Motorcycle Racing News Kawasaki's Sykes Tops PI Superbike Test

Kawasaki’s Sykes Tops PI Superbike Test

2012 World Superbike Private Testing Results

During the private World SBK testing at Phillip Island last week, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes lead the first day of three, and ended up second overall behind Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa.

And on Tuesday, Sykes, who last season gave Kawasaki its first World Superbike win since 2006, once again poised a serious threat to the reigning World Superbike Champion; the Brit Sykes posted the quickest time at Phillip Island during the final day of the first offical test of 2012 World Superbike.

Sykes posted a 1:31.648, which will be a benchmark lap time for the WSBK grid during the opening round of the 2012 season, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Australian circuit.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “We were fast this morning and also this afternoon in hot conditions and we even improved our time compared to yesterday’s hot track conditions.

“Overall we did quite a bit more testing today and certainly stumbled across a couple of good things. At the end of the sessions we did 14 laps on race tires and it was very consistent, with the times coming easier than they were doing with previous settings.

“Honestly speaking, this is not one of my favorite circuits, in fact it is one of my least favorite ones, so I am happy that we are towards the front at this track because I know that the performance should increase at the other circuits. I do not want to get too carried away because I like to keep my feet on the ground, so we’ll keep working and see what happens on race weekend.”

But Checa wasn’t too far behind aboard the Ducati 1198, finishing the Phillip Island World SBK test 0.040 behind Sykes.

Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 R Superbike) says: “We were able to complete our work program with some very satisfying results and this is what counts, more than the times. We worked with both the 200 tires and the 190 tires and I must say I prefer the setting we have with the 200.

I’m feeling happy with the bike and the setting that we have but now we must wait to see how the track conditions, temperature and tires will be this weekend. We know that this is one of the best tracks for the Ducati and so we want to make the most of this opportunity. I will focus, do my best and we’ll see what this can bring us on Sunday.”

Liberty-Racing Team Effenbert Ducati’s Jakub Smrz was third fastest, posting a 1:31.800 aboard the 1198, followed by the final man to post under the 1:32 mark – Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea.

The 2010 World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi posted the fifth-fastest time aboard the Aprilia RSV4, followed by BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri and Checa’s new teammate, Davide Giugliano, who suffered four crashes in the test sessions.

Impressively, the top 12 riders were all within a second of Sykes in combined overall test times: Leon Camier (Crescent Suzuki, 1:32.320), Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati, 1:32.347), Leon Haslam (BMW, 1:32.397), Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki, 1:32.540), Michel Fabrizio (BMW S1000RR).

As for Haslam, who crashed Monday, breaking his right tibia, doctors are deciding on whether the Brit needs surgery. But he likely won’t be starting at this weekend’s opening round.

After five days of testing – private and official – the Superbike teams and riders now have a chance to wind down before opening round action begins on Friday.

2012 Phillip Island World Superbike Official Test Times (Monday-Tuesday):

1. 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’31.648

2. 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198R 1’31.652

3. 96 Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198R 1’31.800

4. 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.913

5. 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’32.034

6. 33 Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.232

7. 34 Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1198R 1’32.319

8. 2 Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.320

9. 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’32.347

10. 91 Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.397

11. 17 Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.540

12. 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.605

13. 59 Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’32.746

14. 4 Aoyama H. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.910

15. 121 Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1198R 1’32.911

16. 86 Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.948

17. 87 Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1198R 1’33.136

18. 19 Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’33.358

19. 44 Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.385

20. 67 Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.418

21. 25 Brookes J. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’33.623

22. 18 Aitchison M. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.169

23. 35 De Rosa R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’34.341

Superbike records at Phillip Island

Fastest Lap: Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1’31″826 (2007)

Superpole: Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’30″882 (2011)

Best Lap: Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’30″826 (2011)

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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