Sykes flies over the trials in Aragon
The official Aprilia, BMW and Kawasaki World Superbike teams met on the Aragon track for two test days. Against the clock, the winner is indisputable: Sykes relegates the competition to one second. Report.
Technically, spring is not yet here: from a weather point of view, the temperatures are still cool and the wind is blowing strong, especially in Aragon (read) … But since the 2012 World Superbike season is about Now and already launched, the tests in which three official WSBK teams participated (Aprilia, BMW and Kawasaki) are not strictly speaking "winter"….
Yesterday therefore concluded two days of "spring" testing, both dominated by one and the same man: Tom Sykes. Extremely fast throughout the preparation for the new season, the English Ninja had confirmed the hopes of the Greens by winning pole position at Phillip Island (despite the).
The guy does it again by pulverizing – not officially for the moment – the track record set by Marco Melandri last year: 1’57.2 for the Englishman and his ZX-10R yesterday, against exactly 1’57.634 for the ‘Italian and his R1 during the 2011 Superpole event !
Ground Control to Major Tom…
And all on racing tires! By way of comparison, Leon Haslam (BMW) and Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki), tied for second in these last tests, are relegated to one second while Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri, winners of the 2011 heats on the same circuit, show a delay of more than a second and a half…
To increase the scale of his feat, Tom had taken care to fall heavily from day one: "I was a little stunned after my fall so my physical condition was not the best and it didn’t help me on the bike … It was just a small mistake, I caught the selector in a fast descending left", testifies n ° 66.
Fortunately, the stiffness in his neck and the bruises on his shoulders and hips should be gone in less than two weeks, when the WSBK caravan stops on the Imola track in Italy..
Which, on the other hand, certainly made it easier for the pilot – and his mechanics! -, it was the presence of a second motorcycle in the box: "we used two motorcycles for this test (against only one on race weekends in accordance with the new regulations, editor’s note) and that saved us a little time", recognizes Sykes.
"The feeling on the two bikes is the same and the general impression is great", indicates in passing the third in the provisional classification."If we can keep working like this, we can have a good season".
Even if Sykes and his Ninja still have to make progress over the whole race, the opponents are certainly starting to worry! "We increased our running pace", also pointed out Tom’s teammate, Joan Lascorz…
Leon Haslam nevertheless focused first on his right ankle, which had been operated on the day before the first qualifying practice at Phillip Island: "my leg is getting better and better, it is still a bit sore and I cannot walk yet, but it is much better than in Australia and it should be restored to almost 100% for Imola".
The n ° 91 even claims not to have focused on the lap times but rather on the new parts made available by BMW Motorrad. "I’m quite happy with the result", just concludes the" Pocket Rocket ".
Fifth, almost two seconds behind Sykes, Marco Melandri also plays the satisfied. His team would have done a good job on the engine and its electronics: "it seems more powerful in the towers and we have sought to improve the arrival of power".
Competition at a standstill ?
The Ravenna Hedgehog is equally delighted with the changes to the swingarm and chassis: "I’m sure we’re going in the right direction", officially affirms the BMW driver. And on his personal Twitter account, Marco is even more talkative…
After "tweeting" the first day that the tests were good but he had "still struggling", the famous n ° 33 released last night:"everything is ready for the battle of Imola! The tests went well, for the first time I felt good on the BMW ! (Then, addressing his motorcycle loaded in the truck, Editor’s note), Have a good trip baby !".
In the absence of a press release from the Aprilia team, it is on the side of the little blue bird that it is also necessary to turn to hear from the other pilot that the Italians are waiting for at home in less than two weeks: Max Biaggi !
"The tests in Aragon are over", said the five-time world champion yesterday:"i tried a new engine and so far everything is fine. I will only use it from Monza"… Understand: the all-time record of 334.8 km / h set by its RSV4 last year should not last !
"We improved our lap times but Sykes flies", concluded the new addict to Twitter. Connected for less than a month, the dashing forty-something" shoots "more and more: in the paddocks during the tests, after a dinner with his friend Jorge Lorenzo … When will a video on board the RSV4 ?!
For his part, Eugene Laverty is reassuring about the state of his bruised hand during winter testing: "it was much better on the track today. I am happy that my hand fits well on the bike and that it is ready for the second round in Imola".
Finally, Leonardo Mercado found the track: removed from the circuits this winter and forced to forfeit the opening round, the newcomer to Kawasaki Pedercini turned more than three seconds behind Sykes.
"I’m starting to understand electronics well enough to use it", explains the Argentinian pilot entered last year in Superstock 1000. His teammate David Salom was satisfied with a few loops to check the condition of his injured wrist in Australia.
Next meetings on Saturday March 31 for the Superpole, and the next day for the two Superbike races, as well as the Supersport one … To be followed almost directly on the Site: stay connected !
WSBK tests in Aragon on March 18-19, 2012
- Tom sykes (Kawasaki): 1’57.2
- Leon haslam (BMW): 1’58.2
- Joan lascorz (Kawasaki): 1’58.2
- Max Biaggi (Aprilia): 1’58.8
- Marco melandri (BMW): 1’59.1
- Eugene Laverty (Aprilia): 1’59.5
- Leonardo Mercado (Kawasaki): 2’00.9
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