Rea leads Redding in Barcelona World Superbike test
Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea led Scott Redding as World Superbike track action resumed in earnest with a two-day test at Barcelona.
This week's test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya marked the first time that all five WSBK manufacturers have shared a track since the first round of the season at Phillip Island back in late February, before the COVID-19 pandemic placed the 2020 campaign on hold.
Rea, who was recently handed a multi-year contract extension by Kawasaki, set a new Superbike lap record at Barcelona during Thursday's morning session with a 1m40.450s, which was enough to beat Ducati rival Redding by 0.156s and top the test overall.
Redding had gone quickest on Wednesday with late effort of 1m41.727s during the afternoon to put himself 0.183s clear of Rea's chart-topping time from the morning.
Scott Redding, Aruba.it Racing Ducati
Photo by: Ducati Corse
Tom Sykes made it three different manufacturers in the top three on the best of the BMWs on Thursday morning, albeit 0.506s off the pace, followed by Rea's championship-leading Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes and Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Razgatlioglu suffered a crash at Turn 7 just before the end of the morning session, which kept him out of action for the majority of the afternoon session.
However, the Turkish rider was able to set the second-quickest time in the afternoon, coming up just 0.044s shy of pacesetter Redding's benchmark of 1m41.737s.
Ten Kate Yamaha man Loris Baz was third-fastest in that session, good enough for eighth overall behind Eugene Laverty on the second BMW and Michael van der Mark on the second Crescent-run works Yamaha.
Making up the top 10 were Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Ducati) courtesy of their times in the afternoon.
Honda had a low-key return to action, not helped by both Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista having to sit out Thursday morning's running entirely in order to hold online meetings with the team's Japanese-based engineering staff.
Leon Haslam, Team HRC, Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC
Photo by: Honda
Haslam ended up 12th-fastest, while Bautista's laptime from Wednesday put him 14th in the combined order across both days of the test.
Honda is however set to undertake a private test at Aragon to try new parts ahead of the season resuming at Jerez on August 1-2.
Injured Barni Ducati man Leon Camier, MIE Honda rider Takumi Takahashi and Puccetti Kawasaki rider Xavi Fores were all absent, although the field was bolstered by a small handful of World Supersport runners as well as Marc VDS Moto2 pair Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez on stock Yamaha R1s.
Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova
Testing times (WSBK only):
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Day 1||Day 2|
|7||60||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||1'42.975||1'41.679
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