With the 2010 World Superbike Championship series getting underway in only one week’s time, WSBK riders are getting their last days of testing in at Phillip Island before the season opener next Sunday. If this weekend’s testing is any idication of what we can expect from next weekend while under race and qualifying conditions, then Michel Fabrizio looks like the man to beat. The Italian lead the testing sessions on his Xerox Ducati with a lap time of 1?31.650. Continue on for footage of the testing session by SuperbikeTV, and testing session times from Australia.
The Phillip Island testing was a good outing for Ducati riders, as the Italian brand swept five of the top 6 six spots, as only Ten Kate’s Johnny Rea could managed to be the 5th fastest man around the island. Carlos Checa should a surprisingly strong testing presence, only a hundredth of a second off of Fabrizio’s time on Monday, and was fastest around PI on Sunday. Talking about his dominant stance at the Australian track, Michel Fabrizio said the following:
”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.”
Notably absent from the top of the group was last season’s runner-up, Noriyuki Haga. Describing a lack of feeling on the course, Haga was optimistic about Sunday’s races:
“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.”
2010 Testing Times at Phillip Island:
Pos. Rider Bike Team Time 1 M. Fabrizio Ducati 1098R Ducati Xerox Team 1’31.650 2 S. Byrne Ducati 1098R Althea Racing +0.012 3 J. Smrz Ducati 1098R Team PATA B&G Racing +0.15 4 C. Checa Ducati 1098R Althea Racing +0.349 5 J. Rea Honda CBR1000RR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda +0.525 6 N. Haga Ducati 1098R Ducati Xerox Team +0.597 7 L. Haslam Suzuki GSX-R1000 Team Suzuki Alstare +0.629 8 M. Biaggi Aprilia RSV4-R Factory Aprilia Alitalia Racing +0.824 9 L. Camier Aprilia RSV4-R Factory Aprilia Alitalia Racing +0.971 10 M. Neukirchner Honda CBR1000RR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda +1.041
Source: WorldSBK & SuperbikeTV