Portimao Private WSBK Test Press Release Round Up

Press releases issued by some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams present at the Portimao test held over the past few days:

Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki on top in Portugal

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki successfully concluded its week of pre-season testing with Alex Lowes topping the Portimao timesheets today, following on from Eugene Laverty’s quickest time on the first day of the test.

Lowes' and Laverty’s detailed evaluations after four-days on-board the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, firstly in Almeria, Spain and for the last two-days at Portimao in Portugal, enabled the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki squad to refine the 2014 Öhlins Suspension and newly developed electronic control strategies, as the pair completed a thorough test schedule.

A full day of testing today saw the team working non-stop to ensure the most efficient use of time and track. Lowes completed 165 laps over the 2 days in Portimao (725kms of flat-out riding!) on a track he had never previously ridden, while Laverty completed 133. The distance covered allowed the team numerous chassis setting evaluations to find the best balance for braking stability, steering and rear grip to further the developments made in Almeria.

Laverty’s 1’43.4 topped the unofficial day one times, from the four factory World Superbike teams running on a blustery day one at Portimao, with his teammate Lowes taking the top spot overall in the combined two-day timings with a 1’42.5 as Laverty also improved to a 1"42.6.

The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team will now return to its UK base to further evaluate the data collected and prepare for the opening round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship and the official pre-season test at Phillip Island, Australia in a month’s time.

Alex Lowes:

“The test has been really good, I'm still learning a lot about the bike and obviously it’s a new track for me, so it was nice to have the opportunity to learn the track and still be quick! We did a long run today and while the times were good, the most important thing was that it gave me a lot of confidence. We got a lot of information about the bike and it was good for me as well, as I've not done a race simulation since the last round of BSB. I still need to improve myself a lot and work on the bike but we shouldn't be too far away!

“A massive thanks to the team, they've been working really hard, late nights and two tests back-to-back. I think everyone is excited, we are all getting on great; we know we need to work hard, we have a big challenge in front of us and it’s nice to do a good job.”

Eugene Laverty:

“It’s been a good test in all, this Portugal test was the best yet, even yesterday we got some good laps in the wet to understand the bike and then in the dry our pace was really strong which shows the work we've been doing on the electronics has been important and that our work is reaping the rewards.

“I think we are surprising some people as both me and Alex are right there, but it’s also nice to reward the team because they've worked incredibly hard over the last couple of months, especially since Jerez. The work they have done in six weeks most teams probably wouldn't complete in six months! They haven't stopped so I think it’s nice to see some positive potential being shown. I'm feeling good on the GSX-R and I'm looking forward to Phillip Island."

The Ducati Superbike Team concludes a four-day test session at Portimao

- Davies and Giugliano continue to gain confidence with the 1199 Panigale Superbike

- Rain unfortunately impacts on planned work schedule in Portugal

Portimao (Portugal), Monday 20 January 2014 – Despite some inclement weather throughout the weekend, the Ducati Superbike Team was able to complete most of the work scheduled for the four-day test that concluded today at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal.

With four days of track time available to them, the Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano arrived in Portimao with a full testing schedule. Unfortunately, rain fell throughout most of Friday and again over the weekend, conditioning the first half of the tests although this did provide the team with ample opportunity to test wet weather settings.

The newly-formed factory squad was nevertheless able to make up for lost ground on Sunday afternoon and on Monday and, under the guidance of SBK Project Director Ernesto Marinelli and Team Manager Serafino Foti, worked primarily on testing the new 2014 Ӧhlins suspension, complete with RSP25 fork and RSP40 shock. The riders also worked with their respective technicians on the set-up of their 1199 Panigale bikes, as they concentrated on improving grip and finding the right setting with which to handle the undulating Portimao track.

The Ducati Superbike Team will return to the tracks during official testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia on 17 and 18 February, just a few days before Round 1 of the 2014 Superbike World Championship gets underway at the same track with the opening races scheduled to take place on Sunday 23 February.

Comments at the end of testing:

Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34

“We’ve got a lot done in the end. Unfortunately although the rain ruined the first two and a half days it was nevertheless useful as we were able to build confidence with the 1199 in the wet. I’m happy with what we’ve achieved, we’ve worked with the new material and I feel comfortable with it. I can say that I feel increasingly at ease with my Panigale. It’s just a pity about the red-flag at the end of the day today as this prevented us from making a final exit on fresh tyres which would have allowed us to close the test even more positively and to better understand the bike’s potential.”

Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7

“Despite the slow start, we were able to get a lot done and overall it’s been a positive test, although I can’t help but wish we’d had more dry time. Out of the four days we were only really able to get down to work in the dry today. It was important to test the various development pieces and understand how each one works, rather than finding a general set-up with which to make a fast time. It would have been nice to be able to up the pace, but unfortunately we ran out of time. Anyway we will take what we have learned here in Portugal and move on to the next tests in Phillip Island.”

Ernesto Marinelli - Ducati SBK Project Director

“The rain over the last three days limited us greatly, cutting into the time we had to test the many components that we had with us in Portimao. We nevertheless managed to complete most of the scheduled work and feedback has been positive. Chaz and Davide are working very well and they are providing precise and important data with which to improve the performance of our bike. I’m more than satisfied with the new setting for 2014 which was at 100% during these tests. The return of Feel Racing personnel was a bit like a homecoming. Together with Serafino Foti we have created a united, tight group and this is fundamental as we prepare for a season that will surely require all of our energies.”



