Aprilia & Yamaha Begin Australia SBK Tests

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2011 World Superbike Prep

Two World Superbike teams began a three-day test session Tuesday at Phillip Island in Australia: Aprilia Alitalia and Yamaha Sterilgarda.

Both teams, which include 2010 Word Superbike Champion Max Biaggi and Leon Camier for Aprilia, and Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty for Yamaha, are testing to further develop their spec superbikes for the 2011 WSBK Championship.

The man that topped the sheets on Tuesday was Biaggi, who posted a best time of 1:32.4. The Italian Superbike Champ completed 71 laps aboard the Aprilia RSV4, and his top time was only sixth-tenths of a second slower than the best race lap time at Phillip Island (1:31.826), posted by BMW Motorrad rider Troy Corser.

Biaggi spent the day evaluating an evolution-step engine, a different swingarm and new engine mounts that supposedly give better rigidity and traction.

Unlike Biaggi, Camier experienced much difficulty with both of his Aprilia RSV4 motorcycles on Tuesday; the Brit spent much time in the pits, but still performed 88 laps, posting a 1:33.4.

Second fastest behind Biaggi was Yamaha rider Eugene Laverty. The Brit, who also had driven the R1 during the post-season tests at Magny-Cours and Valencia, posted a 1:32.9 within 86 laps.

His teammate who just came back to World Superbike from MotoGP, Melandri, posted a 1:33.5 within 78 laps. The Italian struggled with set up on the 2010 YZF-R1 Spec Superbike, and a few teething issues on the 2011-spec motorcycle

Weather on Tuesday was cloudy and cold, but the track remained dry. The tests continue on Wednesday, and the weathermen are forecasting rain.