Catalunya WorldSBK test: Redding heads Rea on day one

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Reigning British Superbike Champion Scott Redding pipped current WorldSBK king Jonathan Rea to top spot on the Catalunya WorldSBK day one timesheets.

Track temperatures exceeded 47° in the afternoon session and it would take until the last 15 minutes of the session before times started to improve at the top of the timesheets.

Ducati-mounted Redding found another two tenths to top the overall timesheets and the afternoon session with Kawasaki’s Rea second overall.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) finished the session in third place on his Yamaha R1, just over two tenths off Redding’s fastest time of the day.

He was the fastest Yamaha and held off championship leader Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) who finished in fourth place.

Team HRC’s Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top five with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) finishing in sixth. Sykes was testing with new crew chief Ian Lord at the Montmelo circuit, with the 2013 Champion beating teammate Eugene Laverty by four tenths of a second.

Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) also improved in the afternoon session to finish the day in seventh placed, with Ducati’s Chaz Davies and Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu following just behind with the two riders separated by a tenth.

For Turkish sensation Razgatlioglu, today was about getting back up to speed following Phillip Island; since then, Razgatlioglu had only been riding on a small track in Turkey.

Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha teammate, Michael van der Mark was 11th as he lapped the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 1.2s slower than pace setter Redding. Like his teammate, van der Mark had not been on a WorldSBK machine since Phillip Island; his only outing coming on a standard bike at TT Circuit Assen.

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was able to get back out on track following his crash in the morning session as he finished 12th fastest overall; completing 29 laps in the afternoon session and 53 laps overall.

Haslam finished ahead of Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing Team) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha). Gerloff was classified 14th overall but improved significantly in the afternoon session as he ran as high as fifth before the times started tumbling.

Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha), Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing) and Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance Ducati) rounded out the field as the day’s running came to a close.

Top five after day one:

Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’41.727
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’41.911
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’41.980
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’42.318
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) 1’42.320