Less than a week after the private test concluded at the Phillip Island circuit, the World Superbike riders were back in action again on Monday, for the first day of the official preseason test ahead of this weekend's WSBK season opener. Carlos Checa picked up where he left off, topping the timesheets in both the morning and afternoon sessions, and immediately within a tenth of a second of the fastest time the Althea Ducati rider set here last week.
Challenging Checa was the Italian Armada who pushed him for the title in 2011. Aprilia's Max Biaggi led the way, getting within a couple of tenths of the Spaniard, while Marco Melandri and his team at BMW clearly learned a lot at last week's test, the Italian posting the 3rd fastest time just under three tenths off the time of Checa. Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea - resplendent in a new Honda livery - was a little further behind in 4th, the Ulsterman having tested here privately back in January, while the unfortunate Leon Haslam took the 5th fastest time, though his day ended during the first session, after the BMW rider crashed heavily in the final corner, and taken to hospital with an ankle injury. Haslam was later diagnosed with a fractured heel and a damaged tibia, Haslam is currently waiting to have a screw inserted in his leg, in the hope of being fit enough to race this weekend.
Tom Sykes, who had been so strong in last week's test, could not build on his results, the Kawasaki rider ending the day in 6th, half a second behind Checa, and ahead of a flotilla of privateer Ducatis, with Sylvain Guintoli leading another returnee, Niccolo Canepa, and Guintoli's Effenbert Liberty teammate Jakub Smrz. Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz rounded out the top 10.
Testing continues on Tuesday.
Combined results of the morning and afternoon sessions:
|1||7||C. CHECA||Ducati 1098R||1:31.947|
|2||3||M. BIAGGI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:32.132||0.185||0.185|
|3||33||M. MELANDRI||BMW S1000 RR||1:32.232||0.285||0.100|
|4||65||J. REA||Honda CBR1000RR||1:32.379||0.432||0.147|
|5||91||L. HASLAM||BMW S1000 RR||1:32.397||0.450||0.018|
|6||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:32.465||0.518||0.068|
|7||50||S. GUINTOLI||Ducati 1098R||1:32.768||0.821||0.303|
|8||59||N. CANEPA||Ducati 1098R||1:32.836||0.889||0.068|
|9||96||J. SMRZ||Ducati 1098R||1:32.848||0.901||0.012|
|10||17||J. LASCORZ||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:33.005||1.058||0.157|
|11||2||L. CAMIER||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:33.104||1.157||0.099|
|12||84||M. FABRIZIO||BMW S1000 RR||1:33.141||1.194||0.037|
|13||121||M. BERGER||Ducati 1098R||1:33.246||1.299||0.105|
|14||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati 1098R||1:33.366||1.419||0.120|
|15||4||H. AOYAMA||Honda CBR1000RR||1:33.479||1.532||0.113|
|16||87||L. ZANETTI||Ducati 1098R||1:33.566||1.619||0.087|
|17||67||B. STARING||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:33.704||1.757||0.138|
|18||44||D. SALOM||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1:33.812||1.865||0.108|
|19||86||A. BADOVINI||BMW S1000 RR||1:34.234||2.287||0.422|
|20||19||C. DAVIES||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1:34.303||2.356||0.069|
|21||35||R. DE ROSA||Honda CBR1000RR||1:34.400||2.453||0.097|
|22||25||J. BROOKES||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:34.667||2.720||0.267|
|23||18||M. AITCHISON||BMW S1000 RR||1:35.223||3.276||0.556|