One month after the first race of the season, the Superbike circus returns to Europe with the Portuguese round at Portimao.
The excellent weather conditions and the track allowed drivers and their teams to work under optimum conditions, with Leon Haslam registering the top qualifying time of 1:43:476.
Max Biaggi finished in fourth place with a time of 1:43:688, just 0:212 behind the English driver on his Suzuki. Following the problems encountered at Phillip Island, the Roman driver was quite fast from the outset at the practice rounds that were held during the morning as he concentrated on his RSV4’s alignment.
It was ninth place for Leon Camier with a time of 1:44:041, with a difference of 0:565 with respect to his fellow countryman Haslam. The young British driver, who had his second race here last year with the 5-stroke 4 cylinder Aprilia achieving an excellent sixth place result in Race 1, tried out a different alignment on his RSV4 with respect to the winter tests.
"The bike is the same one that I used at Phillip Island," said Biaggi. "No updates were made, but the situation has improved because the problems with vibrations and skipping that we had in Australia are much less noticeable. We tried a new setup with the suspension, which was studied at home by our technicians in the Racing Department, but it didn’t work, so tomorrow we’ll go back to the set-up that we’re familiar with in order to continue to progress."
"We used the same suspension here as we did in the last race," said Camier. "It was very different from the one used for the tests we did here and we got some results, even if we didn’t have any reference data. The pace of the race is good, even though I still have to find the single lap. The suspension still needs a lot of work, but I’m happy with what’s been done up to this point, considering that the others aren’t far behind."