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Sykes sets the pace in opening Jerez WorldSBK test

Wednesday, January 24 2018

Yorkshireman Tom Sykes set the fastest time in the opening two-day test session of the year for the World Superbike championship at Jerez.

With the majority of the confirmed riders for this year's series descending on the Spanish circuit for the first time in 2018, this was the first opportunity to gauge the potential running order for the season ahead, and it was the Kawasaki pairing that got the jump on the rest of the field.

Sykes' best time of 1m38.889 was over half a second clear of triple-champion teammate Jonathan Rea. The 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year runner-up was fastest on the opening day but was usurped during the final hour of today's (Wednesday) test by his Kawasaki team mate, who is determined to regain the title he last won in 2013.

Yamaha tester Niccolo Canepa was third quickest, just 0.054 seconds behind Rea, with Leon Camier impressing in fourth aboard his new Red Bull Honda. Ducati's Marco Melandri set the fifth quickest time ahead of Eugene Laverty with Spaniard Jordi Torres seventh.

Donington local Alex Lowes claimed the eighth fastest time for Yamaha ahead of team mate Michael van der Mark, with Leandro Mercado the 10th fastest World Superbike runner.

British Superbike aces Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey were also present at the test, setting the 10th and 15th quickest times respectively. The World Superbike field is back in testing action next week (28/29 January) at Portimao in Portugal.

World Superbike test result, Jerez:

1. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki, 1m38.889
2. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki, +0.581s
3. Niccolo Canepa, Yamaha, +0.635s
4. Leon Camier, Honda, +0.719s
5. Marco Melandri, Ducati, +0.865s
6. Eugene Laverty, Aprilia, +0.987s
7. Jordi Torres, MC Agusta, +1.266s
8. Alex Lowes, Yamaha, +1.509s
9. Michael van der Mark, +1.643s
10. Leon Haslam, Kawasaki, +1.687s*

*British Superbike competitor

There's still a week remaining to take advantage of our early bird ticket offer for the only UK round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park on 25-27 May. Until 31st January, fans can save £5 on a weekend ticket for the event, which gives access to both World Superbike races (Saturday and Sunday), as well as the Friday practice day. For more information, click here