While the Moto2 and Moto3 riders finish up their test at Valencia, on the other side of the world, the World Superbike and World Supersport riders are beginning the final run in to the season opener in 10 days’ time.
They started today with the first of two days of private testing, the first chance the riders get to see the resurfaced Phillip Island track. The overall reaction to the new surface was very positive, though the lack of rubber on the track caused a spot of mayhem in the morning, with several riders crashing out.
Fastest man of the day was Eugene Laverty on the factory Aprilia, the Irishman circulating at lap record pace, but still a second off the pole record. Leon Camier put the Fixi Suzuki into 2nd spot, ahead of the Pata Hondas of Johnny Rea and Leon Haslam, while Marco Melandri ended the day in 5th. Carlos Checa did not ride, as the 2011 World Champion was suffering with a stomach bug.
There was a costly crash for Tom Sykes on just his 5th lap, the Kawasaki man falling heavily and suffering a suspected wrist fracture, the x-rays at a local hospital showing up damage, but uncertain whether the damage is from his fall today or from an old injury.
Sykes has still to decide whether to ride on Friday; with the official test due to start on Monday, the Englishman could afford to miss a day of testing. Other riders to crash included Leon Camier, Jules Cluzel and Loris Baz, the Frenchman managing to completely destroy his Provec Kawasaki, but walking away unhurt.
No times were published for the World Supersport riders, but reports from the track suggest impressive times from both Sam Lowes and Michael van der Mark, both men said to be lapping at 1’35.2, which is just three tenths off record pace.
Lowes pronounced himself happy with the performance of the Yamaha R6, while Van der Mark was very pleased to be on the pace with Lowes, an impressive feat given that this was the young Dutchman’s first visit to the Australian circuit.
Unofficial Time from the 2013 World Superbike Private Test at Phillip Island — Day 1:
|1||58||Eugene Laverty||Factory Aprilia||1:31.7||-||-|
|2||2||Leon Camier||Fixi Suzuki||1:31.9||0.2||0.2|
|3||65||Jonathan Rea||Pata Honda||1:32.0||0.3||0.1|
|4||91||Leon Haslam||Pata Honda||1:32.0||0.3||0.0|
|5||33||Marco Melandri||Goldbet BMW||1:32.2||0.5||0.2|
|6||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Factory Aprilia||1:32.3||0.6||0.1|
|7||16||Jules Cluzel||Fixi Suzuki||1:32.4||0.7||0.1|
|8||34||Davide Guigliano||Althea Aprilia||1:32.7||1.0||0.3|
|9||86||Ayrton Badovini||Alstare Ducati||1:32.8||1.1||0.1|
|10||27||Max Neukirchner||MR Ducati||1:32.9||1.2||0.1|
|11||19||Chaz Davies||Goldbet BMW||1:33.0||1.3||0.1|
|12||76||Loris Baz||Factory Kawasaki||1:33.2||1.5||0.2|
|13||84||Michel Fabrizio||Red Devils Aprilia||1:33.7||2.0||0.5|
|14||66||Tom Sykes||Factory Kawasaki||1:34.5||2.8||0.8|
Photo: Suzuki Racing
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.