World Superbike Official Testing Summary
Rea leads the list with a time half a second under Spies’ best lap from last season so we can be sure this series has lost none of its pace for 2010. Surprise package is clearly Shakey Byrne with his hot laps of Sunday to bring his privateer Althea Racing 1198 home in 3rd spot.
Friday 23rd was dry, 17oC air while the track was 11oC : Saturday 24th wet, 13oC and the track a steamy 21oC : Sunday 25th dry, 18oC and the track 22oC
1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.270;
2. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.557;
3. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1'42.877;
4. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.960;
5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'43.137;
6. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'43.157;
7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.364;
8. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1'43.417;
9. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.471;
10. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'43.508;
11. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'43.629;
12. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.749;
13. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'43.931;
14. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.108;
15. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.365;
16. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.570
Here’s the best of what the teams had to say, except for Aprilia which will be included as and when they release something.
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
Jonathan Rea powered to the best time at the end of the three-day Infront Motor Sports official Superbike test session at Portimao in Portugal. The Northern Ireland youngster’s time of 1 minute 42.270 seconds was quicker even than Ben Spies’ 2009 pole mark for Yamaha. The battle between Rea and his fellow-Brit Leon Haslam, who had been quickest on day 1, continued right until the very end, the Suzuki Alstare man ending up three-tenths behind.
“This test was a lot of fun, we worked through everything methodically and we are in good shape to begin the season. We got most of the big things like suspension spec, linkage and swing-arm teed off so now we can go to Phillip Island and fine-tune our racing. To say we are ready to go racing at Phillip Island, we’re not sure about that, but the bike is ready and now I plan to put the next three or four weeks to good use with my trainer and hopefully I’ll be ready. We’re all excited about the prospect of racing for a world championship.”
Team Suzuki Alstare
Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli made a positive start to the 2010 season at the three-day official World Superbike Championship test in Portimao, Portugal in second and 10th places respectively aboard their Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000s. Haslam led the first day and was second in day two's damp conditions before finishing just behind fellow countryman Jonathan Rea (Honda) today. His continuing good form was all the more impressive considering that he had arrived at the tests suffering with the Flu virus, but once he was on his Suzuki, he was able to overcome it and stay in the top-two all weekend. Team mate Guintoli also performed well during the test and says he now is ready to race the bike.
"On the first day of the test, the track was in good condition and my lap times came easy, so I was looking forward to more of the same. But Day Two started wet and although that put-paid to some of our plans, it did allow us to work on finding a good wet set-up and that's what we did. Today, the track felt a bit slippery - probably because of yesterday's rain - and then the wind picked up in the afternoon so I couldn't really make any big improvement on my lap times. Also, I got baulked on my hot lap and lost some time and, if it had not have been for that, I may have just sneaked ahead of Jonathan. But the important thing is that I am happy and the team are happy. We got through a lot of things and achieved everything we set out to do. The good work started the first time I rode bike, back in October, and since then we've just kept on improving and now I feel we are ready to race. This track is an excellent track for testing because it has got a bit of everything and it is also very demanding. I think if you can get a good set-up here - which we have done - it will be a good base for all the other tracks on the calendar. I am really happy with the whole team and I think we've got a great all-round package to challenge for the title."
Sylvain Guintoli :
"We started these tests with a lot of work to look forward to and I am happy because we have done a lot of good work and we are now already a stage where I feel I can race this bike. In dry conditions, we found the best setting for the bike that suits me and one that makes me happy and comfortable. The wet was good because, once again, we found a good set-up and I was again able to feel comfortable and ride the bike easily"
Team Althea Racing
Both riders worked through electronic and chassis settings on their Ducati 1198 superbikes, showing their growing improvement with every outing. Byrne scored an excellent third position (1,42,887) while Checa ended in eleventh place (1,43,629).
