Alstare Suzuki's Leon Haslam was the fastest of the World Superbike paddock on the first day of testing at Valencia. The young Briton was quickly up to speed on the new Suzuki GSX-R1000, taking two tenths of a second off Noriyuki Haga's race lap record at Valencia. That was exactly the same margin by which Haslam was faster than Max Biaggi, the Aprilia rider continuing his development of the RSV4, the bike continuing to show potential.
James Toseland had a strong outing at his second test of the bike, and pronounced himself pleased to be riding at a track he knows so well, after initially making his debut on the Yamaha R1 at Portimao, a tough track to master, without also having to get to grips with a new bike and tires. Toseland and his team mate Cal Crutchlow spent their time working on a new electronics package, the necessity of which was demonstrated by an early crash for Toseland. The Englishman locked the rear of his Yamaha up on a cold tire, while changing down between Turns 4 and 5.
Johnny Rea set the 4th fastest time of the day, just ahead of Crutchlow. Crutchlow was 0.7 faster than the second Ten Kate Honda rider Max Neukirchner, Aprilia's Leon Camier and Aprilia's test rider Alex Hoffman.
Guandalini's Jakub Smrz was also scheduled to ride today, the merged Guandalini and Borciani teams due to switch to Aprilia for 2010 and give the team its first outing at Valencia. But according to Speedweek, Guandalini and Borciani have failed to make the initial payments to Aprilia, and so the team's RSV4s are sitting in the Aprilia truck unused. Both Guandalini and Borciani are strapped for cash, and as Speedweek so elegantly puts it, poor plus poor does not make rich.
Unoffical times released by the teams, courtesy of GPOne.com:
|8||Alex Hoffman||Aprilia - test team||1'35.8|