The first day of testing for the World Superbike class at Phillip Island was a chance for Ducati to stamp their authority on the series they have so often dominated. The Italian factory tackled this challenge with gusto, putting five bikes in the top six of the morning test session, and taking three of the four top spots in the afternoon. It was not the factory bikes that took top honors, however: In the morning session, Xerox Ducati riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio had to cede that honor the the Alstare Suzuki of Leon Haslam, while in the afternoon, it was the turn of the privateer Carlos Checa on the Althea Racing 1098R, edging the factory bikes into 2nd and 4th.
Checa's time in the afternoon was extremely impressive, just over a tenth off Troy Corser's official lap record, and nearly four tenths of a second faster than the next fastest man Fabrizio. Leon Haslam is continuing his apparently trouble-free transition to the Suzuki GSX-R 1000, claiming a permanent spot at the top of the field, though the Englishman was half a second slower during the afternoon session. The two Xerox Ducati teammates are once again closely matched, raising the specter of a repeat of last year, when Fabrizio stole valuable points from Noriyuki Haga in the Japanese rider's failed attempt to conquer the 2009 WSBK title.
Johnny Rea and Max Neukirchner are the first of the Honda riders, the Ulsterman securing the 5th fastest time while his German teammate improved his preseason form to finish the first day in 7th. Max Biaggi was the first of the Aprilias, now decked out in the rather attractive Alitalia colors, but the Italian was not entirely satisfied with an 8th place, complaining of chatter in the braking zones which was unsettling the bike. His teammate, who utterly dominated British Superbikes last season, is struggling on the RSV4, finishing the day a lowly 20th.
James Toseland won the battle of the all-new Sterilgarda Yamaha teammates, finishing 11th, four places ahead of Cal Crutchlow in 15th, and setting a time three tenths quicker. Crutchlow had a minor crash in the afternoon, but escaped unhurt. Tom Sykes was the fastest of the Kawasakis, beating his Australian teammate Chris Vermeulen by over four tenths, while Roger Lee Hayden is still struggling to find his feet in the World Superbike class, finishing the day in last place about four seconds off the pace. In the BMW camp, it was Troy Corser who led the way, setting the 14th fastest time two places ahead of teammate Ruben Xaus and four places ahead of Reitwagen BMW's Andrew Pitt.
Overall results of the first day of testing at Phillip Island for the World Superbike class:
|1||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||1'31.959||0.000|
|2||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||1'32.349||0.390||0.390|
|3||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'32.484||0.525||0.135|
|4||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||1'32.518||0.559||0.034|
|5||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||1'32.544||0.585||0.026|
|6||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||1'32.671||0.712||0.127|
|7||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||1'32.735||0.776||0.064|
|8||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1'32.832||0.873||0.097|
|9||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||1'32.912||0.953||0.080|
|10||57||L. Lanzi||ITA||Ducati 1098R||1'32.979||1.020||0.067|
|11||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||1'33.135||1.176||0.156|
|12||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'33.190||1.231||0.055|
|13||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'33.222||1.263||0.032|
|14||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1'33.299||1.340||0.077|
|15||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||1'33.444||1.485||0.145|
|16||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||1'33.498||1.539||0.054|
|17||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'33.648||1.689||0.150|
|18||88||A. Pitt||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1'33.699||1.740||0.051|
|19||25||J. Brookes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||1'33.710||1.751||0.011|
|20||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||1'33.852||1.893||0.142|
|21||123||R. Resch||AUT||BMW S1000 RR||1'34.361||2.402||0.509|
|22||31||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||1'35.260||3.301||0.899|
|23||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'36.087||4.128||0.827|
|24||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'36.155||4.196||0.068|