With just two race events left, the season is almost complete for Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli. This weekend sees the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship head to its final European destination of 2016, Circuito de Jerez, in southern Spain, for the Gaerne Spanish Round.
Jerez is possibly the most travelled of the WorldSBK circuits, playing host to a number of test outings throughout the winter season as the teams prepare to do battle each year. Lowes is no stranger to the 4,423m technical and demanding layout, having succumbed to its unforgiving curves last November before returning to bury his demons the following January. Despite its turbulent history, Jerez remains one of the British rider’s favourite tracks and one he fully aims to tame this weekend as he returns to contest the concluding European races on his YZF-R1. Utilising the past week to recover from his demanding five back-to-back race events, the 26-year-old is eager to get up to speed quickly as the team returns to Spain.
Guintoli has a high success rate at the Andalucían circuit from his WorldSBK career to date, having achieved three podiums from his past six appearances. Jerez ushered in the Frenchman’s first taste of the Yamaha Superbike during last years’ shakedown and he is eager to return to the track to put the hard work into practice as wheels turn in anger for the two 20-lap races.
Nestled in the Andalucían region of Cadiz, Circuito de Jerez sits just outside the town of Jerez de la Frontera and hosts the most southern destination on the European calendar. A popular race venue, the 13 corner layout houses eight right and five left-handers, with the finish straight just 600m in length and providing little relief from the constant changes of direction and elevation.
Round 12’s races are scheduled for 13:00 local time on both Saturday and Sunday, with free practice commencing for Lowes and Guintoli at 10:15 on Friday 14th October.
Championship: 11th / 107 points
“Jerez is a track we probably ride the most because it gets used a lot for pre-season testing. There are no long straights here so it doesn’t give you much rest but it has a flowing feel to it and some really fast corners near the end of the lap. My best corner is turn five, leading on to the back straight, it’s a long corner where you can nick a bit of inside kerb then slide the bike on the exit, I smile every time through here. We’ve had a rollercoaster few rounds recently so I’m really looking to go out strong this weekend and have two good races as the season nears its conclusion. ”
Championship: 12th / 91 points
“Jerez is a twisty & challenging track. It’s very physical, but very enjoyable. It was our first experience of the YZF-R1 during winter testing so it will be good to see how it compares during the summer temperatures. Magny-Cours was a confirmation of our form this year, good qualifying performance but lots of work to do with race pace. We will continue the development as we head to Spain.”