Before the second-half of the World Superbike Championship begins June 27, four teams completed two days of testing at the Misano Circuit – Aprilia, BMW, Suzuki and Yamaha. At the end of the first session on Tuesday, Aprilia had the quickest times…but Wednesday was all Yamaha.
The fastest at Tuesday’s test session was Alitalia Aprilia rider Max Biaggi, who piloted his RSV4 to a 1:36.4. Biaggi only participated in the morning tests, before major rainstorms soaked the track. Even after the track dried out, and riders returned to testing, Biaggi decided to sit out the late sessions.
The second fastest on the track during day one of testing was Sterilgarda Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow, who posted a 1:36.7 at the very end of his session. Third fastest was Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam, who experimented with new forks.
But on Wednesday, the conclusion of the two-day test, it was all Yamaha, with Sterilgarda teammates Crutchlow and James Toseland posting the fastest times. Both riders completed 90 laps, with Crutchlow posting a 1:36.2 and Toseland a 1:36.3, the quickest times in both days of testing combined.
Cal Crutchlow says: “It’s been a pretty good test for us, the weather’s been difficult, either really hot or wet which has been challenging. Still, we managed to get down to the fastest time here and I did that on a used tire which should stand us in good stead for next week’s races. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it again.”
James Toseland says: “We tried a lot with the electronics, all in all it’s been a good test for Yamaha. I’m putting a lot of time into the bike to try and find some extra time in the second half of the race and be more consistent. Everyone is doing a great job but we’re busy trying to catch up with the Aprilia.”
Arriving third fastest was Troy Corser on the BMW S1000RR. Corser beat his first-day time by almost a second, showing the potential of the second-year BMW team. Biaggi would be fifth fastest with a 1:36.5, one-tenth slower than Haslam.
Misano Test Times, Day 1 (no transponders):
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:36.4
2. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:36.7
3. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:36.7
4. Sylvan Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:36.7
5. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:36.9
6. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:37.1
7. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:37.1
Misano Test Times, Day 2:
1. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:36.2
2. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:36.3
3. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:36.4
4. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1’36.4
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:36.5
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:36.6
7. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:37.1
8. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1:37.1
As for the other manufactures, both Xerox Ducati and Althea Ducati already held their two days of testing as part of World Ducati Week last weekend. The retired Troy Bayliss posted a 1:35.6, faster then Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio. Bayliss says he will remain retired.
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda also didn’t participate in the Misano testing, as the team practiced at their home base in Assen, Holland, on Tuesday. As Jonathan Rea recovers from tire burns he sustained during a qualifying crash at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, the Assen test was the first time he was on the track. He quickly got up to race pace, although he’s still recovering.
Jonathan Rea says: “My neck is like brand new now, after I did a stint in a hyperbaric chamber at home. The shoulder is taking a little longer to clear up but I’m sure it’ll be fine for next week in Italy. It didn’t affect my riding at Assen where we tried a lot of things to eliminate the chatter that we had in America. At least we now know what doesn’t work! I was able quite easily and quickly to lap at the same pace I had in the two race wins at Assen – in fact, I did so many laps at that pace, it ended up feeling quite slow! I’m looking forward to going to Misano now and starting with a few of the problems that we had last year already solved.”
His teammate Max Neukirchner liked the solitude of testing at Assen test so he could work on chatter problems that have plagued him in recent weeks.
Max Neukirchner says: “I did 91 laps on the first day and 90 on the second, so I feel like I know Assen quite well now! We definitely found something to get the suspension working a little bit differently and I tried the swingarm that Jonathan uses. However, we went back to my normal swingarm and found a better way forward with that. At the end of the test, I was going faster that my times in race two at Assen in April and we were able to get rid of some of the chatter. It’s not quite there yet but we definitely went in the right direction by putting a little more weight at the rear. I hope we can start the weekend at Misano in a better position when we will do a bit more work on the front forks.”
Following a one-month break, World Superbike resumes at Misano, Italy, on June 25, for round 8 of 13.