Fresh off the back of three days testing at Jerez, the factory BMW team topped the timesheets of the first day of the combined Aprilia, BMW and Suzuki test at the Portimao test. Leon Haslam led his teammate Marco Melandri, the Englishman posting a time of 1'43.6, a tenth quicker than Melandri, but a long way off Max Biaggi's lap record, the track conditions far from ideal despite warm and sunny weather. The factory BMW team continued the work on the new generation of electronics to be used for the coming season - though the provenance of the electronics remains mysterious, with rumors of the team running both Magneti Marelli and Pi systems, while BMW insists that the systems are BMW electronics. The mechanics were also given plenty of work to do, Marco Melandri writing off his S1000RR in a massive crash at the end of the day.
BMW Italia rider Ayrton Badovini was another tenth behind the factory bikes, the Italian continuing to make solid progress, while Eugene Laverty impressed on just his second outing on the factory Aprilia, matching the time of his veteran teammate and 2010 World Champion Max Biaggi, and just three tenths slower than Haslam. Chaz Davies, also on his second outing on the Aprilia, and only his second ever outing aboard a World Superbike, was as impressive as Laverty, just a tenth off the Irishman and four tenths off Haslam, despite a harmless crash towards the end of the session.
The Suzuki riders had a much tougher day of it. Leon Camier, in his debut on the Suzuki, now being run by the former BSB team Crescent, with some assistance from the Suzuki's ex-MotoGP squad now that the Japanese factory has pulled out of the series, spent a frustrating day dealing with brake issues and unable to put in the laps he had wanted, ending the day with the 8th fastest time, 1.2 seconds behind Haslam. BSB Suzuki rider Alastair Seeley also spent time learning the Portimao circuit, taking the place of John Hopkins, who is still recovering from surgery to fix the finger injury which flared up again at Sepang.
Unofficial times at the end of day 1, courtesy of WorldSBK.com: