Carlos Checa Dominates at Phillip Island Test

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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 Also absent was Australian Chris Vermeulen who will not ride until Donington Park, and has been replaced by Akira Yanagawa at the factory Kawasaki team.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:

Pos. No. Rider Team Best Time
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
Tier 1
Carlos Checa 6th 1st 1st 1st
Sylvain Guintoli 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
Jakub Smrz 3rd 3rd 4th 4th
Jonathan Rea 2nd 8th 3rd 3rd
Tier 2
Michel Fabrizio 4th 5th 6th 7th
Joan Lascorz 5th 11th 5th 5th
Marco Melandri 7th 7th 7th 8th
Max Biaggi no time 4th 11th 6th
Tier 3
Tom Sykes 9th 6th 9th 10th
Eugene Laverty 12th 10th 8th 9th
Leon Haslam 8th 9th 14th 14th
Noriyuki Haga 15th 16th 10th 11th
Josh Waters 11th 12th 12th 12th
Ruben Xaus 13th 13th 13th 13th
Tier 4
Troy Corser 10th 14th 15th 16th
James Toseland 14th 17th 16th 15th
Maxime Berger 17th 18th 18th 20th
Ayrton Badovini 18th 20th 17th 17th
Tier 5
Roberto Rolfo 16th 21st 19th 21st
Bryan Staring 19th 19th 20th 18th
Mark Aitchison 21st 22nd 21st 22nd
Akira Yanagawa 20th 23rd 22nd 19th
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