TEST­ING TIMES That’s the Rea to do it

Cham­pion tops test de­spite attack from Aprilia’s young gun

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Oli Rushby WSB REPORTER Jonathan Rea Kawasaki

World Su­per­bike Cham­pion Jonathan Rea started the 2017 sea­son where he left off in 2016 by set­ting the best time in the first test of the year at Jerez.

Rea topped both days, with his quick­est time of 1m 39.809s com­ing to­wards the end of day two to top­ple Ital­ian young­ster Lorenzo Savadori from the top spot af­ter a rapid lap on qual­i­fy­ing tyres saw the Ital­ian shoot to the top of the timesheets on his Mil­wau­kee Aprilia.

Rea was pleased to keep the young gun at bay and said: “I feel good on the bike. It’s clear ev­ery­one is rid­ing fast, Fa­bien [Foret – Rea’s rid­ing coach] has been out on track watch­ing and he’s told me that no­body is achiev­ing these times by rid­ing around calmly.

Rea was just 0.111sec ahead of Savadori’s quick­est time, but the Ul­ster­man set his quick­est lap on race tyres, while Savadori’s sur­prise jump was aided by sticky rub­ber.

Savadori (see be­low) was in fine form on and off the track: “Fin­ish­ing so close to the top in my first test is good. I’ve only rid­den the bike twice but the ini­tial sen­sa­tion is great.”

Rea’s team-mate, Tom Sykes was third in the test af­ter a last gasp lap saw him move ahead of Du­cati’s Marco Me­landri who led the timesheets for most of day two.

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