He isn't exactly holding back. Johnny Rea had the spotlight on him today at Jerez, powering his Kawasaki to the top of the timesheets. His fellow Superbike riders couldn't catch him and neither could the MotoGP guys. Yes, you heard correctly! Lying in second place at the end of yesterday, the Northern Irish rider went one better today, stopping the clock on 1’38”721, using a qualifying tyre in the final stages as did all of the SBK riders. His best time was even quicker than the pole set by Valentino Rossi during the Spanish GP.
The first of the chasing pack was Alvaro Bautista (+0.225), just over two tenths behind Rea, followed by another surprise, in the shape of Chaz Davies on the Ducati (+0.395), on day two of testing for the Welshman and the red bike at Jerez. Marco Melandri is also improving. Despite finishing half a second behind his team-mate, the Italian closed fourth among the SBK riders. After completing 71 laps, during which he worked mainly on the gearing and electronics, he closed ahead of Alex Lowes on the Yamaha. In the final stages, Sykes moved ahead of him to take third place.
Back to MotoGP, and Loris Baz (+0.463) confirmed his competitiveness on the Avintia Ducati, just over two tenths from Bautista. The Frenchman is followed by his team-mate Hector Barbera (+0.821), who set the fastest time yesterday.
Good signs are also coming from the Aprilia camp, and after 41 laps Aleix Espargarò was lying sixth (+0.954), roughly one second from the front. A bittersweet day for the Spaniard, who suffered a crash but was unhurt. He closed just 0.091 ahead of Danilo Petrucci, on track with the new Ducati GP17.
On this second day of testing, Bradley Smith's apprenticeship with the KTM continues. The former Tech3 rider still has to deal with a gap of around three seconds though. Behind him is Sam Lowes, who completed just 20 laps, still in pain after yesterday's crash.
Action resumes tomorrow at 10, but rain is forecast overnight as well as around lunchtime.