World Superbike Teams Test at Misano

April 29, 2010
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Following Round 4 of the World Superbike series, select teams got two days of testing in at Italy’s Misano circuit. The test saw the factory Ducati, Yamaha, Aprilia and BMW squads burning laps in preparation for next weekend’s Monza races, as well as dialing in setup for the Misano round in June

Michel Fabrizio turned the quickest lap around the Phillip Island circuit on his Ducati Xerox machine.
Michel Fabrizio put the Xerox Ducati on top of the timesheets, but has limped his way through Sundays this season.

Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio led the way, tallying 150 laps during the two days with Ducati PR claiming a 1’35.7 on race tires and 1’35.2 on qualifying rubber. As for Noriyuki Haga, the 2009 championship runner-up called it quits early suffering weakness from the flu. Team PR claims the Japanese pilot managed a 1’36.6 in his 1198.

The Sterilgarda Yamaha duo of James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow felt good about the progress made in testing. Toseland focused on electronics and race durability, finishing each day second-fastest. Crutchlow followed his English teammate on the unofficial timesheets, working on general set-up of his R1 racebike.

Also in attendance were the Alitalia Aprilias of Max Biaggi and Leon Camier. With both men fighting for podiums last round at Assen, Biaggi and Camier looked for specific settings for the RSV4 at the Italian circuit for the upcoming Misano round. Aiding in the testing for Aprilia was test rider Alex Hoffman.

Troy Corser campaigned the S1000RR for the BMW team, working to refine the Beemer superbike and build off the solid 5-5 Assen byline.

SBK action resumes for Round 4 at the Monza circuit running May 7-9.

James Toseland prepares his new yamaha for the 2010 World Superbike season.
James Toseland was second-fastest on the unofficial timesheets, followed by Yamaha teammate Cal Crutchlow.
In his first outing of the year with the Yamaha Sterilgarda team  Cal Crutchlow concluded the Phillip Island test in 17th overall.

World Superbike Misano Test Unofficial Times:
1. Michel Fabrizo (Ducati) 1’35.2
2. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1’35.6
3. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’35.7
4. Troy Corser (BMW) 1.36.5
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1.36.5
6. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1’36.6
7. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1.36.9

Misano Test Rider & Team Quotes:
James Toseland (Sterilgarda Yamaha):
“We’ve achieved a lot, and ended up second today. Fabrizio did a really good low 35 second lap on a qualifier but I think on race tires there were definitely consistent 35s to be had for us as well. The fastest race time last year was a 37 so it shows how much everyone has improved, we’re 1.3 seconds under the lap record. Misano is definitely suited to the Ducati, it’s their strongest track I think, however I did ten laps in the low 36s which is great for race pace and the important thing is we’ve moved forward on durability for race pace which is key.”

Cal Crutchlow (Sterilgarda Yamaha): “It’s been quite a progressive two days, we’ve worked through two completely different set ups and found pros and cons to both. I think we’ve found a clear direction to work in which we now need to fine tune. I was pleased with the pace we had, we were consistently in the top three without using a qualifier tire, so we’re good with race tires which is important. I have to keep working and hopefully it has put us in a good set for Monza.”

Massimo Meregalli (Sterilgarda Yamaha Team Manager): “We’ve had a really good test here at Misano. We tried some different things in both electronics and bike set up with both riders and in the end we learnt some valuable information and we made improvements. We will use these steps to bring upgrades in both electronics and chassis set up. Misano has been invaluable in finally providing us with some structured testing time to really develop a solid base for the rest of the season. Whilst we have made steps at each round including the new linkage for James in Assen, this has been our first real opportunity to make the next step. We now head forward with a more competitive package for the season and are confident this will benefit us from the next race in Monza”

Noriyuki Haga  disappointed at Portimao. Can Haga rebound for 2010
Haga’s season struggles extended into testing, where Nitro Nori’s testing ended with the flu.

Michel Fabrizio (Xerox Ducati): “We’ve worked really hard, my best time of 1m35.2 on a qualifier was good but I’m more satisfied with the 1m35.7 that I set on a race tire and the fact I was able to lap consistently fast. My technicians made various changes to the suspension settings of my 1198 and I didn’t have any real problems. At Monza we absolutely must do well, we need to make good points in order to make up lost ground. We’ll see.”

Noriyuki Haga (Xerox Ducati): “Yesterday everything was going well, lap times were better than they were during last year’s racing, but of course track temperatures were lower too of course which helped. The feeling I had with the tires was good and we also identified a better suspension setting, as well as trying some engine settings too. Now we have to see how those solutions work at Monza. Everyone knows that Monza has many long straights where we have difficulty with top speed but I plan to open the gas and give it my all.”

Ernesto Marinelli (Xerox Ducati Team Manager): “We’re going through a very difficult phase, perhaps the most difficult that I remember, but the important thing is to react and never give up, and in this respect the whole team is very strong. This test has been very important and the problems regarding lack of feeling (the hardest kind to fix), that both riders were citing at Assen, seem to have been resolved or at least greatly reduced. It’s a pity that Noriyuki was affected by the flu, but Michel’s solid test is certainly an important base from which to start at Monza, where we’ll give 200%.”