RYDE FASTEST AT CIRCUITO DE NAVARRA AHEAD OF HASLAM AND IRWIN AS UK OFFICIAL TESTS BECKON
Kyle Ryde remained ahead of his Bennetts British Superbike Championship rivals after the final day on track at Circuito de Navarra today (Monday) for the opening Official Test, maintaining his position ahead of Leon Haslam and Glenn Irwin for reigning Champions OMG Racing Yamaha.
Ryde had set the benchmark throughout the first two days and on the final morning on track, he upped the pace again to set a lap of 1m:37.586s, the time 0.5215s adrift of the WSBK race lap record at the Spanish circuit. Ryde had been bidding for a sequence of flying laps, but a bird strike after his personal best lap, prevented any further time attack on that run.
Ryde said: “Yesterday and today have been chilled out and it’s very nice to feel so comfortable on my R1. We polished the day off and tried my best for a great lap time and everything clicked and it just worked. I can’t thank all of my team enough; my new crew chief Shannon has done an amazing job. I can’t wait to get to the tests at Donington and Silverstone now.
“I think this type of circuit is one that when you are confident you can find a lot of time. There are a lot of front end corners and I have felt mega with my bike all though the test here.
“The plan was to do two laps and I did one, then on the second lap going into turn one doing 171mph, a pigeon went straight through my windscreen and hit me, we decided that was the end of today doing fast lap times.
“The bike is literally going to go straight into the truck, get cleaned and is going to come out at Donington. We are not going to touch a thing, I can’t wait!”
Haslam also improved his fastest time during the final morning despite a crash, but rising temperatures in the afternoon meant that the 2018 Champion didn’t return to the track on the last afternoon onboard the BSB specification BMW. The ‘Pocket Rocket’ is yet to confirm his plans for the 2023 season.
Glenn Irwin completed the top three after the first Official Test on his return to the PBM Ducati team; a crash on the final morning before lunch ended his day early, but just 0.214s separated him from new teammate Tommy Bridewell in fourth place.
Andrew Irwin rounded out the top five for Honda Racing UK as he is back onboard the Fireblade for the new season; working through a range of changes across two different specification motorcycles, whilst teammate Tom Neave remains sidelined through injury.
Danny Kent continued his progress with the Lovell Kent Racing Honda team; the 2015 Moto3 World Champion relishing his switch to Honda machinery for the new campaign.
Christian Iddon was back on track on the final day at Circuito de Navarra after a crash yesterday afternoon, the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider holding the seventh fastest time overall.
Reigning Quattro Group British Supersport Champion Jack Kennedy was eighth fastest for Mar-Train Yamaha despite a crash on the final afternoon, remaining ahead of Héctor Barberá on the TAG Racing Honda. Charlie Nesbitt completed the combined top ten despite the MasterMac by Hawk Racing Honda team not taking part in the final day on track.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Official Test, Circuito de Navarra, combined times:
- Kyle Ryde (OMG Racing Yamaha) 1m:37.586s
- Leon Haslam (BMW) +0.933s
- Glenn Irwin (PBM Ducati) +1.052s
- Tommy Bridewell (PBM Ducati) +1.244s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +1.458s
- Danny Kent (Lovell Kent Racing Honda) +1.792s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +1.885s
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Yamaha) +1.895s
- Héctor Barberá (TAG Racing Honda) +2.145s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac by Hawk Racing Honda) +2.358s
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