Rea tops first day of Barcelona World Superbike test

Reigning champion Jonathan Rea topped the opening day of World Superbike's official pre-season test at Barcelona for Kawasaki on Wednesday.

Rea tops first day of Barcelona World Superbike test
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Riding the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR that was unveiled in its 2021 livery on Tuesday, Rea set the fastest time of 1m40.793s with a little under half an hour to go of the eight hours of running.

That was over a second up on the existing WSBK lap record at the track, but with the caveat that the layout of the Turn 10 left-hand hairpin has been revised for 2021.

Ducati rider and last year's runner-up Scott Redding led during the morning with a benchmark of 1m41.198s, and that lap stood as the quickest until it was surpassed by Rea on a 1m41.180s with around an hour and 15 minutes left of the day.

GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff enjoyed a spell at the top of the times when he set a 1m41.147s with an hour to go, before improving to a 1m40.978s and then a 1m40.910s shortly after.

But Rea regained control of the leaderboard when he posted a 1m41.861s and then finally a 1m40.793s to end the first day of 2021 running featuring all five WSBK manufacturers on top.

Honda's Leon Haslam jumped to second inside the final 15 minutes, 0.107s off the pace of Rea and just 10 thousandths up on third-placed Gerloff.

Redding improved to a 1m40.962s late on to wind up fourth on the best of the Ducatis, while BMW's Tom Sykes incredibly made it five different bikes in the top five, 0.472s off the pace.

Toprak Razgatlioglu was sixth for the works Yamaha team ahead of Jonas Folger's satellite MGM Racing BMW - who recovered from a crash in the morning - and the second factory Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Completing the top 10 were Chaz Davies (Go Eleven Ducati) and Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha).

Alex Lowes, who recently recovered from a shoulder injury picked up earlier this year, was 1.173s off the pace of Kawasaki teammate Rea in 12th place, one spot behind Alvaro Bautista on the second Honda, who is recovering from a minor motocross accident.

Michael van der Mark was the slowest of the factory riders in 13th on his BMW, while ex-MotoGP racer Tito Rabat (Barni Ducati) was a low-key 16th.

A total of 20 riders took part in the first day of the test, with Lucas Mahias (Puccetti Kawasaki), Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra BMW) and Loris Cresson (Pedercini Kawasaki) all absent.

Testing continues with an additional eight hours of running on Thursday.

Day 1 testing times:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'40.793  
2 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam Honda 1'40.900 0.107
3 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1'40.910 0.117
4 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding Ducati 1'40.962 0.169
5 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes BMW 1'41.265 0.472
6 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'41.334 0.541
7 94 Germany Jonas Folger BMW 1'41.598 0.805
8 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 1'41.748 0.955
9 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies Ducati 1'41.775 0.982
10 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'41.926 1.133
11 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Honda 1'41.950 1.157
12 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 1'41.966 1.173
13 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark BMW 1'42.046 1.253
14 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 1'42.677 1.884
15 3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 1'42.758 1.965
16 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 1'42.819 2.026
17 32 Spain Isaac Vinales Kawasaki 1'42.923 2.130
18 23 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 1'44.400 3.607
19 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda 1'44.957 4.164
20 76 Italy Samuele Cavalieri Kawasaki 1'45.434 4.641
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Rea stays on top as Barcelona World Superbike test ends

Rea stays on top as Barcelona World Superbike test ends