Melandri Controls Misano Superbike Tests


2011 World Superbike Testing

Day2 of World Superbike testing wrapped up at Misano Wednesday, with the top time going to the man who currently holds second place in the WSBK Point Championship – Yamaha’s Marco Melandri.

Some of the series top teams were testing with Melandri, with emphasis on Pirelli 2012-spec tires which will be used at next year’s season-opener at Phillip Island, and also tires that will be used in the remaining three rounds this year (Imola, Magny-Cours, Portimao).

Melandri put in a blistering performance during 172 laps, besting the Misano circuit at 1:35.8, seven-tenths of second quicker than the June race-record lap time (1:36.520) set by Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa, the current points leader. Melandri was also fastest in Tuesday’s day 1 testing session, posting a 1:36.0.

Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) says: “We’ve just completed two very positive days testing. I had a particularly tough race weekend here in June so we tried various new settings over the last two days and found positive results all around.

“We made progress with the engine brake which I had been struggling with during the season and hopefully we made a step in the right direction which will help in the remaining three races also. We spent a significant part of yesterday working with Pirelli mainly on new compound solutions for the 2012 season. Overall, it went really well. We worked very hard but made improvements and were fast and consistent throughout the two days.”

To no surprise, second fastest was Checa, the Spaniard two-tenths of a second slower than Melandri. Checa put in 120 laps, mostly testing the new tires and then working on some setup aboard the Ducati 1198R.

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R) says: “We’re very happy with the results of these tests. Pirelli brought some new, high performance solutions for us to try and we were able to lap consistently fast. It was hot, with conditions similar to those of the June races, with a track temperature of around 44 degrees.

“Even though the asphalt was hot, the tyres behaved well and we were able to maintain fast times for numerous laps. We spent maybe 80% of our time working with the tyres and the rest trying some different things with regard to set up, all very positive. We even closed a little early because we worked so well yesterday and today that we finished all we had planned ahead of time!”

Overall, taking the third quickest time was Melandri’s teammate Eugene Laverty, the Brit just a bit slower than Checa. Taking the overall fourth- and fifth-fastest times were Ayrton Badovini on the BMW Italia, followed by the Kawasaki duo of Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes. The highest placed Honda overall during the test was the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR piloted by Johnathan Rea.

World Superbike says With Max Biaggi recovering from the bone fracture in his left foot, Aprilia only brought along Alex Hofmann for the test. The Italian however should be ready to race at next week’s Imola round.

2011 World Superbike: Misano Test Overall Times (unofficial): 1. Melandri (Yamaha) 1’35.8; 2. Checa (Ducati), Laverty (Yamaha) 1’36.0; 4. Badovini (BMW), Lascorz (Kawasaki) 1’36.1 ; 6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’36.2; 7. Rea (Honda) 1’36.7; 8. Hofmann (Aprilia) 1’36.9; 9. Martin (BMW) 1’37.1; 10. Xaus (Honda) 1’37.4; 11. Elias (BMW) 1’37.8; 12. Vermeulen (Kawasaki) 1’38.4; 13. Tamada (Honda) 1’38.8.