Phillip Island WSBK Test Day 2: Biaggi Fastest Again

The weather finally turned halfway decent for a test, with the sun out and temperatures rising for the World Superbike test at Phillip Island in Australia. The improved conditions saw Max Biaggi once again top the - admittedly very limited - timesheets with a lap of 1'32.3, but 2010 World Superbike champion - out on an Aprilia bearing the #1 plate - was only a couple of tenths faster than both Yamaha's Eugene Laverty and Biaggi's Aprilia teammate Leon Camier. Slowest man of the day was Laverty's teammate Marco Melandri, but even Melandri was just three tenths off Biaggi's fastest .

Biaggi and Camier spent the day testing the 2011 Ohlins forks once again, as well as a new swingarm, fuel tank and engine update, aimed at smoothing power delivery. The pair also tested new Pirellis, though whether those tires will be ready for the season opener on February 27th remains to be seen.

The day was spoiled by a couple of crashes, both happily ending without serious injury. Marco Melandri crashed and hurt a finger, though that did not slow him down, while Leon Camier came away from his crash unhurt, only to suffer a bird strike, the Englishman hitting one of Phillip Island's ubiquitous seagulls at high speed. That incident was painful enough for Camier to call an early halt to the test, after Camier suffered swelling in his arm

Unofficial times, courtesy of the World Superbike website

Pos. Rider Bike Time
1 Max Biaggi Aprilia 1'32.3
2 Eugene Laverty Yamaha 1'32.5
2 Leon Camier Aprilia 1'32.5
4 Marco Melandri Yamaha 1'32.6

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Bird strikes at Phillip Island have always been a problem (more so for WSB than GP for some reason)

About 8 years ago Bayliss hit one of the large variety of seagulls at maximum speed on Gardner straight, the bird (or what was left of it) went straight through the nose of the fairing and covered Bayliss in blood and entrails (including the inside of his visor!) it's remains stayed entangled around the steering head until the slow down lap when Troy got it free and threw the remains on the track in front of a grand stand!!

The price you pay for having a track 75 meters from the ocean

Bird strikes can be down right frightening, I smacked one on the street, about 45 hit my left fork leg, and then my knee and onto my buddy about 15ft behind and left of me.

I saw it and thankfully did not panic, I just watched it hit corrected the twitch and continued, Bats are another one hit my left shoulder at about 55 -60 at night and then rolled up under my neck and blew off, worst feel was the skin to skin contact and that it being night I had zero warning.

amazing that at 180 these guys continue to ride....

It would be more interesting if they fitted the birds with lasers and i feel there is possibility for shark tanks and deer crossings.

Eugene Laverty is a very interesting rider. I would not be surprised at all to see him fight for the title and this test doesn't hurt my opinion.

Yamaha seems able to spot, and more importantly acquire, some good talent the last few years. Though, I'm at a loss to explain why they hired Marco. Good luck to him proving me wrong.

It should be a fun season and help me to get over the wait for 2012 to change the snoozefest GP racing scheme. For better or worse.