In Barcelona the first real confrontation between the Superbikes and it is already a total battle: 4 riders in less than two tenths and 5 different houses in the top 5!
Superbike is back and the sparks are already beginning! The 2021 season begins in Barcelona with the first official tests allowing us to have the first confrontation between the protagonists of the production derivatives: fortunately the weather this time was mild allowing us to see a lot of action on the track. Only Lucas Mahias and Eugene Laverty were missing from the appeal; the case of the latter is the first mystery of a year that has yet to begin.
The teams did not lose even a minute, going down immediately in the first minutes on the track to take advantage of every possible moment. In the early stages, Scott Redding was the master, but at the end of the session, the challenge became heated. Thanks also to the new turn 10, the Superbike riders recorded remarkably interesting times. Four pilots were even able to break down the 1.41 threshold.
THE NEW NINJA IS SCARY, BUT THE FIGHT TIGHTENED
Despite Redding’s great start, Rea put everyone back in line with the new Ninja. The premises regarding the new Kawasaki seem to be reflected on the track as well and already send a strong signal to the rivals. At the end of the day, the six-time world champion finished in 1.40.793, thus marking the best overall performance. Behind him, he surprises Leon Haslam, who brings the new Honda Fireblade to second position only a tenth of a gap.
Garrett Gerloff is 3rd ahead of Redding; a great start for the American who took his first podium in Catalunya last year and had some new things to try in Barcelona. After the two positive days spent in Misano, Gerloff confirms himself as one of the fastest and most fit drivers on the grid. Behind him precisely Redding, who in the morning had surprised with a super time (1.41.1 trimming half a second to the competition until the afternoon).
GOOD START FOR BMW, FINALLY CHAZ DAVIES WITH GO ELEVEN
5th position for the BMW of Tom Sykes, first at 1.41. The Brit continues work on the new M1000RR after testing in Jerez, as does the new entry Jonas Folger, 7th about eight tenths from the reference. Among them Toprak Razgatlıoğlu with the first of the official Yamahas. Michael Rinaldi instead closes 8th and is the best of the Italians almost a second from the top.
Chaz Davies finally makes his debut with the Ducati of the Go Eleven team. After the absence from the Misano tests due to post-Covid quarantine, the Welshman was able to work with Go Eleven and grind the first kilometres together with the new team. Davies is the last driver under the second behind. Top 10 for rookie Andrea Locatelli, also at 1.41 towards the end of the day. The last ones below this threshold are Alvaro Bautista, definitely far from his teammate Haslam, and Alex Lowes, 12th with a few kilometres covered on the new Ninja.
Michael Van Der Mark‘s apprenticeship on the BMW continues: the Dutchman is 13th in 1.42, the first to lap above 1.41. Behind him, we find two other rookies, Axel Bassani and Kohta Nozane. 16th instead Tito Rabat with Barni’s Ducati: after the difficulties of the Misano tests, the first official Superbike test seems not to have started on the right foot. Ponsson (+3.6), Tati Mercado (+4.1) and Samuele Cavalieri (+4.6) close the ranking.