Carlos Checa was fastest overall, with a lap time of 1:30.578, as the final World Superbike winter test ended Tuesday at Phillip Island. That time was also nearly a half second faster than the existing lap record set by Regis Laconi in 2009, and almost 1.3 sec faster than Troy Corser’s race lap record from 2007. In addition to Checa, Sylvain Guintoli, Jonathan Rea, Jakub Smrz, and Joan Lascorz completed the fastest five. Rea’s time from Tuesday morning kept him third fastest despite a crash at Turn 3 in the afternoon that resulted in an injured hand. No word is available yet on the specifics of his injury.
Checa was fastest overall on Monday followed by multiple Ducatis, all lacking factory support after Ducati’s withdrawal from WSBK last season. Leon Camier only rode Monday afternoon after taking ill, sitting out the other sessions. Also absent was Australian Chris Vermeulen who will not ride until Donington Park, and has been replaced by Akira Yanagawa at the factory Kawasaki team.
Overall Times for 2011 World Superbike Phillip Island Test:
|1.||7||Carlos Checa||Althea Racing||1:30.578|
|2.||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing||1:31.196|
|3.||4||Jonathan Rea||Castrol Honda||1:31.206|
|4.||96||Jakub Smrz||Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing||1:31.654|
|5.||17||Joan Lascorz||Paul Bird Kawasaki Racing||1:31.866|
|6.||3||Max Biaggi||Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team||1:31.870|
|7.||84||Michel Fabrizio||Team Suzuki Alstare||1:32.113|
|8.||33||Marco Melandri||Yamaha WSBK Team||1:32.122|
|9.||58||Eugene Laverty||Yamaha WSBK Team||1:32.137|
|10.||66||Tom Sykes||Paul Bird Kawasaki Racing||1:32.272|
|11.||41||Noriyuki Haga||PATA Racing Aprilia||1:32.299|
|12.||12||Josh Waters||Yoshimura Suzuki||1:32.394|
|13.||111||Ruben Xaus||Castrol Honda||1:32.405|
|14.||91||Leon Haslam||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||1:32.413|
|15.||52||James Toseland||BMW Motorrad Italia SBK||1:32.880|
|16.||11||Troy Corser||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||1:32.994|
|17.||86||Aryton Badovini||BMW Motorrad Italia SBK||1:33.233|
|18.||67||Bryan Staring||Team Pedercini||1:33.398|
|19.||6||Arika Yanagawa||Paul Bird Kawasaki Racing||1:33.432|
|20.||121||Maxime Berger||Supersonic Racing||1:33.485|
|21.||44||Roberto Rolfo||Team Pedercini||1:33.514|
|22.||8||Mark Aitchison||Team Pedercini||1:33.721|
However, simple fastest lap times do not always give the full story of a test session. One way to see how a rider might do over the entire season is to see how consistent he is through a test. As first introduced after the Infront Motor Sports test at Portimao, here at A&R we use the overall rankings over the course of the sessions to show which riders were most consistently quicker than their competitors.
Session Rankings for February 21-22 Test at Phillip Island:
|Rider||Mon #1||Mon #2||Tues #1||Tues #2|
|Max Biaggi||no time||4th||11th||6th|
|Leon Camier||no time||15th||no time||no time|
Despite the different angle of rankings, it is still difficult to tell just how the season will shake out. With just days before the first round, again at Phillip Island, one thing is abundantly clear: even without factory support the Ducatis are quick and Checa is ready to lead the way. Racing begins in earnest this weekend.
Source: WorldSBK & SPEED TV Australia; Photo: Althea Racing