Kawasaki’s Ups & Downs at Imola SBK Test

2012 World Superbike Testing

Following the weekend’s World Superbike round at Imola, the 25-rider grid remained in Italy for an official, one-day test on Monday.

And taking the top time was Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, the same rider who had the pole position at Imola and finished both races in second behind the man who doubled at Imola, Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa.

The 27-year-old Sykes not only set the fastest lap of 1:46.609 at Imola on new Pirelli Evolution race rubber, but also set a new best lap at the Imola circuit.

But while there were cheers in the Kawasaki paddock, the team also suffered some heartache following a crash involving Sykes’ teammate, Joan Lascorz.

The Spaniard lost control of his Kawasaki ZX-10R in the uphill section of Imola from Tosa to Piratella, and crashed, landing hard on his back.

He was transported to the circuit’s medical center, and was diagnosed with a “probable fracture of the vertebra” by Dr. Giancarlo Caroli, the Imola circuit medical officer.

Lascorz was then airlifted to the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, where he underwent back surgery. World SBK reports that due to the impact of the crash, the vertebra was moved and partily damaged the spine. Surgeons re-positioned the vertebra during the surgery.

Lascorz remains in Bologna under medical care, but will be transported to Spain as soon as possible.

As for the rest of the testing, second behind Sykes was Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, who posted a 1:47.121. Following in third was Crescent Fixi Suzuki’s Leon Camier in third with a 1:47.328.

Rounding out the top five were BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam, who scored a pair of thirds at Imola, Max Biaggi in fifth aboard the Aprilia Racing Team RSV4.

Sixth fastest was the current points leader and reigning Champion, Checa aboard the Althea Ducati 1198.

The World Superbike riders next outing will be Round 3 at Assen April 20-22.