Thoughts are now turning to 2018 in the WorldSBK Championship and teams are heading to Circuito de Jerez this week for the first pre-season test.
With the new regulations coming into place for next season, teams will be working hard to prepare for the changes. 2017 champions Kawasaki Racing Team, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, MV Agusta Reparto Corse and Althea BMW Racing Team will all be testing over the week, working on their 2018 pace.
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing will not be present at the Circuto de Jerez test this week following the tragic loss of WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlioglu’s father last week. Initially intending on attending for the majority of the week, they have postponed the test to a later date.
Present around the 4.4km circuit from Monday to Friday, Kawasaki Racing Team are putting in a strong stint, with champion Jonathan Rea joining Tom Sykes from the 21st.
Working on the new parts, their overall pace and how to modify their ZX-10RR with the new regulations, the Barcelona-based team will have a busy week. However with the sheer talent on top of the strong work ethic of Sykes and Rea, it won’t be a hard task to get 2018 underway on the right foot.
Following a stunning season in 2017, the work never stops for Sykes and Rea and it will be interesting to follow their pace.
Making his debut with Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Leon Camier heads to Jerez for three days this week as he begins to understand the Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2.
Making the switch from Italian manufacturer MV Agusta, Camier will be working hard on his initial feeling with the Fireblade as it’s in its second year of racing action. After the stunning performance we have seen from the British rider over the past season, there will no doubt be some early progress made with the Red Bull machine.
Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will take on the YZF-R1’s around the Southern Spanish circuit this week, present on Thursday and Friday with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team.
After a tough weekend in the Pirelli Spanish Round this season, the duo will be hoping to improve their pace around the circuit and build on the podium finishes they were able to secure this season.
Only the third manufacturer to secure a podium in 2017, Yamaha are making some strong steps and with a two years under their belts since their return, they will be no doubt continue to improve and make some strong steps.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team-mates Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri will be another team to begin to modify their Paniagle R’s around the 2018 regulations, as only the second team to have won a race this season.
Both riders were able to secure podium finishes around the Circuit in 2017, and with some big team changes in the place of Ernesto Marinelli leaving, there will be plenty to work on in the Ducati Corse garages this week.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse are another team to welcome their new rider this week, with Jordi Torres taking on the 1000 F4 despite sustaining an injury in Qatar. Not putting too much pressure on himself, the Spaniard is looking forward to meeting the team and beginning to understand the bike.
Loris Baz will make his much anticipated WorldSBK return this week with the Althea BMW Racing Team, present on both Monday and Tuesday.
The Frenchman is keen to understand not only the potential of his new bike but also his pace compared to his rivals. Baz will be one to watch around the 4.4km circuit.
Hoping to make some welcomed updates to their Aprilia machines, Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori will be flying the flag for Milwaukee Aprilia around Jerez this week.
The duo had a strong year but will be aiming to break into podium pace for 2018, and it will be interesting to see how the new regulations will alter the teams pace.
Whilst Leandro Mercado will be trying out the Kawasaki ZX-10RR for the first time, as he will be present with new WorldSBK team Orelac Racing VerdNatura.
Meanwhile, Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) returns on his Panigale to continue to build on the strong pace himself and his team had begun to build throughout 2017, and another team who could benefit from the new regulations, it will be interesting to watch them develop.
Gabriele Ruiu to ride with Team Grillini
Rolfo to ride Team Grillini Suzuki machi
Rea ends test Jerez with incredible lap
Iannone back on top of the MotoGP timesh
Lowes happy with opening days in Spain
Dovizioso fastest on the second day at J
Melandri fastest man on track as day fou
Davies forced to recuperate after Wednes
Iannone takes to the top of the timeshee
Sykes ends day three at Jerez under lap
Sykes takes control of day two at Jerez
Rea stuns to top day one at Jerez test
Baz will be out on the BMW for the first
Razgatlioglu to ride for Kawasaki Racing
Orelac Racing team to make the step up n
Rea signs off fantastic season with Losa
We made the best of what we had - Davies
Laverty felt like "real race"
Rea wins penultimate race of season in Q
Rea flies to take final pole of the year
Rea ends day one at the Qatar Round at t
Rea on top in FP1 at final round, with S
WorldSBK set for 13 rounds in 2018
Rea wants to finish the season strong
Guarnoni to make the step up to WorldSBK
Melandri: "Every rider fights with their
Double Jerez win sealed by champion Rea
Davies: "I felt we were learning as the
Rea delighted to take first victory arou
Rea secures first ever Jerez win
Melandri on pole for Saturday showdown a
Van der Mark: "I am happy because I didn
Rea: "Our pace here is fast"
Rea Friday’s fastest despite FP2 crash
Sharp Rea sets pace in early Jerez run
Rea feels fired up for the challenge at
Davies aims to have another solid weeken
Lowes feeling great with the R1
Kari penalized, Hubert on podium
Markelov flies in Jerez to fourth win
Lorandi picks up grid penalty for Jerez
2018 WorldSBK calendar begins to take sh
Camier: "We need a bit of luck on our si
Rea: "I wanted to win the race so badly,
Bradl to sit out on the remainder of the
Sykes: "We are lucky to be racing here"
Rea: "Whatever happens tomorrow we have
Leclerc leads the way in Jerez
Pace setter Rea wraps up Friday ahead of
Could a championship be decided in Franc
Loris Baz set to move to WorldSBK in 201
Incoming West happy with Portimao result
Double victory puts Rea in position of s
Laverty: "We’ve had the same problems si
Runaway victory for unstoppable Rea
Rea: "I managed to be very consistent"
Rea on top in opening Portimao session
The battle in WorldSBK closes in between
Takahashi to step in for Red Bull Honda
Rea: thinks that another two year contra
Davies completes double victory in Germa
Sykes feeling 'happy' around Lausitzring
Sykes on top as action resumes at Lausit
Bradl: "It’s important for me to do well
Giugliano back in the WorldSBK with a st
Rea takes Sunday win at US WorldSBK roun
Marvelous Melandri takes 100th Italian v