Byrne Supremacy Remains On Changeable Final Day The last day of World Superbike Championship official testing at Portimao was once again affected by adverse weather conditions, and thus the absolute best times of the entire test were largely...
Byrne Supremacy Remains On Changeable Final Day
The last day of World Superbike Championship official testing at Portimao was once again affected by adverse weather conditions, and thus the absolute best times of the entire test were largely set on the second day, leaving Shane Byrne as the new track best pace setter on his private Sterilgarda Ducati.
"I didn't expect to be fastest in the test to be honest but I'm not surprised" declared 'Shakey'. "The bike's working really well and the relationship and feedback with the team and my engineer is great. This Superpole formula is not new for me, we tried something similar in the last few BSB races. It's really exciting and spectacular and I'm sure it'll look good on TV as well".
Only two top riders improved their weekend times today, Troy Corser, who was finally ranked an impressive 11th on the all-new BMW four-cylinder, and Max Biaggi on the vee four Aprilia, who went 18th.
With new rules in place for both Superpole qualifying and flag-to-flag races each was given a trial run today.
In Superpole there will now be 20 riders in the qualifying group, which then drops to 16, then eight in the final 12-minute session, which determines the pole setter. The top 20 riders from this weekend's sessions went forward to practice this discipline today, with great success, and the new format of final grid qualifying is anticipated with relish by all.
The flag-to-flag practice was included in the very last practice session of all three days, with riders coming in to change to their spare bikes when the signal was given, without any interruption of the simulated race session.
Many of the top teams now leave Portimao to get to Phillip Island well in advance of the race, to undergo their own private test sessions before the start of the season, in just over one month's time.
After less than ideal weather conditions intervened on the final day of Supersport testing the best times for all 29 riders were set on the second day, leaving Spaniard Joan Lascorz (Provec Motocard Kawasaki) the fastest rider of all. The all-new Kawasaki ZX-6R was followed home by the Yamaha R6 of class rookie Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport Team), then 2007 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) who was fastest today, but third quickest overall. Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) was half a second from the quickest testing time in fourth, while 2008 champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) rounded out the top five. The first ranked Suzuki was the Pioneer Hoegee GSX-R600 of Barry Veneman, seventh, while the top Triumph 675 was Gianluca Nannelli's BE1 triple, ninth but third in today's changeable sessions. High winds were also a feature, with riders having to allow for their changes of direction and intensity, which also held down lap times today. The highest lap count, over all three weather affected days, was 114 for Patrick Vostarek's Czech Intermoto Honda.