Catalunya WorldSBK test: Rea back in charge at lunch on day two

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea is back in charge of the Catalunya WorldSBK test timesheets, opening a small gap on yesterday’s fastest man Scott Redding.

Setting over 35 laps during the first session, the five-time world champion continued to perfect his setup in the Spanish heat 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 Ducati rival Redding as qualifying tyres came out.

The reigning BSB champ 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) 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), who made big steps forward in braking style on day one, continuing his switch from Yamaha to Kawasaki. His focus is setup and becoming more familiar with direction changes.

Fifth place was Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was one of two riders to go faster in the final hour of the morning but crashed unhurt just moments before the end of the session.

He was fractionally ahead of Eugene Laverty (BMW), who confirmed BMW’s gains, making it a double top six for the team ahead of lunch.

Michael van der Mark (on the second works Yamaha was one of a few riders to improve in the morning but suffered a small issue in sector three later on.

Loris Baz’s 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 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 unhurt 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.

Top five times in the morning session:

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.450
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +1’40.606
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’40.956
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’41.138
Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) 1’41.218