The Yamaha Italia pairing of Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga ended the opening day of the official World Superbike test in Qatar in first and second position riding the 2007 specification R1.
Corser was the only man to dip under the 2minute bracket with an impressive 1m59.6s lap despite poor conditions which saw high winds blow sand onto the racing line.
Corser also gave his 2008 specification R1 a brief test and set a 2m.01.4 within three laps of being on track.
Corser said: “It took a bit of time for the track to clean up but the conditions definitely improved. I did most my laps on the 2007 bike and it was a case of just getting up to speed after not being on the bike for a few weeks.
"We had some new tyres from Pirelli to try which gave us some more grip in places so that was positive.
“By the end of the day we were pretty much back to where we finished the season which was good. Now I’ll back to back with the new bike and hopefully we can carry on moving forward.”
Fellow Australian Troy Bayliss made an impressive debut on the new Ducati 1098R to end the opening day in third place just one second off Corser’s best time.
Bayliss initially spent the day bedding in new parts lapping in the 2m 06s bracket, but as conditions improved so did his feeling on the bike and he slashed his lap time to 2m00.6 during his 48 laps on the bike.
Spaniard Fonsi Nieto was another man to impress with a best lap of 2m01.00. Nieto got his first ride on the bike in Valencia three weeks ago and picked up where he left off onboard the 2007 spec factory Alstare Suzuki.
Ducati’s new signing Michel Fabrizio was happy with his performance onboard the 1098R F08. Fabrizio has ridden for Honda for the last two seasons, but quickly made the transition to the 1200cctwin to post a 2m.01.6 during his 36 laps.
Yukio Kagayama claimed the sixth fastest time with a 2m01.9s lap with Ten Kate Honda’s lone rider Kenan Sofuoglu in seventh with a 2m02.2.