Catalunya WorldSBK test: Rea leads at lunch one day one

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Current and five-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea leads the Catalunya test timesheets at lunchtime on day one but by only a fraction from Ducati’s Scott Redding with Alex Lowes in third place.

With a track temperature of nearly 40 degrees, Kawasaki’s Rea was fired up and eager to remind everyone exactly who is head cheese.

The Irishman laid down more than 30 laps as he focussed on race setting and working in the high temperatures. Redding suffered a minor technical issue early in the session while Lowes’ focus is on braking into slow corners and perfecting setup for the rear end of the bike.

It was an impressive start for Chaz Davies as he completed the top four. Davies made small, incremental improvements at Misano last month and now aims to dial in his Ducati Panigale V4R in Barcelona.

Inside the top five was the first of the Hondas and Alvaro Bautista, who was a late improver and returns to a circuit he knows well from his MotoGP days.

Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu was back up to speed. A new chassis part from Yamaha is at his disposal but the primary focus is the rider.

Departing teammate Michael van der Mark was sixth and looking for more grip, one second from top spot in seventh and seeking grip solutions.

Eighth place welcomed the return to action for BMW’s Eugene Laverty, who didn’t test at Misano but has since enjoyed positive testing at the Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany.

He was just 0.002s ahead of teammate Tom Sykes, with both having chassis modifications and suspension work to do. Tenth place belonged to Loris Baz, meaning he was top independent.

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) crashed at Turn 4 caused by a by a small technical issue. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) suffered a crash between Turn 7 and 8 which brought out the Red Flag and the British rider was taken to the medical centre. He has a bandaged right ankle but was otherwise fine.

Top five after first session of day one:

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’41.910
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’41.985
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’42.527
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’42.722
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) 1’42.868
Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +1.014