Kyalami Test: Michel Fabrizio finishes on top

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Xerox Ducati man Michel Fabrizio maintained his dominance of the three day Kyalami test by topping the time sheets for the third consecutive day.

The young Italian has been in sublime form throughout the three days and clearly found an affinity with the fast and undulating South African circuit along with the latest specification 2009 Ducati.

American Ben Spies showed once again that he is the real deal and left the test in second position and fully satisfied with his progress throughout the three days. In only the second test on the all new R1 the team are confident that there is still a lot more to come from the new bike and by the next test in January the complete package will be even stronger.

Noriyuki Haga rectified his three crashes on day one in the best possible way by upping his pace dramatically on the final day to post the third fastest time. The factory Ducati team now leave the circuit with a list of changes they need to make to the bike which they believe will provide a massive boost to Haga in time for the opening round of the championship in Phillip Island.

Britain Jonathan Rea had a sensational first test onboard the Ten Kate Honda Superbike and ended the final day in fourth place having held second spot for the majority of the day.

Behind Rea was Ten Kate team-mate Carlos Checa who upped his pace significantly on day three to move into the top five.

Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama didn’t improve as much as expected on qualifying rubber but finished the test an impressive sixth and seventh onboard the 2009 specification GSXR-1000.

Aprilia men Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano overcame a number of technical problems on the final day, which left them with only one bike each to post times just over a second off the pace in only their second ride on the bike.

Ryuichi Kiyonari completed the most laps of anyone including a 23 lap race run in the final hour of the test, but was unable to post that one single fast lap time, which meant he finished the test in a disappointing tenth spot.

Troy Corser was satisfied with his and BMW’s performance throughout the three days. Despite a crash today, the Australian finished just 1.4 seconds off pole and was as fast on race rubber as he was when he used a qualifying tyre.

Tom Sykes improved his time again today, but also suffered a big crash that left him limping. The Yamaha Italia rider is still feeling the effects of the sickness and flu bug, but remains fully confident in his bike and team.

Ruben Xaus rounded off the field with a lap time of 1m 41.996 set on race rubber.

1. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1m 39.714
2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1m 39.978
3. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1m 39.984
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1m 40.035
5. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1m 40.170
6. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1m 40.394
7. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m 40.657
8. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1m 40.768  
9. Shinya Nakano (Aprilia) 1m 40.968
10. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1m 41.067
11. Troy Corser (BMW) 1m 41.102
12. Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 1m 41.562
13. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1m 41.996

Kenan Sofuoglu proved he could be unstoppable next year with an incredible 1m 42.872 lap time on the final day. The young Turk is clearly delighted to be back on a Supersport bike and his lap time is a warning shot to the rest of the WSS paddock especially considering that he was over a second faster than newly crowned WSS champions and team-mate Andrew Pitt.

1. Kenan Sofuoglu (Honda) 1m 42.872
2. Andrew Pitt (Honda) 1m 43.908

Michael Guy in Kyalami

By Michael Guy in Kyalami