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Lowes on top from Rea on opening day of 2019 WorldSBK tests

Alex Lowes starts 2019 fastest for Pata Yamaha on the opening day of the Jerez test edging out Jonathan Rea

Unofficial World Superbike test times from Wednesday

Alex Lowes has started 2019 fastest for Pata Yamaha on the opening day of the Jerez test edging out Jonathan Rea by just 0.008s at the top of the times.

The British rider notched up a 1m 40.442s with just under two hours of the day remaining with conditions are their optimum on at a cold but dry Jerez circuit. Reigning World Superbike champion Rea went closest to toppling Lowes but missing out by eight-thousandth of a second, while new Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam slotted into third place on the times just over four-tenths off.

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Toprak Razgatlioglu made it a successful start to 2019 for Kawasaki on the customer Puccetti Racing ZX-10RR by taking fourth spot with a late surge as Lowes’s Yamaha team-mate Michael van der Mark rounded out the top five.

Both Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese continued to impress for GRT Yamaha, who step up to World Superbike for 2019, to take sixth and seventh respectively on the times.

Stefan Bradl made a surprise appearance at the Jerez test for HRC’s MotoGP test team with the German set to also be in action in Sepang at next month’s MotoGP test.

Aruba.it Racing Ducati duo Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista had a settled start to 2019 returning to action on the all-new V4 R by rounding out the top ten with the Welsh rider 0.933s off Lowes and the Spaniard 1.415s behind the pace-setter.

Eugene Laverty made his test debut for Team Go Eleven Ducati notching up a total of 36 laps with a best effort of  1m 43.376s to take 14th place on the timesheet.

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The new-look Moriwaki-Althea Honda team are not in action at Jerez while the Shaun Muir Racing-run factory BMW squad did not register any lap times at the Spanish circuit during the opening day of testing.

Jerez has undergone resurfacing work at certain sections of the track and while the top time set by Lowes was over one-and-a-half seconds slower than the fastest times set at November’s test it is likely to be due to the cold conditions combined with riders gradually getting back up to speed after the winter break.

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