Yamaha’s phenomenal new R1 has already competed successfully on the track at other venues, but it will line up for the first time on a WSB racing grid when the series begins next month. In preparation, the Pata Yamaha official WSB team has been on track twice with the new bike, most recently a couple of days ago at Portimão beneath riders Sylvain Guintoli (2014 WSB champion) and Alex Lowes (2013 BSB champion).
The team is referring to 2016 as a “development year”, but Guintoli, in particular, says he will be looking for podiums straight away. Stay tuned for news on the WSB test that begins tomorrow at Jerez, but the general expectation is that the Kawasaki duo of champions Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will set the pace. This test will also be Nicky Hayden’s first test against all of the WSB regulars on his new Honda superbike. Should be interesting.