The World Superbike Championship has the Italian round of Imola back on the calendar this year so the teams have spent the last two days testing their machines there in preparation for the upcoming races on the 27th September. The track is new for both Ben Spies and Tom Sykes however it was clear from the two day test that neither the lack of track knowledge or the sweltering Italian sunshine was going to prevent them from displaying some serious pace. Day one saw Spies leading the field until the very end of the sessions where rive Fabrizio made a couple of extra tenths on fresh tyres. Day two such much of the same with the American rider working through his set up and understanding the circuit in advance of the race in September.
Team mate Sykes was showing the consistent turn of speed we are now seeing from the British rider and ended the first day second fastest Brit in the pack in seventh place behind Bryne in sixth. Day two saw the morning session go well for Sykes, moving up to fifth and shaving three tenths of the previous day’s time, he held onto the fifth spot at the end of the day and came away in confident mood for the upcoming Brno round.
Ben Spies Speaks…
"It’s been a really good couple of days testing for me, we’ve not been out there trying to be the fastest guys, but have been focused on working through the set up of the bike to make sure we have everything ready for when we race here and also just to shake it down. It’s been really hot so I’m looking forward to getting away from the track now and relaxing before we go to Brno next week."
Tom Sykes Speaks…
"I started off had a good chat with the team here and then moved into testing with a good plan in mind. We worked through quite a lot on the bike including suspension and brakes and tried some new tyres too and it all came good. I ended up fifth overall which was good, where we should be nearer the top. It’s certainly where I want to be and closing the gap on the front now. Hopefully we’re heading to Brno with more information from the test and we’ll be strong there."
Massimo Meregalli Speaks.. (Team Manager)
"in the end it was a good test for us. Both riders now know the Imola circuit. We tested some new tyres as well which were interesting. We also worked a lot on the bike set up with both riders. Unfortunately the temperature was really high here which made it tough. We’re ok and ready for the next race where we have to catch Noriyuki up and we’re ready to be more focused for the championship win."