As testing ends at Phillip Island
Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki) scored the fastest time of all three days of testing today, despite temperatures that climbed to 38°C, as Phillip Island felt the full weight of an Aussie summer.
His 1'32.1 just beat the previous
best, set by Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) but that was the least of the 2001 and 2006 champion's worries, after he fell at the bottom of MG and broke his right collarbone. Bayliss was in the process of overtaking another rider, but when he realised he could not make the pass, he got on the rear brake and was highsided off.
Initial X-Rays at Melbourne Hospital are not 100% conclusive, as the bones are not displaced, but circuit medics say his injury should be healed in around 21 days - enough time for Bayliss to be fit for the start of the season.
Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), Fonsi Nieto (Alstare Suzuki) and Ruben Xaus (Ducati Sterilgarda Go-Eleven) all shared the lap time of 1'32.3, ensuring that there should be close and intense competition when the season kicks off in Qatar on 23 February. Only one tenth of a second behind this trio of talent came Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia), the 2007 season runner up. Yamaha were testing their variable intake system at PI and should race with it in 2008.
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) was the early pace maker in the previous Qatar tests, but this time around he was not quite in with the fastest, but still only 0.0.6 seconds from Kagayama's best time over three days. The second Ducati Sterilgarda Go Eleven rider Max Biaggi had a good test, despite Ducati twin-cylinder power being a new experience for him, and the multiple 250GP champion set a 1'32.8, only 0.7 seconds from the very fastest.
Regis Laconi (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) could not improve on his best of 1'33.0 today, but that was still an impressive time for such a relatively new ZX-10R machine, in its first real test against the very best of its rivals. Makoto Tamada (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) made great leaps in his set-up and pace today, setting a 1'33.4, almost two seconds up on his earlier marks. Illness affected Max Neukirchner's entire test, and thus the Alstare Suzuki rider only scored a best time of 1'35.5.
Broc Parkes (Yamaha WSSP Team) shaved two tenths of a second from his best time from day two to leave the tests the fastest man, his 1'34.6 a clear 0.4 seconds faster than Hannspree Ten Kate Honda duo Andrew Pitt and Jonathan Rea.
On the new Yamaha R6, 2007 PI WSS race winner Fabien Foret (Yamaha WSSP Team) made adjustments in set-up to take him to a new best of 1'35.
2, while the man who took his GIL Kawasaki ride over, Katsuaki Fujiwara, was top man in green, securing a best of 1'35.6. Fujiwara's new team-mate Chris Walker proved to have good WSS skills at such an early stage in his first WSS season, setting a best of 1'35.7, equalled by local hero Josh Brookes (Stiggy Motorsports Honda).
Garry McCoy (Triumph Caracchi) set a best of 1'35.9, with Robbin Harms propping up the times, on a 1'36.4.
SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP- TIMES COMBINED
1. Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki) 1'32”1
2. Bayliss (AUS-Ducati) 1'32”2
3. Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati) 1'32”3
4. Xaus (ESP-Ducati) 1'32”3
5. Nieto (ESP-Suzuki) 1'32”3
6. Haga (JPN-Yamaha) 1'32”4
7. Corser (AUS-Yamaha) 1'32”7
8. Biaggi (ITA-Ducati) 1'32”8
9. Laconi (FRA-Kawasaki) 1'33”0
10. Tamada (JPN-Kawasaki) 1'33”4
11. Neukirchner (GER-Suzuki) 1'35”5
SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - TIMES COMBINED
1. Parkes (AUS-Yamaha) 1'34”6
2. Rea (GBR-Honda) 1'35”0
3. Pitt (AUS-Honda) 1'35”0
4. Foret (FRA-Yamaha) 1'35”2
5. Fujiwara (JPN-Kawasaki) 1'35”6
6. Walker (GBR-Kawasaki) 1'35”7
7. Brookes (AUS-Honda) 1'35”7
8. McCoy (AUS-Triumph) 1'35”9
9. Harms (DEN-Honda) 1'36”4
SBK Press Office