Leon Haslam bounced back from his tough weekend in Misano to top the timesheets during day one of the official WSB test at Imola.
Onboard the Alstare Suzuki GSXR, Haslam and his team finally got to the bottom of the engine braking problem that saw him finish in eighth place in race one on Sunday while continuing to work on the set-up of his new specification ‘push rod’ Ohlins front forks.
Haslam posted an impressive 1.47.966, almost one second under the current lap record set by Noriyuki Haga in 2009 and a massive 1.625s quicker than his previous best lap time of the circuit when he rode the Stiggy Honda last season.
Speaking to MCN, Haslam said: “The times have come reasonably easy with one of the new Pirelli tyres, but even on the standard race tyres I can do consistent low 1.48’s even after ten laps on the tyre.
“I’m happy with the lap time so far, but it’s difficult to know just how hard everyone is pushing. It’s good to be testing again as it gives us time to try things that we don’t get a chance to when we’re at the races.”
Cal Crutchlow pushed Haslam all the way in the final minutes of the session and nearly set the fastest time with his final lap of the day. Crutchlow made a number of changes to his R1 including revised weight distribution in an effort to improve grip on the exit of corners.
It was a good day for Ducati with Michel Fabrizio setting the third fastest time and team-mate Noriyuki Haga securing an unexpected fourth. Haga is not known for his testing pace, but clearly found a good feeling with the new Pirelli development tyres which enabled him to run at the front.
Althea Ducati men Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne didn’t get access to the new generation tyres because they are not an official test team. The two men set their times on standard race rubber finishing ninth and 11th respectively.
Jonathan Rea had a positive day after his nightmare, chatter filled, weekend in Misano. The 23 year old set the fifth fastest time having benefitted from revised suspension settings and riding on a track that clearly does not cause the levels of chatter experienced by the team at Miller and Misano.
Tom Sykes was impressive onboard his factory Kawasaki ZX10R to finish in tenth with James Toseland having a frustrating day working on electronics in 12th and Leon Camier 16th during his first visit to the track.
1 91 HASLAM Leon (GBR) Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 SBK 1'49.048 1'47.966 1'47.966 85
2 35 CRUTCHLOW Cal (GBR) Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1'49.365 1'47.976 1'47.976
3 84 FABRIZIO Michel (ITA) Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R SBK 1'48.670 1'48.306 1'48.306
4 41 HAGA Noriyuki (JPN) Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098R SBK 1'50.417 1'48.835 1'48.835
5 65 REA Jonathan (GBR) HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1'49.735 1'48.839 1'48.839
6 11 CORSER Troy (AUS) BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR SBK 1'49.630 1'49.141 1'49.141
7 111 XAUS Ruben (ESP) BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR SBK 1'50.038 1'49.144 1'49.144
8 3 BIAGGI Max (ITA) Aprilia Alitalia Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK 1'49.412 1'49.184 1'49.184
9 7 CHECA Carlos (ESP) Althea Racing Ducati 1098R SBK 1'49.787 1'49.221 1'49.221
10 66 SYKES Tom (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R SBK 1'50.495 1'49.411 1'49.411
11 67 BYRNE Shane (GBR) Althea Racing Ducati 1098R SBK 1'49.611 1'50.620 1'49.611
12 52 TOSELAND James (GBR) Yamaha Sterilgarda Team Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1'50.579 1'49.663 1'49.663
13 50 GUINTOLI Sylvain (FRA) Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 SBK 1'50.153 1'49.957 1'49.957
14 76 NEUKIRCHNER Max (GER) HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1'51.495 1'50.096 1'50.096
15 23 PARKES Broc (AUS) ECHO CRS Honda Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1'50.160 1'50.112 1'50.112
16 2 CAMIER Leon (GBR) Aprilia Alitalia Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK 1'50.555 1'50.142 1'50.142
17 77 VERMEULEN Chris (AUS) Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX 10R SBK 1'51.862 1'50.706 1'50.706
18 54 SOFUOGLU Kenan (TUR) HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR600RR SSP 1'52.450 1'51.967 1'51.967
19 26 LASCORZ Joan (ESP) Kawasaki Motocard.com Kawasaki ZX-6R SSP 1'52.792 1'52.270 1'52.270
20 86 BADOVINI Ayrton (ITA) BMW Motorrad Italia STK BMW S1000 RR ST10 1'53.081 1'52.375 1'52.375
21 51 PIRRO Michele (ITA) HANNspree Ten Kate Honda Honda CBR600RR SSP 1'53.859 1'52.867 1'52.867
22 20 BARRIER Sylvain (FRA) Garnier Junior Racing BMW S1000 RR ST10 1'52.876 1'53.458 1'52.876
23 21 BERGER Maxime (FRA) Ten Kate Race Junior Honda CBR1000RR ST10 1'54.210 1'53.146 1'53.146
24 87 ZANETTI Lorenzo (ITA) SS Lazio Motorsport Ducati 1098R ST10 1'54.496 1'53.616 1'53.616
25 29 BERETTA Daniele (ITA) BMW Motorrad Italia STK BMW S1000 RR ST10 1'54.574 1'53.622 1'53.622
26 6 BAZ Loris (FRA) MRS Racing Yamaha YZF R1 ST10 1'55.036 1'54.835 1'54.835