James Toseland has made an impressive start to the world Superbike winter testing season after he topped the timesheets at the first day of the major Valencia test taking place yesterday and today.
The British star, runner-up in WSB this year, set a best time of 1:34.7 at the test, well inside the WSB lap record and inside the Superpole qualifying time set at the WSB race held there this year.
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His performance is all the more impressive given that Valencia was the venue for arguably Honda’s poorest performance last year as all their riders struggled with traction problems all weekend – Toseland struggled to get into the top 10.
With sponsors Winston confirming their withdrawal from racing, the Ten Kate bikes – Robby Rolfo was on the second Blade – ran in blue and white logoless bodywork, with electronics firm Hannspree expected to be confirmed as sponsors after the end of the formal expiry of the Winston contract, January 1.
World champion Troy Bayliss was second quickest, 0.1s back, with his re-signed team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi just 0.1s back in third spot.
The last time James Toseland and Troy Bayliss were at Valencia, they were on MotoGP bikes, Toseland testing a Honda RC211V, while Bayliss dominated the last MotoGP race of the season on a Ducati Desmosedici.
Day one times:
James Toseland Honda 1:34.7
Troy Bayliss Ducati 1:34.8
Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati 1:34.9
Yukio Kagayama Suzuki 1:35.1
Max Biaggi Suzuki 1:35.2
Regis Laconi Kawasaki 1:35.4
Troy Corser Yamaha 1:35.6
Nori Haga Yamaha 1:35.8
Fonsi Nieto Kawasaki 1:35.8
Robby Rolfo Honda 1:37.4