Shane Byrne :
"I think that all my team done a very good job this weekend and I want to thank Genesio Bevilacqua for his great work and also Ducati, because they gave us a really strong bike. It has been hard work and I was surprised to see how difficult it was to go fast with this bike. I started the test with exactly the same setting from my race bike from last year so the bike should be easy for me to ride, but the electronics of my 1198 are really very advanced and it took all Friday and today’s test to make the most from my Ducati. I think I learned more in these test than in all last year. It has been a very good test and I’m very happy with the team and I hope to continue to work like this for all the season and now I look forward to the next test in Valencia“.
Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team
Riders Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland completed their final day of testing today at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. The two British riders have worked hard over the three days, experiencing a variety of weather conditions from dry to wet to intermediate as they and the team worked through various electronic and bike set ups ahead of the 2010 season. The final session saw Cal fall victim to the drastically reduced grip of the track following yesterday’s rain. Fifty minutes from the end he lost the front of the bike on the slippery surface on the last corner before the home straight. In typical form he was back on his spare bike shortly afterwards for the remainder of the session. Team-mate James was consistently fast all day, ending the last test day just outside the top five in sixth position.
“it was frustrating to fall today, the track so was so slippery it was unavoidable, but it cost me some time on the track. Having said that we’ve had a really good test, we’ve worked through a lot of things and I think we’ve got closer to a good set-up for the first race. I’m really keen to get to Australia and start the next test before we kick-off racing.”
“I’m really pleased overall. We’ve worked through a lot of stuff over the last three days and I feel I’ve got a lot more understanding of the bike. The team has worked really well and I’m pleased we’ve managed to keep consistent fast pace over the test. I think there’s more to come so I’m looking forward to getting started again!”
On the third and final day of Superbike testing at the Portuguese track, the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were finally able to get properly to work having been impeded over the last two days by both the heavy rain and, for Michel, influenza. The asphalt had completely dried out by mid-morning and lap times started to tumble with Noriyuki and Michel able to clock up a decent number of fast laps during the first of the day’s two sessions. The riders made small set-up changes and tested the three rear solutions that Pirelli provided and by lunchtime the team-mates had powered their Ducati 1198 machines to 3rd (Noriyuki) and 4th (Michel) place. Over the three-day testing period, consistently fast performances have come mainly from the “Brit-pack”, or rather Rea, Haslam, Byrne and Crutchlow and in the final list of timings over all three days, it was those four riders ahead of Michel with the fifth fastest time and Noriyuki with the eighth. Respectable performances were also given by Ducati privateers Team Althea Racing, with Shane Byrne and Carlos Checa riding their Ducati 1198 bikes to 3rd and 11th position respectively.
“We got in a lot more track time today, and the weather held thankfully. This morning I had a fairly good feeling on my bike and was able to record some consistently fast laps but then in the afternoon, even though we didn’t make many changes between the sessions, I found it harder to improve. It seems like today was the day of the four cylinders! Having said this, these days were definitely useful after the long break over winter. We have worked well as a team and now we go straight on to Valencia to continue with the work.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Team Manager
“In the last three days we have started the work that we will continue for a year, we have seen some changes of personnel and the team is responding well. This first test didn’t give us exactly the results we were hoping for but the long break away from the track and the difficult conditions yesterday certainly didn’t help. Now the team travels directly to Valencia where we will carry out two more days worth of important testing; it will be a hard-fought championship but we are ready to give it our all.”
Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team
Riders Chris Vermeulen and Tom Sykes had a chance to ride their www.supercasino.com, Kick Energy, Vent-Axia and Henleys-backed Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R machines alongside many of their rivals during the first official tests of 2010, at Portimao, this past weekend. With some of the team's testing plans interrupted by the constant changes in track grip, both Chris and Tom still got a chance to try out their latest Showa suspension developments, and felt an improvement. In terms of lap times Chris set a best of 1:44.108 on the final day, with Tom just behind on a 1:44.365. These times put them 14th and 15th respectively in the final rankings, with Jonathan Rea fastest, on a 1:42.270.
