Leon Camier has carried his strong form from last week’s private test at Phillip Island into the official test which started at the circuit on Monday. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki man used a race tire to lap half a second under Max Biaggi’s race lap record, then going on to post a strong race simulation.

The improvements the Crescent Suzuki squad have made, in conjunction with the Japanese Yoshimura company, are clearly paying off, the Suzuki lapping a second quicker than it did at the test last year.

Camier ended the session ahead of Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam, the Ten Kate team well on their way to mastering the new HRC electronics, with still some potential left to come. Haslam was within two tenths of Camier, and just a few thousandths behind Michel Fabrizio, the Italian impressing on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia.

The Italian privateer put his Aprilia RSV4 ahead of the factory machine, Eugene Laverty ending the day as 4th quickest, just two tenths off the time of Camier, and ahead of Marco Melandri, though the BMW GoldBet Italia rider is still struggling with his shoulder.

Melandri complained of a lack of strength in the shoulder after just a few laps on the bike, giving the Italian some concern for Sunday’s two WSBK races. A further operation could be needed to his shoulder once he returns to Europe after this weekend’s races.

Carlos Checa posted the 6th fastest time, the Alstare Ducati man the last of the close group stretching from 2nd to 6th. That the brand new Panigale should end the first test within three tenths of the fastest man is promising, given the fact that both Ducati men missed the private test, Checa due to illness and teammate Ayrton Badovini due to a massive crash. Badovini is also skipping this test, still resting from the huge highside he had at Lukey Heights.

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and Fixi Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel also ended last week’s private test badly banged up, Sykes having fractured the radius bone in his left wrist, while Cluzel has a very painful elbow from his crash. Both men got out and lapped, though both were clearly suffering. Sykes ended the day as 10th fastest, while Cluzel was 14th quickest on the first day of testing.

Testing concludes tomorrow, ahead of this weekend’s opening round of World Superbikes as the Australian circuit.

Official Times from the 2013 World Superbike Pre-Season Test at Phillip Island — Day 1:

Pos No Rider Team/Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 2 Leon Camier Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:31.243  –  –
2 91 Leon Haslam Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.396 0.153 0.153
3 84 Michel Fabrizio Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.401 0.158 0.005
4 58 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.452 0.209 0.051
5 33 Marco Melandri BMW S1000 RR 1:31.485 0.242 0.033
6 7 Carlos Checa Ducati Panigale 1199R 1:31.523 0.280 0.038
7 34 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.701 0.458 0.178
8 50 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.966 0.723 0.265
9 65 Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.980 0.737 0.014
10 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:32.061 0.818 0.081
11 19 Chaz Davies BMW S1000 RR 1:32.077 0.834 0.016
12 21 Jamie Stauffer Honda CBR1000RR 1:32.231 0.988 0.154
13 18 Ivan Clementi BMW S1000 RR 1:32.789 1.546 0.558
14 16 Jules Cluzel Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:32.817 1.574 0.028
15 31 Vittorio Iannuzzo BMW S1000 RR 1:33.162 1.919 0.345
16 27 Max Neukirchner Ducati Panigale 1199R 1:33.541 2.298 0.379
17 76 Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:33.628 2.385 0.087
18 14 Glen Allerton BMW S1000 RR 1:34.009 2.766 0.381
19 23 Federico Sandi Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:34.094 2.851 0.085
20 5 Alexander Lundh Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:34.612 3.369 0.518

Lap records:

Pole record 2011 Carlos Checa Ducati 1098 R 1:30.882
Lap record 2012 Max Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.785

Photo: Ducati Alstare

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • Afletra

    Still…no R1 :(

  • Bryan Niese

    Wow, Suzuki is taking their racing seriously again! Hopefully dropping the automotive branch of the company will allow them to be re-focused and bring new life back into their company.

  • Bryan Niese

    As for the R1, it seems that Yamaha is reloading right now and preparing to switch to three cylinders very soon. Sport Rider has a very interesting interview in their newest issue (April) with Kunihiko Miwa. He confirmed that they were looking for a rules change to allow for a three cylinder to be greater than 1000cc. Yamaha will be back soon enough :)

  • There is very little Suzuki in the Fixi Crescent Suzuki team — Yoshimura is doing most of the development work. Suzuki dropping their automotive business in the US doesn’t affect WSBK one iota.

  • Aj

    So, I did a quick check. Last year, the Ducati MotoGp bike was running 1:32’s at Phillip Island. Rossi qualified 8th with a 1’31.661. Checa and the Panigale have now tested faster than Rossi qualifying on the motogp bike. Seriously, do you need to be an engineer to figure out that they should throw the motogp bike in the trash and build off the Panigale design? I wouldn’t be surprised if you shove the V4 into a Panigale frame and end up with a better bike than what they have now.