A recently resurfaced Jerez track and cool conditions meant a cautious start to the test for Pata Yamaha’s Lowes and van der Mark, both of whom used the first day to confirm set up changes tested at the same circuit back in November. It was Lowes who set the pace on the opening day, storming to the top of the timesheet with a lap time of 1’40.442. Van der Mark, who is still recovering from a wrist injury sustained in the final race of the 2018 season in Qatar, ended the day fifth with a time of 1’41.047.
With improved conditions for the second and final day of testing in Jerez, both Pata Yamaha riders switched their focus to evaluating a number of chassis upgrades, with positive results. Lowes once again led the Yamaha charge, posting a time of 1’39.372 to end the day second fastest, while van der Mark also improved his pace, with a lap time of 1’40.145 securing him seventh position on the timesheet.
For the GRT Yamaha riders the focus during the two days of the Jerez test was to continue the familiarization process started back in November at the same track. Both Cortese and Melandri completed an extensive test program, as they worked with their respective crews to set up the YZF-R1 machines they’ll race this year to suit their individual riding styles.
Melandri identified a number of areas on which to focus when the team moves on to Portimão to continue testing later this week, while Cortese declared himself satisfied with progress after setting his fastest time right at the end of the test with a base set up that gave him more confidence to push for a fast lap.
The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK and GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK teams now head to Portimão for two more days of testing on Sunday and Monday, after which the bikes will be packed and shipped to Australia for the opening round of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Phillip Island circuit.