Alstare Ducati’s Checa Tops Phillip Island Superbike Test
2013 Phillip Island World Superbike Official Test Day 2 Results
The first official test of 2013 World Superbike wrapped up Tuesday at Phillip Island, the teams getting in final preparations ahead of the season opener this weekend at the same Australian circuit.
The testing was vital, considering every rider is now on the mandated 17-inch tires, compared to the 16.5-inch tires used previously.
Unlike Monday’s test, Tuesday’s session was held under mixed weather conditions, though the 2.761-mile circuit dried out towards the end of the day.
And leading the 15 riders that were out on Tuesday was the 2011 World SBK Champion, Alstare Ducati’s Carlos Checa. The Spaniard piloted to new Ducati 1199 Panigale to a 1:31.059, which was seven-tenths of a second faster than the record set at Phillip Island by the retired Max Biaggi last season (Aprilia Racing Team RSV4). This was a vast improvement for Checa, considering his best time on Monday was a 1:31.523.
Although conditions weren’t as optimal as Monday’s session, Checa’s lap was the quickest of both days (FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier led Monday’s WSBK test session with a 1:31.243).
Carlos Checa (Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale Superbike) says: “I’m extremely happy with the results; it was a nice surprise to make the fastest lap, with everybody riding in the same conditions. I honestly didn’t believe that we’d be at this level at this point; I thought I’d finish about seventh.
“We were already able to find a good base setting yesterday and then continued to work from there today. I like the fact that every change we make to this bike is positive and it seems that everything we do results in us going in the right direction. The team are working really well together and this is the first time this year that we’ve had good conditions that have allowed us to spend a lot of time on the bike.
“Working on this new project right now is one of the most satisfying moments of my life. It is an exciting challenge and today’s results show that the bike has great potential and that there is still room for improvement.’
Following Checa 0.178 of a second back was BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK’s Marco Melandri. The Italian S1000RR pilot was followed Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes (ZX-10R Ninja), who sustained a wrist injury during last week’s “unofficial” testing sessions, Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Michel Fabriizo and Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea (CBR1000RR).
These four riders – Melandri, Sykes, Fabrizio, and Rea – were all within three-tenths of a second behind Checa. And all top 11 riders Tuesday were within a second of Checa. As for Camier, he finished 10th, not wanting to push the GSX-R1000 in the bad conditions.
Although he treated at Phillip Island’s Medical Center for flu, Althea Racing Aprilia’s Davide Giugliano participated in the test. He eventually finished ninth overall between both days fo testing.
Checa’s teammate Ayrton Badovini was also on the circuit, checking his fitness following a nasty crash during last week’s “unofficial testing.” And after ten laps, MR-Racing Ducati’s Max Neukirchner decided opt out and go on his own to the hospital for further medical examination. Neukirchner suffered a huge crash during Monday’s test session.
The 2013 World Superbike grid will now take a two-day break before returning to the Australian circuit for the first free practice Friday morning.
2013 Phillip Island World Superbike, Official Test Results – Overall Times from Monday & Tuesday):
1. Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati 1m31.059s (Tuesday)
2. Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW 1m31.237s (Tuesday)
3. Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki 1m31.243s (Monday)
4. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 1m31.261s (Tuesday)
5. Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Aprilia 1m31.350s (Tuesday)
6. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Pata Honda 1m31.356s (Tuesday)
7. Leon Haslam (GBR) Pata Honda !m31.396s (Monday)
8. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 1m31.452s (Monday)
9. Davide Guigliano (ITA) Aprilia 1m31.640s (Tuesday)
10. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Aprilia 1m31.658s (Tuesday)