Ben Spies captured the second fastest time of the test on his Yamaha YZF R1. A very promising test for the 2009 season.
The last day of World Superbike Championship official testing at Portimao was once again affected by adverse weather conditions, and thus the absolute best times of the entire test were largely set on the second day, leaving Shane Byrne as the new track best pace setter on his private Sterilgarda Ducati.
“I didn’t expect to be fastest in the test to be honest but I’m not surprised” declared ‘Shakey’. “The bike’s working really well and the relationship and feedback with the team and my engineer is great. This Superpole formula is not new for me, we tried something similar in the last few BSB races. It’s really exciting and spectacular and I’m sure it’ll look good on TV as well”.
Only two top riders improved their weekend times today, Troy Corser, who was finally ranked an impressive 11th on the all-new BMW four-cylinder, and Max Biaggi on the vee four Aprilia, who went 18th.
With new rules in place for both Superpole qualifying and flag-to-flag races each was given a trial run today.
“”Over the three days we’ve tried a lot of different things to do with chassis, traction control, wheelie control and engine and have learnt a lot about the new bike. For me, like all of us, the biggest problem has been the rain.” - Max Neukirchner
In Superpole there will now be 20 riders in the qualifying group, which then drops to 16, then eight in the final 12-minute session, which determines the pole setter. The top 20 riders from this weekend’s sessions went forward to practice this discipline today, with great success, and the new format of final grid qualifying is anticipated with relish by all.
The flag-to-flag practice was included in the very last practice session of all three days, with riders coming in to change to their spare bikes when the signal was given, without any interruption of the simulated race session.
Many of the top teams now leave Portimao to get to Phillip Island well in advance of the race, to undergo their own private test sessions before the start of the season, in just over one month’s time.
Superbike – Overall Best Times
1. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’43.294;
2. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’43.484;
3. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’43.487;
4. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’43.546;
5. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.657;
6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’43.674;
7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’43.767;
8. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’43.951;
9. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’44.115;
10. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’44.170;
11. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’44.261;
12. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.425;
13. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’44.546;
14. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’44.610;
15. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’44.704;
16. Polita A. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’45.108;
17. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 1’45.179;
18. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1’45.199;
19. Roberts B. (AUS) Ducati 1098R 1’45.278;
20. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’45.393;
21. Tamada M. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’45.446;
22. Lavilla G. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.672;
23. Hill T. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.679;
24. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’45.820;
25. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’46.128;
26. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’46.916;
27. Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’46.971