Superbike: Haslam Paces Imola Test

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WSBK Imola Test

Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) set a fabulous 1’47.966 lap time on the first day of World Superbike testing at Imola, overcoming hot track temperatures of 50 degrees plus along with his peer group as they tested their latest motorcycles, part developments and many new Pirelli tires options.

Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha R1 Sterilgarda) was a close second, also into the 1’47s, with Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga two Ducati Xerox riders completing the top four. Fabrizio had been the fastest SBK rider in the morning session.

Leon Haslam says: “We ran two different tyres compared to normal today and we have even more to try tomorrow” said Haslam. “Each one was as quick as the other as far as a lap times are concerned and I am happy with the consistency after 89 laps. Today has gone well, we were fast and consistent, and we have a few more things to go through tomorrow from a team point of view as well.”

Michel Fabrizio says: “It’s very hot here today. In the morning, with the new Pirelli front tyre, I made the first of my fast laps and in the last minutes of the session I was able to improve even further which I’d say is a good result in these conditions. The problem is that when we come back for the race in September it may be much cooler compared to today; anyway it’s been a positive day and I’ll be doing my best to make further improvement tomorrow.”

Noriyuki Haga says: “This morning we started with one bike set up as per Misano, and one with last year’s Imola setting. We seem to have improved on last year’s setting and then we concentrated on improving the level of bump absorption, a job we’ll continue with tomorrow. In the afternoon I changed our usual rear for one of the new solutions and it immediately made a big difference. I tried three of the new rears in the end and all of them are fairly similar, and seem to perform well; I was able to find good pace. Tomorrow we’ll try the new front tyre and see if we can improve on the times.”

Overcoming disappointments at the previous race in Misano, Jonathan Rea made a good start to testing, fifth after day one for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda.

Troy Corser’s continued strong recent pace on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport four-cylinder motorbike took him to sixth today, his team-mate Ruben Xaus an impressive seventh, only three thousandths of a second behind Corser.

Double Misano race winner Max Biaggi got back to basics with a time of 1’49.184 on his Aprilia Alitalia bike, while another veteran rider, Carlos Checa, was ninth on his Ducati Althea privateer machine. Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes hammered on the door of the top places with a tenth on his official entry, just less than 1.5 seconds from Haslam.

The Superbike Championship’s one-make tyre supplier, Pirelli, has brought a considerable quantity of new material to the tests, in view of the second part of the season and in particular the Imola round at the end of September.

The high temperatures (air 34°/track 50°+) will also give some valid indications in view of the opening round of the 2011 championship, scheduled for Phillip Island. Pirelli is evaluating one new front and six new rear motorcycle tire options at these tests, four of them having been used today.

World SBK Iomola Test Results
1. 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’47.966
2. 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’47.976
3. 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’48.306
4. 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’48.835
5. 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’48.839
6. 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’49.141
7. 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’49.144
8. 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’49.184
9. 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’49.221
10. 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’49.411
11. 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’49.611
12. 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’49.663
13. 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’49.957
14. 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.096
15. 23 Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.112
16. 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’50.142
17. 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’50.706
18. 54 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’51.967 (WSS)
19. 26 Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.270 (WSS)
20. 86 Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’52.375 (STK)
21. 51 Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.867 (WSS)
22. 20 Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1’52.876 (STK)
23. 21 Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’53.146 (STK)
24. 87 Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’53.616 (STK)
25. 29 Beretta D. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’53.622 (STK)
26. 6 Baz L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’54.835 (STK)