Carlos Checa has removed any lingering doubts about the competitiveness of the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, after controlling the second and final day of testing for the World Superbike class at Phillip Island, and ending the test as fastest overall. The Spaniard started the day fast, and ended the day fast, maintaining a strong pace throughout.

Checa was fastest in both wet – or rather, damp – conditions and in the dry. The second day of testing started out with a damp track, a number of riders choosing to stay in the pits instead of risking uncertain conditions on the newly resurfaced track, but the track soon dried out, and conditions improved greatly in the afternoon.

Behind Checa, Marco Melandri took 2nd slot, the Italian finding a little more pace than on the first day. The BMW rider led a very close group, with just over a tenth of a second separating Melandri in 2nd from Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea in 5th.

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes demonstrated that he will not be slowed too much by a cracked radius, grabbing the 3rd slot, while Michel Fabrizio was the fastest of the Aprilia riders, putting the privateer Red Devils Roma RSV4 into 4th slot. The other Aprilia men occupied places 7th through 9th, with just a few hundredths separating Davide Giugliano, Sylvain Guintoli, and Eugene Laverty.

The Suzukis were not as fast as they had been on Monday. Leon Camier, fastest on day 1, was six tenths slower on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSXR-1000 on Tuesday, ending the test in 10th, though still 4th fastest overall on the two days of the test. Jules Cluzel, still banged up from the private test late last week, highsided in the final corner on Tuesday, though he walked away unhurt.

In addition to testing the bikes, the teams got a workout too. With just a single bike, and the scrapping of race restarts, the WSBK men now have to come in to the pits and change wheels and tires if it rains. Several teams practiced their pit stops, testing out modified components – mainly borrowed from the World Endurance Championship – to assist in the fast changes of wheels and brakes.

How that works out on a race weekend remains to be seen: it must be feared that riders will choose to stay out on the track on unsuitable tires, rather than risk losing time and coming in to change tires, which could lead to potentially dangerous situations. The wisdom or otherwise of the new rules – made to ensure that the races can take place inside of the scheduled TV broadcast window, and do not overrun – will only be demonstrated in practice.

Official Times from the 2013 World Superbike Pre-Season Test at Phillip Island — Day 2:

Pos. No. Rider Team/Bike Time Diff. Prev.
1 7 Carlos Checa Ducati Panigale 1199R 1:31.059  –  –
2 33 Marco Melandri BMW S1000 RR 1:31.237 0.178 0.178
3 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:31.261 0.202 0.024
4 84 Michel Fabrizio Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.350 0.291 0.089
5 65 Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.356 0.297 0.006
6 91 Leon Haslam Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.549 0.490 0.193
7 34 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.640 0.581 0.091
8 50 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.658 0.599 0.018
9 58 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 1000 1:31.712 0.653 0.054
10 2 Leon Camier Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:31.814 0.755 0.102
11 16 Jules Cluzel Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:32.044 0.985 0.230
12 19 Chaz Davies BMW S1000 RR 1:32.102 1.043 0.058
13 14 Glen Allerton BMW S1000 RR 1:32.159 1.100 0.057
14 21 Jamie Stauffer Honda CBR1000RR 1:32.255 1.196 0.096
15 76 Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:32.625 1.566 0.370
16 31 Vittorio Iannuzzo BMW S1000 RR 1:32.880 1.821 0.255
17 23 Federico Sandi Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:32.964 1.905 0.084
18 18 Ivan Clementi BMW S1000 RR 1:33.293 2.234 0.329
19 5 Alexander Lundh Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:33.447 2.388 0.154
20 86 Ayrton Badovini Ducati Panigale 1199R 1:33.686 2.627 0.239

Official WSBK lap records at Phillip Island

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.

  • JD

    Wow thats great I was not in doubt about the Ducati(well kinda), Im hoping Checa will put his foot up some asses though

  • Kyle

    6 brands in the top 10. All within 1 sec. WSBK is still great racing. Hope we get some viewing options for 2013 in the US.

  • Brian

    Why does Ducati not have to run the hideous headlight NASCAR stickers like everyone else?

  • Superlight

    The Ducati headlights are tucked up into those large fairing openings, so the decals are probably right there, mostly hidden from view.

  • Brian

    Ahh…nice job Ducati!
    Best solutions to compulsory NASCAR stickers: hide them

  • Wow all kinds of different manufactures in the top 10!! Gotta love WSBK !! Checa, well he has got to be one of the classiest dudes around bar none!! Super dude and fast as ever!! WSBK RULES!!!

  • Well slap me and call me something… I will be surprised if Ducati remains competitive throughout the championship.. now if only we could get coverage in the USA…

  • 2ndclass

    Great to see that the ASBK wildcards aren’t too far off the pace.

  • “now if only we could get coverage in the USA…”

    Yeah. And Japan, please.

  • Being SPORT is broadcasting the WSBK series this year in the US.!!!

  • jet

    I smell Championship all ready……………………….fo sho !

  • smiler

    Great alternative to the Rossi fan club Spanish championship in MotoGP. Hopefully Dorna will not ruin WSB as well. Looks like iot will be a good year. 6 manufacturers & several riders from different countries as well.
    I bett Ducati are breathing a sigh of relief though. Mind you Bayliss did say it was really good. Just a shame he will not be putting in some wildcard appearances like Stacey this year. I think Ducati owe him.

  • Sniils!

    With some great racing action and the promotion capabilities of Dorna I hope there will come some change of mind in the heads of motorcycle fans also in europe. I would love to see the moto gp fanatics realize that wsbk has more to offer for lower ticket costs. I think there is a real chance for Rossi coming to wsbk if the technical rules aren’t changed dramatically. With Rossi there would come Yamaha and perhaps some smaller manufacturers like MV, KTM or Bimota trying to use the increasing attention to the series.

    There has to be a fast change so that there a arguments for keeping the championship as it is, without cutting down the technical limits too far. My suggestion for reducing costs was to allow two bikes for each rider, but limiting the numer of crew-members (mechanics and engineers) at the track.

  • pooch


    If you think Stoner is going to wildcard anywhere full stop, then you’re a sucker who believes anything the media throws at you.