Portimao 2010 January Test Overall Times - Rea And Laverty Own The Algarve

Two men born just a few miles and a few months apart stamped their authority on the first official World Superbike test of 2010. Johnny Rea and Eugene Laverty, both from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, ended the three day test under the lap record time, Laverty beating the race lap record while Rea shattered Ben Spies' qualifying record set on soft tires.

Laverty and Rea are the tip of a British resurgence in the World Superbike series. The Brit revival is most obvious in the World Superbike class, where the top four times were set by British riders, James Toseland missing out on making it 5 out of 5 by just two hundredths of a second to Michel Fabrizio. While Johnny Rea's top time was unsurprising, given the Ulsterman's strong end to the 2009 season, few had expected Leon Haslam to show quite so strongly. His talent was not in question, scoring two podiums last year on the privateer Stiggy Honda, but the Alstare Suzuki team struggled in 2009 and the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 is not generally regarded as a race-winning machine.

Cal Crutchlow, meanwhile, continues his meteoric rise. After winning the World Supersport title last year - which he would have done comfortably were it not for a couple of silly and expensive mistakes - the young Briton has made a very strong start to his World Superbike career, running close to the front in every test so far. Crutchlow had been looking to move to Moto2 for 2010, but on his form so far, he may not regret having to stay in World Superbikes.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the test was the performance of the old guard. Noriyuki Haga had just a single strong session, on Sunday morning, but spent the rest of the weekend languishing in mid-pack. There he found himself in the company of Max Biaggi, the Aprilia yet to capitalize on the year of development the bike has already had. Like the two Italian manufacturers, BMW and Kawasaki were also disappointing. Despite the level of technology in the BMW, neither Troy Corser nor Ruben Xaus have been able to get the S1000RR to run at the front. Meanwhile at Kawasaki, no matter how hard the Paul Bird Motorsports team work, the ZX 10R remains the least competitive bike on the grid - a fact underlined by the trouble that Team Pedercini's Roger Lee Hayden and Javier Fores were solidly at the rear of the field.

While British riders look to have the World Superbike class wrapped up for the moment, the World Supersport championship looks like being a more international affair. Eugene Laverty underlined his class this weekend, but he spent his time battling for supremacy with Spaniard Joan Lascorz and the Italian Michele Pirro. Pirro looked particularly strong, and given the fact that he will be joined at Ten Kate by Kenan Sofuoglu, once the Turkish rider has recovered from his broken ankle, the title is likely to be a four-way affair.

The rider who showed the most improvement is surely Miguel Praia. The Portuguese rider, who lives just a few miles from the Parkalgar circuit where the test took place, and which sponsors the team which includes Eugene Laverty, struggled to break into the top 10 last year, but was consistently close to the front group this weekend. Whether this is down to Praia improving his fitness and skills or the benefits of local track knowledge will become clear at the next test at Phillip Island on February 21st and 22nd, a week before the World Superbike season kicks off.

Overall times for the World Superbike class:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Day
1 65 J. Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.270 Sunday
2 91 L. Haslam Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.557 Sunday
3 67 S. Byrne Ducati 1098R 1'42.877 Sunday
4 35 C. Crutchlow Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.960 Friday
5 84 M. Fabrizio Ducati 1098R 1'43.137 Sunday
6 52 J. Toseland Yamaha YZF R1 1'43.157 Sunday
7 3 M. Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.364 Friday
8 41 N. Haga Ducati 1098R 1'43.417 Sunday
9 76 M. Neukirchner Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.471 Sunday
10 50 S. Guintoli Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'43.508 Sunday
11 7 C. Checa Ducati 1098R 1'43.629 Sunday
12 2 L. Camier Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.749 Sunday
13 11 T. Corser BMW S1000 RR 1'43.931 Sunday
14 77 C. Vermeulen Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.108 Sunday
15 66 T. Sykes Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.365 Friday
16 111 R. Xaus BMW S1000 RR 1'44.570 Friday
17 23 B. Parkes Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.751 Friday
18 31 V. Iannuzzo Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.348 Sunday
19 95 R. Hayden Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.990 Sunday
20 12 J. Fores Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'47.293 Friday

Overall times for the World Supersport class

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Day
1 50 E. Laverty Honda CBR600RR 1'45.104 Sunday
2 26 J. Lascorz Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'45.292 Friday
3 51 M. Pirro Honda CBR600RR 1'45.587 Friday
4 117 M. Praia Honda CBR600RR 1'45.834 Friday
5 37 K. Fujiwara Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'45.988 Friday
6 7 C. Davies Triumph Daytona 675 1'46.610 Friday
7 99 F. Foret Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'46.836 Sunday
8 25 D. Salom Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.054 Sunday
9 40 J. Di Salvo Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.773 Sunday
10 9 D. Dell'Omo Honda CBR600RR 1'48.098 Sunday
11 5 A. Lundh Honda CBR600RR 1'49.332 Sunday
12 16 S. Charpentier Triumph Daytona 675 1'49.452 Sunday
13 33 P. Cazzola Honda CBR600RR 1'49.553 Sunday
14 8 B. Chesaux Yamaha YZF R6 1'49.627 Sunday

 

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Comments

Good showing for the chaps from the Mother Country. We'll need Nori, Fab & the Max'es to get up there with them to keep the Supers from turning into a glorified BSB series though...

bad motor scooter

Pulling for the Triumph boys to consistantly challenge for podiums soon in WSS. Happy to have DiSalvo representing for the States but hate that 'Gazza' got shuffled out of the mix in the process...

Hoping.. The Triumph team is looking a bit foolish in thier desistion to replace Gary McCoy with Charpentier being the new french wonder is 4.3 seconds down from the top of the leader board . Serves them right for not honoring thier word .