Portimao, 20 January 2014 - The Portuguese Portimao track was the setting for the first tests of the season held by Aprilia Racing, the reigning Manufacturer World Champion team, concentrated on three days of testing with newcomer Marco Melandri, working side by side with test rider Alex Hofmann.

For the rider from Ravenna, the natural candidate for a key role in the World Championship that will start on 23 February in Australia, this was the first contact with his Aprilia RSV4 since the winter break. After regaining some familiarity with it, Marco focused on preparing for the first race of the season. Despite difficult weather conditions, with rain on the first two days and an average of low temperatures, the Italian team was able to take advantage of the session to fine tune the bike that is the reigning Manufacturer world champion.

The intermittent rain on the first two days of testing forced the riders to lap in less than optimum conditions. The third and final day, on the other hand, allowed everyone to push hard, with the obvious limit of a track which was cold and not very rubberised.

Over the three days Melandri put in 175 laps with a best time of 1'43.1.

Sylvain Guintoli was absent from the Portimao tests, having just come through the second operation on his right shoulder which he injured last year. The return of the French rider, who is going through physical therapy, is expected for the first race at Phillip Island. The Superbike Test Team was also in the Aprilia garage with test rider Alex Hofmann (150 laps, best 1'45.0).

Marco Melandri: "Considering the difficult weather conditions, the first two days were a bit wasted. The last day was a particular day. We made a lot of progress with the electronics but we had a few problems with the chassis set up. The track improved little by little and the settings had trouble coping. Toward the end of the test we began to figure out which direction to go for my riding style, but it's a shame that we lost the last half hour (due to oil on the track - editor's note) where we could have tried to put in a fast lap. I'm disappointed about that but the good thing is that we have a clearer idea now. I hope we can get back onto the track for some more testing before the first round at Phillip Island".

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: "During these three days first of all we decided on the 2014 suspension which was one of our goals. Melandri was also positive about the electronics updates, where the chassis set up is concerned there is still work to be done to adapt the RSV4 to the rider's needs. We're on the right path but we still need to take that final step to define a base set up that will allow us to take best advantage of the bike-rider package".

Portuguese testing

Today was completed first real test for the MV Agusta Reparto Corse -Yakhnich Motorsport. After the shake down in November at Jerez , the team worked throughout the winter to prepare both F3 Supersport for Vladimir Leonov and Jules Cluzel and F4 SBK for Claudio Corti. At last here in Portimao Corti was able to drive F4 in its almost final version for the first time.

The first test day was wet and the team had to slow down the work in the morning and in the afternoon. In spite of the low temperature the team could test various components and electronic roughing mappings .

Corti fixed the time within 1'47"7 while Leonov on F3 scored 1'49". After few laps Cluzel pitted for a long time to fix the electronic management .

During the second day the team could finish the test program having better weather conditions. Claudio Corti improved the laptime to 1'44"5, Leonov and Cluzel to 1'47"1 and 1'47"0 respectively.

Claudio Corti

I'm very glad that the engine has the potential! We have to fix all the software implementation of the suspension and electronics , starting from zero , but I think that this season will be positive for us.

Jules Cluzel

I've made only few laps, then I couldn't push as hard as I like , because first we have to adjust many parameters of the electronic management , but once again I realized that the potential of F3 is really high.

Vladimir Leonov

The test was really positive. I finally started to fix the rear suspension and started to understand it. For the first time results are good.


CORE” PTR HONDA racer Ratthapark Wilairot worked hard during a two day test at Portimao in Portugal to learn about his new World Supersportbike and team, ahead of his debut in the series in Australia at the openinground on February 23rd.

The Thailand former Moto2 star had to learn about his newbike, team and even the circuit during the two days, which featured wet and dryweather. He improved with every lap and ended the test comfortable and lessthan one second behind his stablemate Jack Kennedy on a CIA Insurance Honda.

Ratthapark Wilairot:“There was much for me to learn in this test – everything in fact. My Core” PTRHonda is very good and I am much more comfortable on it now after two days ofriding – but there is also more to come from riding and understanding it. MyCore” PTR Honda team staff are good and I think we will work well together.Even the Parkalgar circuit was new for me and I enjoyed that as well. My timeswere good and now I am looking forward to the next test in Australia ahead ofthe opening round.”

Simon Buckmaster,Core” PTR Honda: “Everything was new for Ratthapark and he just improved stepby step through the test, getting better and better. He is happy with his Core”PTR Honda and team and by the time we get to Australia and the opening round Ithink he will be showing some real potential.”


IRELAND’S Jack Kennedy finished a two day test at Portimaoin Portugal happy with progress and recording competitive times on just hissecond day with his new CIA Insurance Honda team.

With a mixture of wet and dry weather, the Dubliner was ableto find a comfortable setting on his 2014 World Supersport race bike and is nowkeen to get to Australia for the next test ahead of the opening round onFebruary 23rd.

Nacho Calero spent time getting to grips with thedevelopments on his CIA Insurance Honda and meeting his new team staff. Heended the day happy and looking forward to a strong season.

Jack Kennedy: “Thatwas a really good two-day test and I am very happy with my CIA Insurance Hondarace bike, team staff and the potential we have for the season. I am lovingbeing back on a bike and can’t wait to get out again.”

Simon Buckmaster,CIA Insurance Honda: “It has been a really good test. Jack got more and morecomfortable as the laps went by. He is leaving with a good base setting and weare all really happy. There are no official times as it is a test but we havelooked at what other teams are doing and we know we are right on the pace.

“It was also a positive test with Nacho working well with hisnew crew chief, who speaks Spanish which is a big help. That makes exchanging informationbetween rider and team easier and we will all reap the benefits I am sure.”


Back to top