"It went quite good but we were a bit unlucky with the weather and it is great to have learned the track before we come back here to race. We have different issues, but we are definitely improving the bike and it is moving forward in the right direction."
"My shoulder injury was feeling bad after day one but the guys at the Clinica mobile did a good job and that has made it much better ever since then. Obviously we did a lot of work on the bike to get to the bottom of a few things. On our latest suspension there are areas where we have improved and generally there is a better feeling of what's happening with the combination of tarmac, tyres and suspension. The feeling at the handlebars is definitely better overall, giving more direct feedback."
BMW Motorrad – Troy Corser
Troy ended the three -day official Superbike World Championship tests in Portimao satisfied with the progress he and the team have made, but is looking forward to even further progress next time out. After yesterday’s rain, the 4.592 kilometre circuit was not as grippy as the first day and the strong wind in the afternoon session today prevented Troy and the rest of the field from substantially improving their lap times. Although Troy did try a qualifier this afternoon, his best lap was once again on race rubber. At the end of the tests, Troy finished with the thirteenth quickest time, but was mostly working on making sure he and the S 1000 RR are continuing to improve ahead of the first race of the year at Phillip Island at the end of February.
“Obviously yesterday’s wet conditions didn’t do us too many favours, but at least we got to sort out a pretty good wet set-up. The loss of dry time yesterday and then the cold and damp track this morning didn’t allow us to do all the work we wanted to do, but I am pretty happy with what we did manage and the amount of progress we made. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try some new Ohlins forks, but we did try some different rear shocks and found some ideas that we can work on next time out. The track didn’t feel so clean today and that, together with the strong wind this afternoon, was probably the reason I didn’t make a big improvement in my lap times. But, for me and the team, what was important here was that we started the the year in good shape and that the new people in the team got to know each other and work well together. Having Davide (Tardozzi) in the team is an asset and we are also lucky that Max (Bartolini) has joined us as well. He was Michel Fabrizio’s race engineer and has heaps of experience and I’m sure that he and Davide will push the project forward considerably. As I said yesterday, I am really happy with the engine and now I feel that we have to get the chassis or the set-up and balance of the bike working better and that will allow me to push much harder. I feel that there’s more there in the engine, but I can’t use it and that is a little frustrating. If we can fix that piece of the jigsaw Ruben and I would be able to go quite a bit quicker and that’d be great fun.
Eugene Laverty (Honda Team Parkalgar) finally made the breakthrough he had been looking for in the three-day World Supersport test at Portimao as he knocked Spain’s Joan Lascorz off the top slot towards the end of the final session.
Last year’s championship runner-up lapped the Algarve circuit in 1 minute 45.104 seconds, a fraction quicker than Lascorz’s lap record, set last October. The circuit best lap of 1’44.836 remains in the hands of Laverty, with his 2009 pole time. The Irishman was the only one of the leading group to improve in the sixth session and he ended up a tenth quicker than Lascorz, who had dominated Friday and Saturday. Third place, with a time of 1’45.587, went to an impressive Michele Pirro, the Italian putting in some serious lap time on his new Hannspree Ten Kate Honda mount. Team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu was unable to take part in the test as the Turk will still require more recovery time for his fractured left ankle. Sixth place went to Chaz Davies on the Triumph 675 in 1’46.988, while on the same BE1 Racing machine American rookie Jason DiSalvo also eased his way into the picture with tenth quickest time of 1’47.054. Kuja Racing Honda’s Paolo Cazzola, the first woman to take part full-time in the world championship, finished in a respectable 13th place on her debut.
Times: 1. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1'45.104; 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'45.292; 3. Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1'45.587; 4. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 1'45.834; 5. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'45.988; 6. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 1'46.610; 7. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'46.836; 8. Salom D. (ESP) Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.054