Carlos Checa and Team Ducati Alstare on top as official test ends after mixed weather played a game in Australia today.
The afternoon session saw improved conditions and a consequent bettering of lap-times. Carlos Checa was fastest at the end of the day courtesy of a stunning lap-time of 1’31.059. The Alstare Ducati rider raised the bar of performances to a new level onboard his 1199 Panigale R, as both bike and track surface started to show their full potential.
Carlos Checa: “It’s nice to do the best lap time, with everybody in the same conditions, and it was a nice surprise for me. I honestly didn’t believe that we’d be at this level at this point. I like this track, it’s fast and flowing, which suits me and the Ducati, but I didn’t expect to be the quickest. Before this test, I thought we’d be about 7-8th. The team have worked really well and we’ve improved every time we’ve gone out. This bike is very reactive and it has not been so hard finding a good setting.”
Riders from 2nd to 5th place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) finished within 3 tenths of a second gap from the leader, with the top-11 all within a second.
Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) took part to today’s second session despite a strong flu. After being treated at the Medical Centre the 23 year old was able to get on track and eventually finished 7th, despite a slow-speed crash at Siberia Corner.
Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) got a taste of the gravel as he high-sided at the last turn of the track. The rookie from France escaped the heavy crash uninjured. Ayrton Badovini (Alstare Team Ducati) was on track this afternoon for a quick shakedown to check his fitness conditions. After ten laps completed in the morning, Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Ducati) decided to quit the test and go on his own to the hospital, for further medical examinations.