2011 Portimao WSBK Test Day 3 Results: Laverty Leads Aprilia One-Two

Eugene Laverty leaves the World Superbike test in excellent shape, ending the final day of testing as fastest and shaving a few hundredths off his Aprilia teammate Max Biaggi's official lap record of 1'42.774. Biaggi was close to his own lap record, and just a tenth slower than Laverty, while the Aprilia pairing led a gaggle of BMWs, all with the same time, Leon Haslam, Marco Melandri and satellite BMW Italia rider Ayrton Badovini posting laps of 1'43.1. 

Chaz Davies had also impressed throughout the test. On his second outing on the ParkinGO Aprilia, and just his second test on a World Superbike machine, Davies ended the three-day test with a best time of 1'43.2, half a second off Laverty's time. Davies was six tenths quicker than Leon Camier on the Englishman's first outing on the Crescent Suzuki GSX-R 1000, Camier warming to the task and dropping a second off his best time from Monday to Wednesday. Michel Fabrizio ended the test as last of the regular WSBK riders, 1.2 seconds off Laverty's time, while Alastair Seeley posted a very respectable 1'44.1 after his first visit to the track, Seeley having been drafted in to replace John Hopkins, who is still recovering from finger surgery.

While the Aprilia men only used race tires, the BMW riders all fitted Pirelli qualifiers during the final day, to test the S1000RR on softer qualifying rubber. Haslam posted the fastest time on the softer tires, a couple of tenths faster than Melandri, with Badovini just a tenth off his compatriot.

Unofficial times on race tires courtesy of WorldSBK.com:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 58 Eugene Laverty Aprilia 1:42.7    
2 3 Max Biaggi Aprilia 1:42.8 0.1 0.1
3 91 Leon Haslam BMW 1:43.1 0.4 0.3
4 33 Marco Melandri BMW 1:43.1 0.4 0.0
5 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW 1:43.1 0.4 0.0
6   Chaz Davies Aprilia 1:43.2 0.5 0.1
7 2 Leon Camier Suzuki 1:43.8 1.1 0.6
8 84 Michel Fabrizio BMW 1:43.9 1.2 0.1
9   Alastair Seeley Suzuki 1:44.1 1.4 0.2


Unofficial times set on qualifying tires:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 91 Leon Haslam BMW 1:42.2    
2 33 Marco Melandri BMW 1:42.4 0.2 0.2
3 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW 1:42.5 0.3 0.1
4 84 Michel Fabrizio BMW 1:43.3 1.1 0.8
5   Alastair Seeley Suzuki 1:43.5 1.3 0.2




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Laverty is shaping up to be the Dark-Horse for the 2012 WSB season. Max better keep a close eye on his new team-mate. Could Laverty's 2012 performance become a possible ticket to MotoGP/Moto1 with a CRT-Aprilia group? He adapts to new machinery very quickly and seems to get the most out of the bike as he learns it all the while going fast. Now let's see how he races the RSV4.

Dark horse last year perhaps. Genuine contender 2012 I believe. A lot depends on the state of Max's mind and his motivation 2012 though. Perhaps 6kg is enough to make Biaggi think positively again after a very erratic title defence.

I just hope the Beemers finally bring all this promise to the table and really mix it up all race and all season long. Being a favourer of under dogs I also hope Baldovini upstages the factory boys.

Davies a true dark horse.

Camier, I fear a retro grade step with half hearted Suzuki.

Wonder what the issue was with the caliper/rotor package was for Camier?

Interesting that the WSBK might become 'the' feeder series for GP with the emphasis seemingly going to CRT...