With the 2012 World Superbike championship in the bag, preparations are already underway for next season. A significant part of the 2013 WSBK grid is at Aragon and testing ahead of next year, with some interesting developments apparent at the Spanish track.
Conditions were far from ideal with strong winds hampering progress, but despite the problems, times were extremely fast. Leon Camier was the fastest man on the day, circulating at lap record pace on the Suzuki, and four tenths quicker than Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki, while 2012 World Champion Max Biaggi was a tenth slower than Sykes. Camier was meant to be joined by Sylvain Guintoli, who already had a signed contract with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki squad, but had that contract torn up when Crescent found the Frenchman was still negotiating with another team to race an Aprilia, according to the ever-reliable Bikesportnews.com.
The biggest news of the test was Carlos Checa, circulating on the Panigale, the first time he has tested in public. Checa has yet to sign a new contract with the Althea Ducati team, waiting to see how the performance of the new machine was, as well as whether the Panigale will have the 6 kg extra it has to carry removed for 2013. The impression was positive, with Checa matching the lap times he posted in June on the 1198R, which is to lose its homologated status for World Superbikes in 2013. A positive test such as this moves Checa one step closer to returning to racing with the team.
The test continues tomorrow, with conditions likely to be better than they were today.
Times, courtesy of GPOne.com: