Motorand Aragon WSBK Testing
World Superbike riders got their first taste of the Motorland Aragon Circuit in Spain on Wednesday, the first of three testing days at the track which will appear on the 2011 WSBK schedule.
Superbike riders were out early on Wednesday for one session, and then returned later in the afternoon to finish testing. And the fastest rider? Ducati Althea Racing rider Carlos Checa, who posted a fastest time of 1:58.7 in the morning, and then the fastest lap of the day 1, a 1:58.3 in the afternoon session.
But Wednesday will be Checa’s final day of testing at his “home” track; he had to leave for Estoril Wednesday, the 38-year-old Spainard substituting for Mika Kallio on the Pramac Racing Ducati Team for the final two MotoGP rounds in Portugal and Valencia.
Second fastest on the first day of World Superbike testing at Aragon was Michel Fabrizio with Alstare Suzuki, the team he has signed with for 2011. The Italian also posted a 1:59.3 aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike. He and his 2010 Ducati Xerox teammate, Noriyuki Haga, were uncertain about 2011 WSBK after Ducati decided to pull all factory efforts out of the World Superbike Championship for 2011. But both riders now have rides for 2011.
Taking third place at Aragon was the 2010 World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi. The Aprilia RSV4 rider was the final to post under the 2:00 mark, the Italian Biaggi posting a a1:59.4.
The fourth fastest rider was Haga. The Japanese rider posted a 2:00.3 on the RSV4 with his new team Aprilia Pata Racing; this was the second time Haga had rode the Italian V4 machine.
Following him in fifth was Biaggi’s Alitalia Aprilia teammate, Leon Camier, who posted a 2:00.5. Tom Sykes on the continually improving Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R also posted a 2:00.4.
The other Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Katsuaki Fujiwara, and BMW Motorrad rider Troy Corser both set a time of 2:00.6. They were joined with the impressive Italian youngster Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati), who posted a 2:00.6, posting a time that was surprisingly quick.
Leon Haslam, again running a 2010-spec BMW S 1000RR, concentrated on getting familiar with his new machine, and remained above the 2:01 mark at Aragon.
Unlike MotoGP, World Superbike is using the longer track at 3.32 miles for the three days of testing, with the with the final curve incorporating a hairpin and an “esse” bend instead of a long left-hand curve.
Testing at Motorland Aragon continues Thursday and Friday.
Unofficial Aragon Day 1 Testing Times: 1. Checa (Ducati) 1’58.3; 2. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’59.3; 3. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’59.4; 4. Haga (Aprilia) 2’00.3; 5. Camier (Aprilia), Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’00.4; 7. Corser (BMW), Fuijwara (Kawasaki), Baroni (Ducati) 2’00.6; 10. Haslam (BMW) 2’01.0.