WSBK – The 2009 Mondial Superbike season promises to be hot! – Contrasting balance sheets

The 2009 Mondial Superbike season promises to be hot !

WSBK - The 2009 Mondial Superbike season promises to be hot! - Contrasting balance sheets

Of course, the cold and the rain disrupted the first tests of 2009 on the Portimao circuit in Portugal. Still, the new Mondial Superbike season promises to be hot … The fastest so far is Byrne. For the moment !

Contrasting balance sheets

In a second pocket square are two other major players from the previous World Superbike season: Carlos Checa and Max Neukirchner, respectively 5th and 6th in these tests !

Honda Ten Kate side, the Spaniard leaves Portugal a bit frustrated. Nobody can do anything against the elements and when it comes time to take stock, you sometimes have to dig around to find positive points…

"We have a good feeling of the motorcycle in the wet", Carlos attests …"But we would have had more to see if it had been dry", regrets the n ° 7, ex-star of MotoGP and 4th of the 2008 World Superbike championship.

"And then we lost the Sunday morning session because of another team which spilled oil on the circuit", adds a Checa who had not accustomed us to this" Calimero "tone … The arrival of new, very promising riders – including Jonathan Rea in his own team – would destabilize Carlos ?

At Suzuki Alstare, Max Neukirchner also regrets the lack of dry running but paints a much brighter picture of his Portuguese weekend. One can imagine that with the renewal of the GSX-R 1000, the work is more intense than at Honda, Kawasaki or Ducati whose models evolve less this season..

"We tested a lot of things like the chassis, traction control, anti-wheeling, engine, etc..", recites Max Neukirchner,"and we learned a lot from the new bike".

Revealed in 2007 and confirmed in 2008, the pilot’s talents of the young German will have to be matched this year with those of developer, even if in this department, the "old" Yukio Kagayama will be the trump card of the Belgian team. And besides, the ugly ugly who dropped a lot of oil on the track while falling, it’s him !

Second in the Superpole event, Neukirchner and his Suz ‘K9 make a strong impression but the n ° 76 admits that the level of competition is particularly high: "the times are very tight, the championship this year will be very difficult and it will be imperative to be consistent", notes Max.

It is also on this consistency that Jakub Smrz and his Guandalini Racing team will have to work this year. Extremely swift on a few circuits last year in practice sessions and Superpole, the Czech at No. 96 will have to confirm in the race. His 7th place in these tests should still be saluted.

Behind Fabrizio (8th, as we have seen), hide two young British people with very long teeth: Johny Rea and Leon Haslam. Both have already competed brilliantly against the drivers of the SBK World Cup last year as wild cards or substitutes.

Honda fans can therefore expect a lot of bangs from the n ° 65 and 91, especially "at home" at Donington Park on June 28th. No doubt they will have been talked about – for good – by then !

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