Haslam and BMW in control on day one at Portimao test
BMW Motorrad rider Leon Haslam ended day one of the three day test at Portimao at the top of the time sheets. The 28 year old completed 56 laps and set a 1.43.6s best shortly before the circuit closed at 4pm local time.
Haslam was up to speed from the start of the day having spent three days testing his 2012 specification S1000RR at Jerez last week.
Speaking to MCN, he said: “It’s been a positive day. The test went well in Jerez and although this track is very different the bike has worked well here too. We’ve got new software for the electronics and it’s a definite improvement. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we have already improved the consistency.”
Factory BMW team-mate Marco Melandri finished just 0.1s behind Haslam but suffered a heavy crash at turn 10 in the final minutes of the session. Melandri escaped unhurt, but his bike will require a complete rebuild after cart wheeling through the gravel trap.
BMW Motorrad Italia rider Ayrton Badovini came close to matching his factory rivals by posting an impressive 1.43.8 onboard his 2012 spec S1000RR.
Aprilia men Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty both set 1.43.9’s the first time they have been out on track together. Laverty’s time was way off the impressive 1.42.4 he set first time out on the Aprilia in October and this was due to less than ideal track conditions compared to the test which took place two days after the final race of the year.
Biaggi was back to full fitness following the broken bone in his foot and was happy to be back on the bike and on the pace.
Chaz Davies made a promising start on his ParkinGO Aprilia by setting a 1.44.0. The resigning World Supersport champion suffered a slow speed crash at turn three, but was uninjured and buoyant about his pace first time out on track with his new WSB peers.
It was a frustrating day for Leon Camier and his Crescent Suzuki team who were plagued by a front brake problem which prevented him from completing anything close to the number of laps he wanted. Throughout the day he only managed 20 laps and due to the inconsistency and lack of outright power from his front brake, he was limited to very short runs, which were detrimental to his lap time.
Alistair Seeley initially worked on learning the undulating Portimao track and reacquainting himself with a Superbike ending the day with a 1.46.2s best onboard the second Crescent Suzuki.