News 22 Feb 2010

WSBK: Fabrizio and Ducati riders quickest at Phillip Island

Ducati continued to dominate at the official World Superbike test at Phillip Island today, setting the four best times of the two days while the Australian contingent struggled somewhat - focusing on setting up their equipment for this weekend’s opening round of the 2010 championship.

A cheeky Fabrizio was the fastest at Phillip Island during testing today. Image: Andrew Gosling.

A cheeky Fabrizio was the fastest at Phillip Island during testing today. Image: Andrew Gosling.

Ducati continued to dominate at the official World Superbike test at Phillip Island today, setting the four best times of the two days while the Australian contingent struggled somewhat – focusing on setting up their equipment for this weekend’s opening round of the 2010 championship.

Cooler conditions and a drying track after light early rain, provided the perfect conditions for speed in the morning session, while the wind picked up a little this afternoon to hold back most of the top riders from improving their previous best.

After four tests sessions over two days, Italian Michel Fabrizio posted the quickest time of all with a 1:31.650, set this morning on his Ducati Xerox machine.

Althea Ducati rider Shane Byrne was second quickest with a 1:31.662; while Jakub Smrz was one of the riders to improve in the final session, taking his Ducati to third best time with a 1:31.680s.

Fastest rider on day one Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) was fourth overall, while the first of the four-cylinder riders, Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Honda), was fifth in the combined rankings having set his personal best time this afternoon.

The top ten on combined times was rounded out by Noriyuki Haga (Ducati), Leon Haslam (Suzuki), Max Biaggi (Aprilia), Leon Camier (Aprilia) and Max Neukirchner (Suzuki).

Ruben Xaus was top BMW rider in 11th, while the fastest Yamaha man was James Toseland in 12th.

The Australians followed, with Wollongong’s Troy Corser (BMW) posting a best time of 1:32.819 s from today’s morning session, the Sunshine Coast’s Chris Vermeulen managing 16th fastest on the Kawasaki, Kempsey’s Andrew Pitt (BMW) 19th fastest and Sydney’s Josh Brookes (Honda) in 20th place after sitting out the morning session with technical gremlins.

Spanish rider Joan Lascorz (Provec Kawasaki) headed the field in the middleweight division at Phillip Island, securing the fastest lap of the tests in this morning’s session with a 1:34.374.

Only one rider improved his best time in the afternoon sector, as track conditions deteriorated due to high winds and a drop in temperature right at the end of the day.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was second in the rankings, 2009 championship runner-up Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) was third and Sofuoglu’s team-mate Michele Pirro fourth.

Sebastien Charpentier (Triumph BE-1) proved to be in fine form in his championship return, the ex-world champion eighth quickest from 17 riders after two days of testing. He was the fastest Triumph rider at the tests.

The riders now have a four-day break before round one of the 2010 Superbike World Championship kicks off this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Phillip Island.

RIDER QUOTES (to be updated):
Michel Fabrizio: “I’m satisfied with the lap times because we were consistently fast. I found good race pace with one of the tyre compounds in particular and this bodes well for the weekend but the result will very much depend on the weather. There are several fast guys here, so it will undoubtedly be a tough race weekend, as well as a hard-fought championship. It’s a difficult challenge but I’m ready to face it.”

Shane Byrne :”In general, I’m very happy with this second day of testing even though unfortunately, this afternoon we had some small problems with the bike, and I was forced to use the second one. During the second session we lost time trying to fix the problems and I was able to run only few laps. The guys did a very good job this morning and I’m really satisfied with my first bike. I completed a very fast lap time in the first session, finding a very good pace. The only thing we can do now is rest and wait for the races next weekend.“

Carlos Checa :”I’m pretty satisfied with this second day of testing. This morning I worked hard with my technicians thinking about the subsequent races. In the afternoon, we tested some new components and I was not able to improve my best lap time also because to the strong wind. We used two types of tire, but for the race next week we’ll also use some other different tires already tested by official riders. I’m happy because we almost terminated our planned work schedule and I’m feeling quiet confident for the next two races of the championship.”

