Portimao WSBK Test: Aprilia Tops Day 3

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2012 World Superbike Prep

The Portimao World Superbike tests concluded Wednesday, the day before the new testing ban goes into effect.

And although BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam led the first two days, Wednesday’s top time on race tires went to newly-signed Alitalia Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty.

The RSV4 pilot posted a blistering 1:42.7, which was a new unofficial lap record at Portimao; World SBK reports this time was a bit quicker than Max Biaggi’s lap of 1:42.774, which was set during his WSBK Championship-winning year 2010.

Following the Brit only a tenth-of a second back was Biaggi, with BMW’s Ayrton Badovini taking the third fastest time with a 1:43.1. Haslam followed in third with the same time.

But the BMW riders also did some laps on qualifying Pirelli tires, with Haslam posting a 1:42.2. BMW Motorrad’s new rider, Marco Melandri, also posted a 1:42.2 on qualifying tires.

World Superbike says: “In race set-up however the German bike is not yet at the level of the Aprilia, even though Haslam, who was quickest over the first two days, finished with a positive 1’43.1, a time that Melandri equaled towards the end.”

Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier debuted on the GSX-R1000, the former Aprilia rider posting a 1:43.8 on race rubber. As Crescent Suzuki’s other rider, the American John Hopkins, continues to recover, Alastair Seeley completed some laps aboard the other GSX-R1000, posting a 1:44.1

Starting Thursday, Dec. 1, the new winter testing ban imposed by the new FIM regulations will begin, the ban running until Jan. 15. The opening round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship is at Phillip Island in Australia on Feb. 26.

Portimao World Superbike Overall Unofficial Test Times, Day 3 (with qualifying tire times in brackets):
1. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’42.7
2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’42.8
3. Badovini (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.5)
4. Haslam (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.2)
5. Melandri (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.4)
6. Davies (Aprilia) 1’43.2
7. Camier (Suzuki) 1’43.8
8. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’43.9 (1’43.3)
9. Seeley (Suzuki) 1’44.1 (1’43.5)