More pre-season action took place at MotorLand Aragon across Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week with Kawasaki joining BMW and Yamaha at the Alcañiz circuit with the track hosting the first round of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season in just a couple of weeks. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) set the pace throughout the action, with his team testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, as he posted a lap time quicker than the fastest Tissot Superpole lap record at Aragon. Track temperatures approached 39 Celsius towards the end of Wednesday’s running as teams and riders got some warm weather and track conditions throughout the test.
Rea completed 147 laps throughout his two days of the team’s final pre-season test and posted a best lap time of a 1’48.528s; two tenths quicker than his pole time set last season. Teammate Alex Lowes was also at the test and record a best time of 1’49.182s after completing 186 laps; both riders using the final test to refine their Kawasaki ZX-10RR for the new season after completing most of their programme throughout previous tests.
Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) made his first appearance of the 2021 offseason as he tested for his new team on the BMW M 1000 RR for the first time. BMW were on track across all three days for their final test ahead of the new campaign. As it was Laverty’s first test of 2021, the Irishman started with a similar bike to Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) from a previous test at Jerez before adding new items such as the 2021 swingarm. Laverty completed 197 laps across the three days with a best time of 1’50.604s.
Sporting his new-for-2021 livery, Folger was on an identical machine to the factory riders, Tom Sykes (Eazi-Grip supported BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and teammate Michael van der Mark, as he gears up for his first full-time WorldSBK campaign. The German rider completed 116 laps across the three days on the M 1000 RR, with a best lap time of 1’50.815s. At the factory outfit, the team were trying new components on the chassis including material previously tried in 2019, confirming what they had tried at the Supported Test. Sykes finished the test as the fastest BMW rider with a time of 1’49.857s with van der Mark around one second back from his teammate; Sykes and van der Mark adding 187 and 173 laps to the team’s lap total respectively.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) made a welcome return to action following a positive COVID-19 test ruling him out of Yamaha’s previous test at the same venue. The Turkish star wasted no time in making up for lost time as he completed 93 laps on the first day and a total of 174 laps with a best lap of 1’49.763s across both days with Yamaha trying out new front brake components. His teammate, Andrea Locatelli, continued to get to know his Yamaha YZF R1 ahead of his rookie campaign; racking up 172 laps across Tuesday and Wednesday.
Eazi-Grip supported Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) took to MotorLand Aragon on Monday and Tuesday before heading to the Circuito de Navarra for two more days of action, setting the best lap time on Monday and completing 149 laps in total across Monday and Tuesday. Davies, who has a new team for 2021, posted a best time of 1’49.313s as the only Ducati representative on track in Alcañiz. The only other rider at the track from the WorldSBK paddock was Eazi-Grip supported Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) with the Spanish rider racking up 139 across Tuesday and Wednesday on his ZX-10RR, posting a best lap time of 1’51.724s.
The unofficial order following the MotorLand Aragon test:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’48.528s (147 laps)
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.182s (186 laps)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’49.763s (174 laps)
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’49.857s (187 laps)
- Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) 1’49.913s (149 laps)
- Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) 1’50.604s (197 laps)
- Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’50.702s (172 laps)
- Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.781s (173 laps)
- Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) 1’50.815s (116 laps)
- Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) 1’51.724s (139 laps)
Tom Sykes – “It has been a very productive test. We have done such a lot now with the electronics all over, the traction control, the engine brake, the power level maps. We’ve also been working with different chassis configurations and set-up and were also trying some things with the engine. Apart from that it was quite some other fundamental things that we have been trying. So overall, they have been very busy days. A big thanks to the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team that has put in very long hours on all the preparations. We just need to go back now and use all this information but certainly there has been a lot gathered and I really feel we can improve the whole package of the new BMW M 1000 RR. I am looking forward to the first races now.”
Michael Van Der Mark – “They have been fantastic days. All days, the weather was good. On Monday, it was a bit cold but then it got warmer and warmer so we got a lot of different weather and track conditions and this was really good. It was perfect to test here just before the first race. A lot of things to try, a lot of things to improve but I am really happy with the progression we are making. Of course it’s always difficult to see where you are at a test but we will find out at the race weekends. I am looking forward to some good battles again and to fight with the other guys on track.”