Checa sits on top after first day of testing at Phillip Island Phillip Island, Sunday 21 February 2010 Privateer Ducati rider Carlos Checa set the quickest time of the first day of track action at the official tests in Phillip Island, taking...
Checa sits on top after first day of testing at Phillip Island
Phillip Island, Sunday 21 February 2010
Privateer Ducati rider Carlos Checa set the quickest time of the first day of track action at the official tests in Phillip Island, taking his Althea Ducati to a 1'31.959 lap time. His pace was less than one second slower than the track best in this class, 1'31.050, which was set in qualifying for the 2009 race.
The official Ducati Xerox machine of Michel Fabrizio was second quickest in the opening sessions, 0.390 seconds behind the flying Checa around the 4.445km circuit in Victoria.
Both top riders set their best times in the afternoon session, when track surface temperatures reached, 46o.C, but in the slightly cooler morning session Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) was still fast enough for third in the combined times, with Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) fourth.
Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) pushed his machine to fifth place, just over half a second behind leader Checa, while another British rider, Shane Byrne (Ducati Althea) was sixth.
After suffering many injuries in 2009, Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) proved himself fast and focused on day one, going seventh, heading off Max Biaggi, on the leading Aprilia Alitalia machine.
A top day for the private Ducatis in general saw Jakub Smrz ninth on his Pata B&G Racing 1098R, while DFX Ducati rider Lorenzo Lanzi rounded out the top ten.
Leading Yamaha rider was James Toseland (Sterilgarda Yamaha) 11th quickest while the top Kawasaki lap was set by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 13th fastest of 23 riders.
Top local rider proved to be Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and the local favourite was also the highest ranked BMW competitor, in 14th.
Carlos Checa: "A very good start, quite positive. We didn't expect this performance this early and especially not at this track, which is not easy. But we know that the Ducati can work quite well here and we arrived in Phillip Island after a quite good job in testing at Valencia. The team's understanding of the bike is good, and also they helped me a lot to understand how to ride this bike in the right way. The feeling on the bike is special and so far it is a good experience to ride it."
Michel Fabrizio: "We went quite well but the pace of Carlos Checa was very, very fast. I have a new engineer and we are working well. We made things better as we changed more and more on the bike but we just ran out of time in the afternoon session. We did not so bad, and I am sure we can improve tomorrow if the conditions remain good."
Sofuoglu back in the mix at full pace
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu proved the fastest Supersport World Championship rider on display on the first day of Phillip Island testing, thanks to his morning time of 1'34.691. He was very close to his own track best of 1'34.320 with his opening day time, and has one more day to try and improve his pace even more.
Katsuaki Fujiwara's 1'35.042 was enough for second overall, and also enough to hold off his team-mate Joan Lascorz.
Although Lascorz was the fastest rider in the afternoon session, it was run at a slower pace than the morning outings.
Michele Pirro was displaced to fourth by Lascorz's late improvement, but he was still ahead of Fabien Foret, Eugene Laverty and two-times champion Sebastien Charpentier. 'Seb' was fastest Triumph BE-1 rider today, as he makes a comeback to the class in 2010.
Triumph BE1 rider David Salom improved to eighth, Miguel Praia jumping up to ninth on his Parkalgar Honda.