Superbike - Sykes sets pace but rain blights Aragon testing

Wet weather blighted World Superbike testing at Aragon.

Ducati, Kawasaki, BMW and Honda were in attendance at Motorland Aragon but rain on day one continued throughout the night and the riders were limited to a few hours on a dry track on the second day.

Tom Sykes was fastest on the Kawasaki as he and team-mate Loris Baz ran the rule over the latest electronics and suspension updates on the Ninja ZX-10R.

Honda new boy Leon Haslam suffered an early crash but escaped unhurt. The Brit went down at the first corner on his second lap and had to use his spare Fireblade bike.

He said: “I did a few wet laps on Wednesday but it was only to get more accustomed to bike. When the track finally dried we got to try a load of different stuff and did everything on the harder tyre, which felt good.

“When I went out on the softer tyre, I lost the rear going into turn one and the bike ended up in the barrier and too badly damaged to repair. The boys got the spare bike ready but it was quite different and there really wasn't much time left anyway, so it was quite frustrating in the end.

“The one lap that I did on the softer tyre told me that the swingarm felt much better."

Jonathan Rea, also now in the Pata colours for the Honda team, added: “We tried some new brake parts at the test and found an improvement in both consistency and performance, so that was positive. The new swingarm worked OK with the new 17-inch wheels but we still need to do a bit of fine-tuning with some other new chassis parts that are coming."

Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies were testing the BMW's 1000 RR machine and the newly-formed Ducati Alstare team were also present with 2011 champion Carlos Checa.

The top World Superbike teams now head to Jerez at the end of the month before the six-week testing ban comes into force at the start of December.