There is just over a month to go until the first round of the World Superbike Championship, so the riders are taking advantage of the time to hone their weapons. All the protagonists are on the track at Jerez today and tomorrow and this includes Lorenzo Zanetti. The tester for the Borgo Panigale based manufacturer took to the track this morning astride the Ducati Panigale 1000cc V4 which, as we all know, will make its début next year in the Championship and in BSB.
The Italian rider is therefore gaining confidence astride the “Red”, as Serafino Foti told our colleagues at SpeedWeek: “We have various tests scheduled to develop the V4 with Lorenzo since Pirro is busy on the MotoGP bike – the team manager commented – This is the second outing for us with this bike and it still needs to be explored. The goal is to do as many miles as we can – he added – in order to be able to define a base on which Davies and Melandri will be able to work.”
With the clock showing 4:30 PM in Jerez, Zanetti had turned 43 laps. His best time so far is 1’42”872, three seconds behind leader, Johnny Rea. The Northern Irishman continues to improve, reaching a time of 1’39”862. No other rider has been able to drop below the 1’40” mark, although the competition is slowly getting closer. This is the case for Tom Sykes, who waited until the afternoon to go out on track, going just over three tenths of a second slower than his teammate (+0.316). Just behind him, with a gap of 60 thousandths, is the first of the Ducati riders, namely Marco Melandri. Still trying to find the right path, on the other hand, is Chaz Davies (+1.011), a full second behind the top time.
It has been said several times that the new rules could favour the competitiveness of the Yamaha. At the moment, the two standard-bearers are living up to expectations, with Lowes and Van der Mark nipping at the heels of Marco Melandri’s Panigale, within just over two tenths of one another. The gap widens, however, for Lorenzo Savadori, as well as for Loris Baz and Leon Camier, all three more than a second behind the leader. There is a full two second gap for Yonny Hernandez, only fourteenth and 60 thousandths of a second behind the Ducati ridden by Michael Rinaldi.
Of the SuperSport bikes in action at Jerez, Raffaele De Rosa is ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu. Testing will end at 6 PM.
THE TIMES AT 4:30 PM