WSBK – First lap of the 2010 Superbike season –

First lap of the 2010 Superbike season

WSBK - First lap of the 2010 Superbike season -

Ben Spies has just been crowned world champion and is preparing to pack his bags for MotoGP, that his little comrades are already sharpening their weapons to succeed him! Jonathan Rea is the fastest on his Honda… For the moment.

Two days after the grand finale of the 2009 season which led to the coronation of the phenomenal rookie Ben Spies (read), the Portimao circuit was the scene of the very first tests of the 2010 season….

At the head of the two days of racing, Johnny Rea confirms that he will have to rely on him and his CBR1000RR Ten Kate next year. The times announced by the organization not being official, Ben Spies keeps the track record … But given the times achieved by "JR" and his little comrades, it should not last !

The Irishman at n ° 65 assures us that, from his point of view, "the great thing is that there is so much potential left: it makes me very confident for next season"! Author of a superb 1 ‘41.878, Rea improved his qualifying time by almost a second and beat Spies pole by half a second"established on qualif ‘softer tires", do not forget to specify his team.

His new teammate, Max Neukirchner, ranks 10th in these tests: an honorable performance from the German rider (ex-Suzuki Alstare) who had not ridden on a Superbike since his injury at Imola in July !

The No. 76, who posted around 140 laps – the fastest of which was 1 ‘43.549 – and completed a series of 16 laps in a row, admits that he is not yet in top form but claims he has "already a good feeling with the bike and the team".

Missed from its 2009 season, will the revelation of the 2008 championship be able to bounce back in 2010 with its new mount? "The second day I felt the rhythm go up, lap after lap", rejoices Neukirchner … Driver to follow !

Second fastest time, Michel Fabrizio was able to test new apparently very interesting suspension elements … Indeed, "with the 2009 configuration of the bike but the new rear shock absorber I immediately gained half a second", warns the young Roman !

For his part, Noriyuki Haga was satisfied with the 7th fastest time: "I’m happy with how the tests went but to be honest I’m ready to go home because it’s been a long week", testifies Nitro Nori who had, once again, to give up the world title for a handful of points…

The Japanese n ° 41 is not dejected so far: if he did not find the new Ohlins fork very different from its current model, he does however signal that the new "made in Bologna" clutch has potential..

Behind Haga’s teammate, in 3rd position, is already the reigning Supersport world champion: Cal Crutchlow! Replacing Sykes – we will estimate for the moment that Toseland is the replacement for the "Number One" Spies – within the Yamaha Sterilgarda team, the English obviously had no problem switching from the R6 to the R1 !

To get his excellent time, the n ° 35 did not spare himself: he thus made a mistake on the first day but fortunately did not hurt himself. More careful, his compatriot and teammate James Toseland is less well placed on the shelves but is just as satisfied with his first tests on the Yamaha Superbike.

"I like the bike, it is so different from what I’m used to (the M1 of the Tech 3 team in Grand Prix, Editor’s note), it takes a little while to tame the beast! When you ride a heavier motorcycle, you have to take time to find the limits", note n ° 52.

Unlike Cal, James absolutely could not afford to fall: indeed, he still has one race to go this season, that of November 9 in Valencia. A certain Ben Spies will line up at the start of this final: will "Elbowz" manage to beat the one he (and "who") replaces ?

"I looked at Ben’s times in the race and after two days on the bike we are almost a second faster which makes me quite satisfied.", coward James … Attention" Dji Ti ": the response of the Texan in a week in Spain could be scathing !

Unlike Haga, Haslam was delighted to be back on track so quickly. The Englishman discovered his new mount, the GSX-R from the Alstare team, and ended up in 4th place in practice. Delighted, Leon however ran with a damaged left elbow – during the warm up on Sunday morning -. He should therefore be able to match or even beat the times of the best soon. !

Impressed by the bike but also by the team and the good atmosphere inside it, the ex-rider Honda Stiggy also broke his own records by one second: "of course, there is still a lot to learn: you just have to get started, progress again and again", provides n ° 91.

On the other side of the box, Sylvain Guintoli continues his training after taking part in the last racing weekend of the 2009 season with his new team: "one thing is for sure: after five days here i know the track pretty well !", jokes the French.

Eleventh fastest time over both days, our favorite n ° 50 gradually noticed the differences between his Gex in the English championship and that of the World Superbike. Like always, "there are good points and others that need to be improved"… And apparently Sylvain has no shortage of ideas !

Interlaced between Toseland and Neukirchner, Carlos Checa has taken the measure of his new companion: the 1098R. Although the Ducati on which he carried out his first tests "will not be exactly what we will use in the Championship in 2010", the Spaniard is satisfied with his first meeting.

"Most importantly, I realized that we have the basis and the potential to achieve very good results."Says the famous n ° 7. Disappointed with their results with their respective CBR1000RR in 2009, Carlos and the Althea team will be able to shine next year ?

Fifth and sixth, Max Biaggi and Leon Camier prove that the Aprilia RSV4 is among the best motorcycles on the grid. So, we can expect the "old" Italian lion and the English lion cub to animate some – all? – races in 2010.

We are more skeptical about the ZX-10R … Joan Lascorz, a Kawa ‘Supersport pilot who came to lend a hand to new recruit Tom Sykes, is only in 12th position. Chris Vermeulen did not turn on the Ninja: the officials of the Suzuki MotoGP team did not want him to take risks within 10 days of the MotoGP final.

Finally, let’s salute the great return of Regis Laconi at the controls of his Ducati 1098R prepared by Team DFX Corse. The courageous French pilot is classified in 17th and last position, synonymous for all his fans of first "victory" in this second career which seems to open to him … Bravo Regis !

Best times (unofficial) of the two test days in Portimao:


  1. Jonathan rea – Honda Ten Kate – 1 ‘41.878

  2. Michel Fabrizio – Ducati Xerox – 1 ‘41.992

  3. Cal crutchlow – Yamaha Sterilgarda – 1 ‘42.115

  4. Leon haslam – Suzuki Alstare – 1 ‘42.251

  5. Max Biaggi – Aprilia – 1 ‘42.71

  6. Leon camier – Aprilia – 1 ‘42.79

  7. Noriyuki Haga – Ducati Xerox – 1 ‘43.098

  8. James toseland – Yamaha Sterilgarda – 1 ‘43.147

  9. Carlos checa – Ducati Althea – 1 ‘43.425

  10. Max Neukirchner – Honda Ten Kate – 1 ‘43.549

  11. Sylvain Guintoli – Suzuki Alstare – 1 ‘43.612

  12. Joan lascorz – Kawasaki PBM – 1 ‘43.902

  13. Javier Fores – Ducati DFX – 1 ‘44.413

  14. Tom sykes – Kawasaki PBM – 1 ‘44.9

  15. Vittorio Iannuzzo – Honda Italia Squadra – 1 ‘44.908

  16. Alex hofmann – Aprilia – 1 ‘45.5

  17. Regis Laconi – Ducati DFX – 1 ‘46.458


  1. Kenan Sofuoglu – Honda Ten Kate – 1 ‘44.329

  2. Joan lascorz – Kawasaki Motocard – 1 ‘44.619

  3. Michele pirro – Honda Ten Kate – 1 ‘44.999

  4. Broc Parkes – Kawasaki – 1 ‘45.0

  5. Katsuaki Fujiwara – Kawasaki Motocard – 1 ‘45.875

  6. David salom – Kawasaki – 1 ‘46.2

  7. Gino rea – Yamaha – 1 ‘46.423

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