Fourteen out of 19 riders on the official 2013 World Superbike roster were present Thursday during the first of two days in unofficial private testing at a resurfaced Phillip Island, Australia.
The testing allows the World SBK teams to prep their perspective machines ahead of the first official test session at the same circuit Monday and Tuesday.
The riders were quick, but there were plenty of accidents on the newly-paved Australian track. A few riders that crashed were FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel, and the man who finished a half a point behind Biaggi in the 2012 World Superbike Championship – Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes. Initial reports say Sykes injured his wrist, and he’s questionable for testing Friday.
Leading the grid on Thursday was Aprilia Racing Team’s Eugene Laverty. The Northern Irishman piloted his RSV4 to an unofficial 1:31.7, which is equal to the circuit record set by the now retired Max Biaggi, who posted a 1:31.785 last season en route to his second World SBK title.
Next up was Camier, the Brit posting a 1:31.9. Although he crashed, his crew was able to repair his GSX-R1000, and get him back on the circuit. Suzuki Racing reports that Camier’s quick laps occurred near the end of the test.
Following Camier were the Pata Honda riders, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam. Both piloted their CBR1000RR superbikes to a 1:32.
The top BMW rider followed – GoldBet’s Marco Melandri, who posted a 1:32.2. As for Ducati, Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano was quickest, finishing eight with a 1:32.7. The top Kawasaki time went to Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz; he was 12th quickest with a 1:33.2.
The riders will return to Phillip Island Friday for the second and final day of unofficial testing ahead of next week’s first official test and the opening round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island.
2013 Phillip Island World Superbike Unofficial Test Results, Thursday:
1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing RSV4) 1:31.7
2. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:31.9
3. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda CBR1000RR) 1:32.0
4. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda CBR1000RR) 1:32.0
5. Marco Melandri (GoldBet BMW S1000RR) 1:32.2
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing RSV4) 1:32.3
7. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:32.5
8. Davide Giugliano (Althea Aprilia RSV4) 1:32.7
9. Ayrton Badovini (Alstare Ducati 1199R) 1:32.8
10. Max Neukirchner (Ducati 1199R) 1:32.9
11. Chaz Davies (GoldBet BMW S1000RR) 1:33.0
12. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R) 1:33.2
13. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia RSV4) 1:33.7
14. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R) 1:34.5