Tom Sykes was one of the quickest riders during the test at Aragon. He continues to recover from an injury to his wrist and ribs sustained during Round 1 at Phillip Island.
A three-day World Superbike
testing regimen recently concluded for a number of teams at Motorland Aragon in Spain, with riders facing all manner of weather from high winds on Day 1, to rain which ultimately cut proceedings short on Day 3. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes
came through as one of the fastest riders during the test, a notable feat considering he continues to recover from a broken wrist and three broken ribs sustained in the run-up to Round 1 at Phillip Island.
“I think that my wrist is about 80% and my ribs 98% back to normal, so that was good. I was able to ride the bike again without too many limitations,” said Sykes. “We had some rain in the final afternoon but we had already finished just about everything we had wanted to do at the end of the second day. We were going to do a couple of long runs on two different settings today but the rain interrupted that. We have put a lot of laps on our tires here and we still have all of race weekend to check out the final tire situation for raceday. This test has also brought us some benefits in performance.”
Sykes’ teammate, Loris Baz, also counted the test a success.
“The test went really well for us, although I was not fighting for a lap time, just for improved consistency. I tried to improve my feeling with this track and we made a big step with the front end. We wanted to concentrate on the rear grip today but it started to rain early in the afternoon, so we did not try everything we wanted. But what we did try was a big improvement. We had some new suspension parts, on the forks, and they gave me good support in the front. I go into corners with quite a lot of brake so I need that. I also made a step using a qualifying set-up.”
Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea
and Leon Haslam
also ran laps over the three days, but leave with plenty more work to do.
“It’s been a frustrating few days actually because we haven’t been able to move the new electronics on from where we were in Australia in the first round,” said Haslam. “The weather today didn’t help either and there’s a lot more work to do before we’re ready to challenge properly next weekend when we come back to Aragon for round two. Physically, I’m feeling good after the recent operation on the foot I broke last year, so I’m ready to do some more testing before then!”
“I did a back-to-back comparison with last year’s electronics and it’s easy to see the potential that the new system has,” said Rea. “However, the teething problems we had in Australia don’t seem to have gone away so we haven’t got as much out of this test as we wanted. We’ve got another couple of days testing at Alcarras next week, which will be really useful. We’ve also got some good brains working on the system, so we know there’s more to come.”
World Superbike Round 2 is scheduled for April 14th at Aragon where Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri traded wins in 2012