 +1.517
- J. VAN SIKKELERUS (NED, Honda) 1’46.893 +1.612
- L. CRESSON (BEL, Yamaha) 1’47.241 +1.960
- N. CALERO (ESP, Kawasaki) 1’47.660 +2.379
- F. FULIGNI (ITA, MV Agusta) 1’47.743 +2.462
- H. SOOMER (EST, Honda) 1’47.925 +2.644
- D. VALLE (ESP, Yamaha) 1’47.934 +2.653
- R. HARTOG (NED, Kawasaki) 1’48.360 +3.079
- G. MATERN (FRA, Kawasaki) 1’51.829 +6.548