Phillip Island World Superbike Test Day 1
First day World Superbike Test Phillip Island 2010
Privateer Ducati rider Carlos Checa set the quickest time of the first day of testing at the official tests in Phillip Island, taking his Althea Ducati to a 1’31.959 lap time.
His pace was less than one second slower than the 1’31.050 best set in qualifying for the 2009 race. While the Spaniard blitzed the track the four Australians in the field focussed on set-up rather than super quick laps, and finished the first day out of the top ten.
The Ducati Xerox of Michel Fabrizio was second quickest in the opening sessions, 0.390 seconds behind Checa around the 4.445km circuit. 24 world superbike riders tested today, making the most of more than 4 hours of track time in sunny conditions.
Both top riders set their best times in the afternoon session, when track surface temperatures reached, 46°C, but in the slightly cooler morning session Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam was still fast enough for third in the combined times, with Noriyuki Haga fourth. Jonathan Rea pushed his Hannspree Honda to fifth place, while fellow British rider Shane Byrne (Ducati Althea) was sixth.
After suffering many injuries in 2009, Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) proved himself fast on day one, going seventh, ahead of Max Biaggi, on the leading Aprilia Alitalia machine. Jakub Smrz was ninth on his Pata B&G Racing Ducati 1098R, while DFX Ducati rider Lorenzo Lanzi rounded out the top ten. Fastest Yamaha rider was James Toseland in 11th, while the top Kawasaki lap was set by Tom Sykes, 13th fastest of 23 riders.
The fastest Aussie rider proved to be Troy Corser on the BMW with a best lap of 1m32.299, while the Sunshine Coast’s Chris Vermeulen was 17th fastest with a 1m33.648s lap on his Kawasaki set in the afternoon session.
Kempsey’s Andrew Pitt also improved in the latter outing, with a 1m33.699 s time putting the Team Reitwagen BMW 18th on the leader board, while Sydney’s Josh Brookes – called up this week to replace an injured Broc Parkes – on the ECHO Honda was 19th fastest with a 1m33.71 s time on what was his first day on the bike.
The world superbike teams have two further sessions tomorrow with nearly five hours of on track time scheduled.
The 2010 Yamaha Phillip Island opening round of the Superbike World Championship is next weekend February 26-28 2010.
For tickets visit www.phillipislandcircuit.com
Carlos Checa: “A very good start, quite positive. We didn’t expect this performance this early and especially not at this track, which is not easy. But we know that the Ducati can work quite well here and we arrived in Phillip Island after a quite good job in testing at Valencia. The team’s understanding of the bike is good, and also they helped me a lot to understand how to ride this bike in the right way. The feeling on the bike is special and so far it is a good experience to ride it.”
Michel Fabrizio: “We went quite well but the pace of Carlos Checa was very, very fast. I have a new engineer and we are working well. We made things better as we changed more and more on the bike but we just ran out of time in the afternoon session. We did not so bad, and I am sure we can improve tomorrow if the conditions remain good.”
Troy Corser: “It is always nice to come to Phillip Island as it is my home race. The bike is quite different to when we came here last year. Today we were testing different tyres and worked on the balance of the bike. We tried to find grip and made adjustments step by step. We are now using Nissin brakes. Their initial power is really aggressive. You actually cannot just grab the brake lever, you have to squeeze it carefully. Once you have the right setting and feel confident, the brake power is an advantage.”
Chris Vermeulen: “We actually had a lot of improvement today, mainly in the chassis and suspension side of things. We are a bit behind the regulars as we don’t really have a base setting, so we didn’t have any time to test tyres and push us up the time sheet. Then we had a small issue electronically this afternoon, which meant we lost a bit of track time. But our time is not that far out of the top eight, and I am still focussed on finishing in the top five this weekend.
Andrew Pitt : “I need a massage. We made some progress but it’s still a bit of a beast and we’re overworking the typres a bit. We’re just trying to find that elusive balance, still guessing a bit, trying to find the right direction.”
First Days Times:
Phillip Island Official Test – Superbike 1st day Aggregate (Feb 21)
1. Carlos Checa (Spain) Ducati 1098 R 1’31.959
2. Michele Fabrizio (Italy) Ducati 1098R 1’32.349
3. Leon Haslam (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.484
4. Nori Haga (Japan) Ducati 1098R 1’32.518
5. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.544
6. Shane Byrne (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’32.671
7. Max Neukirchner (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.735
8. Max Biaggi (Italy) Aprilia RSV4 1000F 1’32.832
9. Jakub Smrz (Czech) Ducati 1098R 1’32.912
10. Lorenzo Lanzi (Italy) Ducati 1098R 1’32.979
14 Troy Corser (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.299
17 Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’33.648
18 Andrew Pitt (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.699
19 Joshua Brookes (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1’33.710