Change of pace this weekend for me with a trip to Jerez for World Superbike action….
Opening practice for this weekend’s races at Jerez saw a very sparse crowd and gave the distinct impression that this was a test session. Sylvain Guintoli comes into Turn 1 under a beautiful blue sky but not a single spectator
The Frenchman must have gone back to his garage and wondered what has happened to WSBK….
Marco Melandri looks set to trade Aprilia WSBK machinery for Aprilia MotoGP machinery with Aprilia bosses saying that “50% of their rider lineup is confirmed.” The other rider looks set to be Alvaro Bautista but given that there will be minimal development of the ART based machinery the appeal of racing for the factory effort must be much less than previously expected
Eugene Laverty is another rider linked with MotoGP rides at the moment with the Irishman touted as a potential replacement for Colin Edwards at Forward as well as replacing Andrea Iannone at Pramac Ducati. On Friday he was comfortable and quick on the Suzuki and only four tenths off the pace.
The subtle differences from a MotoGP bike and a WSBK can be seen at the final corner at Jerez with Chaz Davies showing the aggressive style of a WSBK where riders are getting the bike upright as early as possible and powering over the kerbs on the inside
Alex Lowes has had a promising rookie season in WSBK but the reigning British champion is impatient at times and always looking to be faster. Lowes has been a match for Laverty throughout the season on the Suzuki so it’s promising for his prospects in 2015.
Claudio Corti moved to WSBK this year after spending time with Forward in MotoGP and it’s hard to find a more beautiful bike than the MV Augusta. It looks and sounds amazing!Jonathan Rea won’t be drawn into discussions on his future, latest rumours are that he’s signed and sealed at Kawasaki, but on track the Ulsterman was pushing hard at Jerez with the tail end sliding from his Pata Honda and having to opposite lock all the way through the exit. Mega!