Ducati’s Carlos Checa snagged the best time both days of testing at Phillip Island with a fastest lap of 1’30.578.
On the final day of World Superbike testing at Phillip Island Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa improved his time from Day 1 to take complete control of testing in Australia. The Spaniard posted a lap of 1’30.578 on Day 2 and was the only rider in the field to dip below the 1’31 mark during the two-day test.
“It was a very positive test and a fantastic lap time,” said Checa. “I was a bit worried before because I had not done so much testing and I arrived here and was not sure if we had enough time on the bike. During the winter I did a race, then I went to the desert, then some motocross, and it was all a bit confusing. Portugal testing was not so positive because of the weather, so I arrived here without the required full confidence. But we’ve been able to grow up very quick from the first day, the pace of the bike at this track is good, I feel very close with the team and that’s why I’m in this position.”
Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli also lowered his time on the second day, but remained more than half a second off Checa’s pace at the end of the session. Meanwhile, Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea saw drastic improvement on the final day by taking the third-fastest lap in the first session today. However, the Irishman suffered a crash in the afternoon session and was flown by helicopter for X-rays on his left wrist and ring finger. His condition is not known at this time.
Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli claimed the second-best time, more than half a second adrift of Checa.
“I’m so frustrated because we were just about there on race pace and everything was feeling really good,” said Rea. “Early in this afternoon’s session, I was in Turn 3 and winding it on when I suddenly felt the rear squirming and then I realized the bike was on fire. Basically I had to get off it quickly and unfortunately it was at 130 mph, which is quick enough. My finger and wrist are sore – in fact I’m pretty sore all over – but I’m still waiting for the final diagnosis. At the moment it’s too early to know how I’ll be feeling at the weekend, but I certainly didn’t want to start this season the way I finished the last one. I know it’s one of those things that you don’t expect and can’t prepare for, but it’s nobody’s fault and we’ll just have to hope I can be back on it soon.”
The fourth-fastest rider of the day was Liberty Racing Ducati’s Jakub Smrz. The Czech rider had a lap that was more than half a second behind Rea and a full second adrift of Checa. Kawasaki’s Joan Lascorz and Aprilia’s Max Biaggi rounded out the top-six times in fifth and sixth, respectively, while Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio came up with the seventh-best lap. Yamaha teammates Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty posted the eighth- and ninth-quickest laps, with Melandri crashing out in the afternoon session and being taken to the medical center for check-ups.
Once again BMW riders were well off the pace of the leader as BMW Motorrad Motorsports teammates Leon Haslam and Troy Corser took 14th and 16th respectively in the charts. At more than 1.8 seconds off the pace of Checa, both will need to see drastic improvements in their setup in order to be competitive during the season opener.
2011 World Superbike Phillip Island Test Day 2 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’30.578
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’31.196
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’31.206
Honda’s Jonathan Rea had the third-best lap but crashed and had to be flown to a nearby hospital for X-rays.
4. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1’31.654
5. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1’31.866
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’31.870
7. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’32.113
8. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1’32.122
9. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1’32.137
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’32.272
11. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 1’32.299
12. Josh Waters (Suzuki) 1’32.394
13. Ruben Xaus (Honda) 1’32.405
14. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1’32.413
15. James Toseland (BMW) 1’32.880
16. Troy Corser (BMW) 1’32.994
17. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1’33.233
18. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki) 1’33.398
19. Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki) 1’33.432
20. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 1’33.485
21. Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki) 1’33.514
22. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) 1’33.721