Saturday 11th March
Kyle Ryde kicked off the opening day of Bennetts British Superbike Championship official testing by topping the times at Circuito de Navarra today (Saturday) for reigning champions OMG Racing Yamaha, heading off 2018 champion Leon Haslam.
Ryde has previous experience of the Spanish circuit from his time in the CEV Spanish Championship and building on their previous test at Andalucía, he was able to keep an edge of 0.628s over Haslam.
Ryde said: “It has been a good day and we have gone through a lot of different bits and stuck to a plan. We went out first thing as soon as the track was open and that made this afternoon more chilled and relaxed.
“The bike felt mega and the track felt good, we still have a lot to test over the next two days. We have lots to work on tomorrow, which are big changes so we shouldn’t be going too fast, but just to see how it feels and if it can make life easier at certain places during the year. Then the last day is about trying to go faster!
“Obviously we did three days before coming here at Andalucía, so we are a little more up to speed than some of the other boys are but I am sure with the goal post set today they will all be chasing it tomorrow to get closer.”
Haslam meanwhile is yet to confirm his plans for the 2023 season, but proved his pace on the opening day onboard the BMW M 1000 RR in BSB specification to post the second fastest time.
Andrew Irwin continued to work where the Honda Racing UK team left off at Andalucía and Monteblanco, setting the third fastest time on his return to the team for 2023, working with different engine specifications.
Ryan Vickers ended the opening day of the official test in fourth positon on the second OMG Racing Yamaha; a crash in the morning didn’t stop him improving his pace in the afternoon session.
The PBM Ducatis debuted on track for the first time in 2023 today with Glenn Irwin the fastest of the new teammates in fifth place as he reunited with the team, whilst Tommy Bridewell was ninth fastest on his first appearance with the team.
Spaniard Héctor Barberá was sixth fastest as he prepares for his return to the series, the former MotoGP rider joins TAG Honda for the new season and he has been quickly getting to grips with the Fireblade despite this being his first visit to the Navarra circuit.
New team Lovell Kent Racing Honda continued their preparations ahead of their debut campaign in seventh place as Danny Kent held seventh place on the timesheets at the end of the opening day just ahead of reigning Quattro Group British Supersport Champion Jack Kennedy who held eight for the Mar-Train Yamaha team.
Rookie Max Cook continued his adaptation to the Superbike after winning last year’s Pirelli National Superstock Championship, to complete the top ten on the leading Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki.
Oxford Products Racing Ducati’s Christian Iddon narrowly missed out on a place in the top ten on his debut with the team, ahead of VisionTrack Kawasaki’s rookie Bradley Perie and the second Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki of Lee Jackson.
Charlie Nesbitt led the Hawk Racing contenders, just ahead of teammate Josh Owens as they opened their pre-season testing since the team switched manufacturers to Honda.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Official Test, Navarra, combined result:
Sunday 12th March
Kyle Ryde maintained his position at the top of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Official Test times at Circuito de Navarra this afternoon, becoming the only rider to dip into the 1m:37s barrier in the final 20 minutes of the day.
The OMG Racing Yamaha rider held a 0.820s advantage at the chequered flag ahead of tomorrow’s final day at the Spanish circuit, the lap time just 0.753s adrift of the WSBK race lap record set in 2021. Meanwhile teammate Ryan Vickers sat out today’s action following his crash yesterday.
Ryde said: “The day was really good, we went through a lot of things with the bike and did a lot of donkey work this morning. The bike has felt mega, whatever we did to it, I always had confidence, which is always a great thing when you are testing things. We made this afternoon simple and we had a little plan to do this afternoon.
“I wasn’t planning on putting a new tyre in at the end, but everything felt so good that I thought ‘why not,’ and the lap time was good. The bike feels great so roll on tomorrow.”
Glenn Irwin moved up into second place on the combined timesheets in the final hour of the day, getting to grips with the new PBM Ducati as he eased Leon Haslam back into third place on the BSB specification BMW.
Andrew Irwin led the Honda riders in fourth place as he remained ahead of Tommy Bridewell; the PBM Ducati rider had a crash earlier in the afternoon but was able to return to the track towards the end of the day and improved his best time.
Jack Kennedy moved up the order in the final stages of the day, posting the sixth fastest time on the Mar-Train Yamaha, pushing ahead of former GP riders Danny Kent and Héctor Barberá. Charlie Nesbitt is the rider to complete the most laps so far during this test and he was ninth fastest on the MasterMac by Hawk Racing Honda.
Christian Iddon completed the top ten on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati despite a crash early in the afternoon as he prepares to return to the track tomorrow for the final day.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Official Test, Navarra, Sunday AM: