World Superbikes Final Test - Day 1 - Neukirchner Leads Crash-Strewn Day

The final World Superbike test before the season commences in under 7 days time started today, and it was another Max topping the timesheets at Phillip Island. This time, it was German Suzuki man Max Neukirchner who was fastest, just dipping underneath the time set by Max Biaggi on the Aprilia last week. Neukirchner led the factory Ducati of Michel Fabrizio and his Suzuki team mate Yukio Kagayama, with British rider Johnny Rea coming in 4th. The Yamaha riders were both new to the Phillip Island track, and were 7/10ths off Neukirchner's pace.

But the day was marked by crashes, with Fabrizio, Nori Haga and Troy Corser all hitting the dirt. Most serious of all, though, was Ten Kate Honda's Carlos Checa, who was taken to hospital for examination after apparently losing his memory of the crash. He was later released from hospital, but his participation in testing tomorrow is in doubt.

Local hero and former GP legend Garry McCoy was quickest of the Supersport riders, and 3/10ths quicker than his compatriot Ant West here last week. The BE1 Triumph rider finished ahead of the factory Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Fabien Foret. Ten Kate's two champions - and joint favorites for the title - Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu were a couple of tenths behind McCoy's pace.

Testing continues tomorrow.

World Superbike

Pos.RiderBikeTime
1Max NeukirchnerSuzuki1'32.5
2Michel FabrizioDucati1'32.7
3Yukio KagayamaSuzuki1'32.7
4Jonathan ReaHonda1'32.9
5Noriyuki HagaDucati1'33.0
6Tom SykesYamaha1'33.2
7Ben SpiesYamaha1'33.3
8Carlos ChecaHonda1'33.3
9Troy CorserBMW1'33.8
10Ryuichi KiyonariHonda1'34.0
11Ruben XausBMW1'34.3.

Fastest lap in previous test set by Max Biaggi on an Aprilia RSV4, with a time of 1'32.59 seconds.

World Supersport

Pos.RiderBikeTime
1Garry McCoyTriumph1'35.6
2Cal CrutchlowYamaha1'35.7
3Fabien ForetYamaha1'35.8
4Andrew PittHonda1'35.8
5Kenan SofuogluHonda1'36.0
6Gianluca NannelliTriumph1'36.8
7Doni Tata PraditaYamaha1'38.3.

Fastest lap in the previous test last week set by Ant West on the Stiggy Honda, with a time of 1'35.9.

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