Factory Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty topped the timsheets on the first day of unofficial testing at Phillip Island, lapping around a second off Carlos Checa’s pole record from 2011 but he was chased hard by the Fixi Suzuki of Leon Camier.
Laverty’s best time was 1’31.7, with Camier shrugging off a crash in the morning (click here) to only be two-tenths slower and the Pata Honda brace of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam a couple of tenths further in arrears.
It was not a good day for Tom Sykes who was pinged off his Kawasaki and taken to hospital (click here). Camier’s team-mate Jules Cluzel was also injured after his second crash of the day at the same corner as Camier and had to have a gash on his elbow stitched up.
"I had a really good feeling on my first time here on a Superbike, but I had a big crash in turn 11 - it was so big I think it should now be ‘Cluzel Corner’! I lost the rear really quickly and it took me by surprise, because I don’t really know what happened. The guys repaired the bike quickly because it was very damaged and they made sure I could ride at the end," said Cluzel.
"I then had a second crash in the same place and I cannot say anything about it. It was also very surprising and although it was a less aggressive crash it opened the cut on my elbow. The feeling on the bike was really nice though and the GSX-R is easy to ride. After the first crash I had some good lap-times and I paid more attention to the track and so I was really confused why I crashed in the same place. I need to understand why this happened, maybe it is a certain style that I need to learn to ride the Superbike and especially in this corner - I don’t know yet!"
Sykes’ team-mate Loris Baz launched his ZX-10R to spectacular effect and had to wait for it to be re-built while Althea Ducati’s Checa did not ride as he has a stomach ailment.
World Superbike Phillip Island test day one - conditions dry
1 Eugene Laverty Factory Aprilia 1’31.7
2 Leon Camier Fixi Suzuki 1’31.9
3 Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 1’32.0
4 Leon Haslam Pata Honda 1’32.0
5 Marco Melandri Goldbest BMW 1’32.2
6 Sylvain Guintoli Factory Aprilia 1’32.3
7 Jules Cluzel Fixi Suzuki 1’32.4
8 Davide Guigliano Althea Aprilia 1’32.7
9 Ayrton Badovini Alstare Ducati 1’32.8
10 Max Neukirchner Ducati 1’32.9
11 Chaz Davies Goldbet BMW 1’33.0
12 Loris Baz Factory Kawasaki 1’33.2
13 Michel Fabrizio Red Devls Aprilia 1’33.7
14 Tom Sykes Factory Kawasaki 1’34.5
Times are unofficial