World Superbike 17-Inch Tire Testing
The three-day World Superbike test at Motorland Aragon is now complete, riders from Aprilia, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Ducati testing the new 17-inch regulation-size Pirelli tires.
And once the tests wrapped up, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, who finished second overall in the 2012 World SBK Championship, was quickest. His best time was a 1:57.6 aboard the ZX-10R. Sykes was also the fastest rider when the first 17-inch Pirelli tires debuted in July; the Brit posted a 1:57.2 during those sessions.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “Fastest again and that is all well and good but that is not the aim at the moment. Our aim is to improve on what we have done with the bike this year, and we have done that here, so overall I am happy.
“The 17-inch tires seem to work well for me and the Ninja ZX-10R, so that is positive. We have a lot of information and we have more tests planned, to we will keep working in a good direction. We used race tyres to set our fastest times and we tried both the SC1 and SC2 compounds, on the front and the rear. The track was a bit greasy this afternoon but we were still able to do nice lap times with the softer tires. It looks like Pirelli have done a good job with the 17-inch tyres so we are definitely at a good starting point.”
The 2012 World SBK Champ, Aprilia Racing Team’s Max Biaggi, who beat Sykes by a mere half a point for the title, was the second fastest rider this week with a 1:57.8. In third was the new FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team rider, Leon Camier, the Brit posting a 1:58.1.
The World SBK teams began on 16.5-inch rims/tires (used in 2012 World SBK) on Monday, getting some base settings before switching to the 17-inch setup. That day, Camier was quickest, but Sykes topped Camier Tuesday and Wednesday.
World SBK says: “The morning session of the third day was disturbed after Carlos Checa’s Althea Racing Ducati Panigale 1199RS locked up on the start-finish straight. The bike lost oil into the track surface for most of the straight, causing a long delay as it was cleaned up. He would not improve on his best time after this problem, and having previously set a 1’58.5.
“On the re-start most riders found it difficult to improve on their previous best, simply because of a strong headwind down the long back straight. Michel Fabrizio had his first ride on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia at this test, with Josh Waters joining Camier in the garage before heading back to his native Australia.”
Next up is testing at Jerez in November.
Aragon World Superbike Test Overall Times:
1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’57.6
2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’57.8
3. Camier (Suzuki) 1’58.1
4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’58.1
5. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’58.4
6. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’58.5
7. Checa (Ducati) 1’58.5
8. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’59.4
9. Hoffman (Aprilia) 2’00.7
10. Waters (Suzuki) 2’00.9