The Welshman who doubled at Laguna Seca World Superbike last season – Chaz Davies – wasted no time Friday getting up to speed.The Aruba.it Ducati 1199 Panigale R pilot posted a 1:23.622 around the 2.32-mile circuit containing 11 corners – including the infamous Corkscrew – during free practice. To put this time into perspective, the WSBK lap record at Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway is a 1:21.811 set by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team, 2014).
“We got off a good start. Being the quickest on Friday is always positive, but tomorrow and Sunday are more important,” Davies says. “We managed to find a good pace since the very first lap, and there’s still room for improvement, especially in terms of the overall balance of the bike. We’ll put on a fresher engine for tomorrow and probably we won’t need to change the setup too much for FP3 and Superpole, even though it will depend on track temperatures, which in the morning can drop quite a bit.”Davies, who finished second in points last season behind World SBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), earned the top position by a mere 0.074 of a second. The man second fastest? Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja pilot Rea, the current points leader.Earning third quickest was the sole American in all of World SBK, Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden. The CBR1000RR pilot was 0.244 of a second off the pace, and has much success at his home circuit; he earned his first-ever AMA race there in the former 750 class, and the 2005 and 2006 MotoGP races there, the latter was won en route to his only MotoGP title (Repsol Honda).
When second 45-minute free practice sessions were complete Friday, the top 13 riders were within a second of each other, once again showing how tight the competition is this season.Fourth went to Sykes, who struggled in the opening session. The 2013 World Superbike Champion finished ahead of the FP1 leader, Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes, and Davies’ teammate Davide Giugliano, who claimed the best lap at Laguna Seca in 2014 (under race conditions, 1:23.403). Last year Giugliano crashed hard at Laguna, so he’ll be looking to redeem himself.Finishing seventh overall Friday was Althea BMW S1000RR pilot Jordi Torres, who finished ahead of IodaRacing Aprilia Lorenzo Savadori, a World Superbike rookie. Rounding out the top 10 were Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavi Fores and Pata Yamaha’s Niccolo Canepa, who is substituting for the injured Sylvain Guintoli.The 24-rider World SBK grid returns to Laguna Seca Saturday for another free practice ahead of qualifying, which begins at 11:30 P.T. The first race follows at 2:30, and race 2 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday.Photos by Ara Ashjian
2016 Laguna Seca World SBK Friday Practice – Photo Gallery
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!