turned the fastest lap on Day 1 of Phillip Island testing, as the World Superbike
season perpares for its 2010 debut race only a week away. The Spaniard led a brace of Ducati entries for Day 1 of the two-day test, with six of the top-ten places filled by the Italian machinery.
Althea Racing's Carlos Checa led the Ducati charge around the Phillip Island circuit during Day 1.
Althea Racing's Checa was followed on the timesheet by factory Ducati
Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio
. The second Xerox Duc, piloted by Noriyuki Haga
, paced fourth behind Alstare Suzuki
's Leon Haslam. Haslam opened the testing as the fastest rider in the morning session.
Jonathan Rea was the quickest Honda
with a fifth-fastest time of 1'32.544. Rea's Hannspree Ten Kate teammate, Max Neukirchner
, was seventh-fastest - the German just .064 seconds shy of Shane Byrne (Althea Racing Ducati).
Aprilia Alitalia's Max Biaggi
was eighth-quickest followed by Team Pata B&G's Jakub Smrz. Lorenzo Lanzi rounded out the top-ten on his DFX Corse Ducati.
Returning two-time WSB champion James Toseland paced 11th on the timesheet. The Yamaha Sterilgarda pilot bested Alstare Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli and Kawasaki's Tom Sykes, who concluded Day 1 in 12th and 13th- fastest positions respectively.
led the BMW charge on the S1000RR
to 14th on the timesheet. His teammate, Ruben Xaus, was 16th with the new Team Reitwagen BMW
duo of Andrew Pitt and Roland Resch occupying 18th and 21st respectively.
Notable SBK rookie results include Toseland's teammate and 2009 Supersport Champion, Cal Crutchlow, who nabbed the 15th. British Superbike Champion Leon Camier mustered 20th, with American Roger Lee Hayden 24th-fastest aboard the Pedercini Kawasaki
Carlos Checa, Althea Racing - 1st :
”It’s really surprising for me to score the best lap time here in Phillip Island in my first day of testing with my new bike and my new team. I also reached first position in Valencia, but doing it here is more significant to me because I’m a bit tired due to jet lag. In Portimao I wasn’t able to take advantage of the soft tire, but today I understood how to use my Ducati with a softer rear tire. I want to thank all of my technical staff because they helped me immensely with their elevated experience and know-how with Ducati bikes. Tomorrow I’ll be testing some new components and I’ll definitely try to improve my race pace."
Michel Fabrizio, Ducati Xerox - 2nd:
Leon Haslam, Alstare Suzuki - 3rd:
“It hasn’t gone badly today. We’ve worked mainly on tires, trying to find a good race pace. We’re not quite there yet but we’ve made a good start and know what there is to do tomorrow. It’s very hot but after our recent cold and wet tests in Portimao and Valencia we can’t complain!”
“I am really happy because we got through a lot of stuff and also managed to work through some of the tires that we may use in next weekend’s race. I feel we’ve got a good bike set-up and good ideas which directions to take tomorrow and it has all been very positive so far. Phillip Island is always hard on tires because there are so many left-handers, so you really have to choose your tires carefully. The teamwork today has been very good and we are all getting along great. Tomorrow we’ll set up the two bikes the same and then do a back-to-back test using different tires.”
Noriyuki Haga, Ducati Xerox - 4th:
“It’s been a positive day. We tried various things, making changes to the rear suspension setting and testing the different tires on offer. The problem is being able to identify a direction during these test days that will also work next Sunday, it’s difficult to predict how the conditions will be in a week’s time. Anyway we’ve worked hard today and made some good progress.”
Shane Byrne, Althea Racing - 6th:
”I think today was really a very good day. At the beginning everything was fine while in the middle we struggled just a little bit, but in the end the team finished by doing a very good job. Compliments to Carlos for his very impressive lap time. In the last few minutes we tried a softer tire only on the rear wheel without changing the front tire, and I was not able to improve my best lap time as much as I hoped to do. But overall, I’m really pleased because this morning I was in sixth position, but this afternoon I ended up in fourth position (the second session) and this means I’m close to the top positions. Tomorrow I’ll continue working with my team to improve my bike’s set-up and performance.
James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda - 11th:
“A steady day for us today. We’ve been focussing on getting the new chassis set-up right, so not been trying to break any lap records, just solid track time to fine tune the bike. I’m looking forward to getting back out tomorrow and improving on today.”
Sylvain Guintoli, Alstare Suzuki - 12th:
Troy Corser, BMW Motorrad - 14th:
“I felt fine in the morning session, but the afternoon one was a bit of a struggle towards the end. My flight was cancelled because the airport was more or less closed and so I only arrived this morning. But, I like this track and I like riding this bike at this track, so I enjoyed myself despite the jet-lag. I felt very comfortable on the bike today and now I just want to race it!”
For sure, I’m pretty happy with what we achieved today and of course I’m also happy to be back at Phillip Island. It’s a fantastic circuit, though I do think it may be a bit more bumpy this year compared to last. The grip level was good in the morning when it was cooler, but we did manage to find some good grip in the afternoon and that together with the higher track temperature affected the bike more and gave us a few things to think about. The bike has improved in some places and not so much in others since we were last here, so we know we still have some work to do. We did some work on the traction control and the gearing and will continue the work tomorrow. The wind got a bit buffety in the afternoon, but it was consistent and the good news is that I didn’t hit any seabirds this time, though I did see a lot near the track. Hopefully we will have a good day tomorrow and get the bike in good shape for the race next weekend.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda - 15th:
“Not the fastest day I’ve had, it doesn’t feel natural to be that low on the times, but I know we’ll improve on that tomorrow. It’s only our first day on the new bike so we’re really working hard to get the set up right so we can hit the ground running.”
2010 WSB Phillip Island Test - Day 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 1’31.959
2. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1’32.349
3. Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki) 1’32.484
4. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1’32.518
5. Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate) 1’32.544
6. Shane Byrne (Althea Racing) 1’32.671
7. Max Neukirchner (HANNspree Ten Kate) 1’32.735
8. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) 1’32.832
9. Jakub Smrz (Team Pata B%26G Racing) 1’32.912
10. Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX Corse) 1’32.979
11. James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) 1’33.135
12. Sylvain Guintoli (Alstare Suzuki) 1’33.190
13. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’33.222
14. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad) 1’33.299
15. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) 1’33.444
16. Ruben Xaus (BMW Motorrad) 1’33.498
17. Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’33.648
18. Andrew Pitt (Team Reitwagen BMW) 1’33.699
19. Josh Brookes (ECHO CRS Honda) 1’33.710
20. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) 1’33.852
21. Roland Resch (Team Reitwagen BMW) 1’34.361
22. Vittorio Iannuzzo (SCI Honda Gravi Image) 1’35.260
23. Matteo Baiocco (Team Pedercini) 1’36.087
24. Roger Lee Hayden (Team Pedercini) 1’36.155