Shane Byrne tops final day of Parkalgar test

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Shane Byrne made a seriously impressive start to his World Superbike career by topping the time sheets in the two day test at the Parkalgar circuit in Portugal.

The newly crowned BSB champion set a stunning 1m43.6s lap onboard his Sterilgarda Ducati during the final afternoon of the test.

Byrne’s lap time was significantly nearly a full second faster than either Max Biaggi or Ruben Xaus managed during the race weekend, which left the Italian team ecstatic at the Englishman’s performance.

Second position went to the 24 year old American Ben Spies. Riding the all new 2009 Yamaha R1, Spies posted an impressive 1m43.9s lap after spending the majority of the second day on the new bike.

Max Biaggi took just over 3/10ths off his first day best to finish the test in third place after setting a 1m 44.1s best. The Italian left the circuit satisfied with his and the bikes performance and with a clear focus for development in the future.

Tom Sykes continued to learn the circuit and adapt to a new bike and team and ended the day fourth, but much closer to the leaders with a 1m 44.3s lap. His time was set onboard the 2008 bike although he also spent time on the 2009 machine.

Leon Haslam declared that he was happy with his progress onboard the Stiggy Honda Superbike. With only one, former Vent Axia VK Honda at their disposal, Haslam and team-mate Roberto Rolfo shared the bike with the Brit only getting the morning session when the track temperature was down to set his best lap.

Supersport was once again dominated by Cal Crutchlow who absolutely decimated the rest of the field with an unprecedented 1m 44.9s lap. The former BSB front runner was posting times fast enough to be on the pace in Superbike and understandably left Portugal in high spirits for the forthcoming season.

Shane Byrne (Ducati) – 1m 43.6s
Ben Spies – (Yamaha 09) – 1m 43.9s
Max Biaggi – (Aprilia) – 1m44.1s
Tom Sykes – (Yamaha 08) – 1m 44.3s
Leon Haslam – (Honda) – 1m 44.7s
Roberto Rolfo – (Honda) 1m 45.0s
Regis Laconi – (Honda) 1m 45.5

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider