Eugene Laverty ended The Tom Sykes Show during the final day of a three-day World Superbike test Wednesday at Jerez, turning a top lap of 1:40.185 on his Aprilia.
But that was only a sideshow to a rare occurrence – World Super and MotoGP bikes turning laps on the same day at the same track. And Laverty topped the quickest MotoGP bike, too.
Nicky Hayden produced the top MotoGP lap of 1:40.855 on his 1000cc prototype Ducati GP13, seven-tenths slower than Laverty’s 1000cc production-based Aprilia. Granted, this was Hayden’s first day of testing, and Jerez never has been a sweet spot for Ducati’s MotoGP bikes. Plus Laverty reportedly churned out his top lap during a banzai run in the final hour on Superpole tires, in a brazen grab for the pinnacle of the speed chart.
Sykes, who led the first two days of testing on his Kawasaki, was second among WSBK riders at 1:40.4 – also quicker than Hayden. Michel Fabrizio was third at 1:40.956 on his Aprilia, a tenth behind Hayden.
Marco Melandri was the quickest BMW rider, sixth overall at 1:41.8. Alarm bells could be sounding in the Ducati WSBK garage, as Carlos Checa turned the quickest lap on the new Panigale, a sluggish 1:43.089.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was second among MotoGP riders at 1:41.720, while “Crazy Joe” Iannone was third at 1:41.834 on his Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso rode just two laps due to a sore neck, with a best time of 1:48.516.
The Blusens Avintia team closed the gap between Claiming Rules Team and prototype bikes, as Hiroshi Aoyama topped out at 1:42.509 and Hector Barbera at 1:42.900. Those times indicate the FTR-Kawasaki combination could be a strong contender in 2013 to the CRT throne held by Aprilia.
Colin Edwards II must have smiled in a tree stand somewhere in Texas after seeing those times on his smartphone. His Forward Racing team is switching from the balky, tempermental Suter-BMW package to the FTR-Kawasaki in 2013.