WSB Phillip Island: Bayliss sets early pace
Troy Bayliss continued where he left off from last months WSB test in Qatar by setting the pace on the opening day of the three day Pirelli test at Phillip Island. Riding the Xerox Ducati 1098 F08, Bayliss set his best lap of 1m 32.5s during the morning session when the track temperature was cooler and the Pirelli tyres give more grip.
Bayliss and his factory Ducati team spent the majority of the day lapping on Pirelli’s hardest rear tyre giving them the opportunity to complete long runs whilst making chassis and geometry changes in an effort to improve Bayliss’ feeling on the new bike.
Second fastest time went to Noriyuki Haga onboard the Yamaha R1. Haga lapped within 0.3 seconds of Bayliss after testing the variable inlet trumpets that are fitted as standard on the road going R1.
Yukio Kagayama impressed with his 1m 32.9s lap onboard the Alstare Suzuki GSXR-1000. Kagayama was back to his aggressive best having largely recovered from injuries he sustained to his wrist and knee during the 2007 season.
Alstare Suzuki team-mate Fonsi Nieto continued his impressive transition to the factory team by posting the fourth fastest whilst third Alstare man Max Neukirchner had problem with his electronics and finished up ninth with a 1m 35.0s second lap on non development Pirelli’s.
Troy Corser made a slow start by his standards with the fifth fastest time having spent the opening day working through the range of new tyres available to the Pirelli development teams.
Max Biaggi made a promising start to his new career with the Sterilgarda Ducati team. Riding the 1098 F08 for the first time, the Italian took his typically methodical approach to continually improve, with his best time coming at the end of the day. Sterilgarda team –mate Ruben Xaus clearly enjoyed his time on the new Ducati 1098 F08 and was full of praise for the new bike after matching the lap time of Biaggi.
The Kawasaki duo of Regis Laconi and Makoto Tamada had a steady start onboard the all new ZX-10R. Laconi eventually set a 1m34.0s lap to stay in contention with the leaders whilst Tamada posted a 1m35.8s lap in his first full time ride on a Superbike.
Troy Bayliss - 1m 32.5
Noriyuki Haga - 1m 32.8
Yukio Kagayama – 1m32.9
Fonsi Nieto - 1m 33.4
Troy Corser - 1m 33.4
Max Biaggi - 1m33.5
Ruben Xaus - 1m 33.5
Regis Laconi – 1m 34.0
Max Neukirchner – 1m 35.0
Makoto Tamada – 1m35.8