Testing after the final round of World Superbikes at Portimao threw up a few interesting surprises. The first is that Shane Byrne was quick right off the bat, but as Shakey won the British Superbike championship aboard a very similar bike this year, he might be regarded as having a head start. The second surprise was that Ben Spies was so fast. Spies has changed bikes and tires, and so setting such a fast time after just two days of testing is fairly impressive.
Perhaps the most interesting time was the one set by Max Biaggi aboard the Aprilia. The RSV4 is a brand new bike, and the difference between the drawing board and the track can be monumental, as so many factories have found to their peril. So far, it looks like Aprilia have got it right.
The next round of testing for the World Superbike riders is to take place at Kyalami, South Africa, from 10th to the 12th of December.
1. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1'43.6
2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1'43.9
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'44.1
4. Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 1'44.5
5. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 1'44.5
6. Alex Polita (Ducati) 1'44.6
7. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1'44.6
8. Roberto Rolfo (Honda) 1'45.0
9. Regis Laconi (Honda) 1'45.4
10. Lorenzo Lanzi (Honda) 1'46.3
Fastest lap during the race: Troy Bayliss - 1'43.787