Noriyuki Haga: “Today we concentrated on suspension settings, making various changes during the day, but for some reason I didn’t find the same good feeling that I had yesterday. Having said that the lap times were fairly fast. With regard to tyres the difficulties are caused by temperature because an increase of just one or two degrees can make a difference. I can’t really predict how the races will go on Sunday; I’m going to relax for two days and then we’ll start work again on Friday.”

Leon Haslam: “I am not so happy with the final result, regarding lap times, but overall I am happy with all the work we’ve done and the things we found out and this will help us go in the right direction. Today we started with the two bikes set up differently and I preferred some things on one bike and some things on the other bike, so the mechanics will now try and put the best bits of both on one bike and that’s what I will start with during first practice next Friday. We spent quite a lot of time today trying out race tyres, so that we will be in a good position next week, but that meant that we didn’t really go for a very quick lap time. I am not worried about the guys ahead of me today, because I know that things will be very different come the race next weekend. That’s more important than lap times today. I feel good about our prospects – and that’s the main thing.”

James Toseland: “It’s been a solid two days of testing working on the new bike. I still have some chatter problems as does Cal. The guys are going to go through the data and see what they can come up with for us over the next couple of days.”

Troy Corser: “We tested many things today. Some things felt well, some things not. For me, the bike still is a little nervous on bumps – both on acceleration and deceleration. In the afternoon we worked on making the bike more comfortable and controllable on bumps. We have got lots of information about many, many things. We now have to analyze the data and see what we can do. The fact that the bike is quite different to last year makes a proper comparison a little difficult.”

Sylvain Guintoli: “Today we did a lot of work on getting the bike working well with race rubber and didn’t concentrate of chasing lap times. I had a small get-off at the tight hairpin after Lukey Heights, but there was no damage to me or the bike. It happened when I lost the front end when I pushed a bit too hard on a tyre that I didn’t really like – and now I like it less! I have had no problems with jet-lag or tiredness today, but I felt that I just couldn’t find my good rhythm. This sometimes happens to me when we test for a lot of time, like today when the two sessions lasted two and a half hours each. In a normal race weekend, practice lasts an hour and race is about 45 minutes and I always manage to find a good rhythm without a problem, so maybe the sessions today were a bit too long for me. But, we’ve done a lot of good work and now I am looking forward to next Friday and the start of the race weekend.”

Chris Vermeulen: “The day went pretty well and we made some significant improvements. We concentrated mainly on the chassis set-up and tyre life and found a good base setting for the race. The conditions this morning meant we lost a bit of track time but hopefully we’ll make up for that on Friday during free practice. We still have some work to do but I’m looking forward to the weekend and challenging for the top five.”

Cal Crutchlow: “We worked through a lot of stuff, unfortunately it’s not all worked yet. If we can get going in the right direction over the next couple of days for both of us then we can move forward. I’m looking forward to race weekend as always and will do the best job I can.”

Tom Sykes: “We tried a lot of things and went back to what we knew worked best. The team were very patient with me going through all the stuff that we had to try. It was very crucial that we did this, because we have a much better idea of where to go with set-up for the race next week. That is the most important thing, and this test was just to help us in the races. I feel we can close the gap a bit and I am looking forward to the races.”


1 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.650
2 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’31.662
3 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’31.680
4 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’31.959
5 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.175
6 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’32.247
7 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.279
8 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’32.474
9 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’32.621
10 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.691
11 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.714
12 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’32.781
13 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.819
14 57 Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’32.830
15 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.869
16 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’32.870
17 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’32.880
18 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’33.202
19 88 Pitt A. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.699
20 25 Brookes J. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1’33.710
21 123 Resch R. (AUT) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.943
22 31 Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’34.945
23 15 Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’35.663
24 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’35.763

1 26 Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’34.374
2 54 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.691
3 50 Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.753
4 51 Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’34.793
5 37 Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’34.994
6 99 Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’35.060
7 55 Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’35.379
8 16 Charpentier S. (FRA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’35.735
9 127 Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’35.758
10 25 Salom D. (ESP) Triumph Daytona 675 1’35.764
11 7 Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 1’35.906
12 117 Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 1’36.039
13 40 DiSalvo J. (USA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’36.074
14 4 Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’36.624
15 9 Dell’Omo D. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.001
16 5 Lundh A. (SWE) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.340
17 33 Cazzola P. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’39.108