In Kyalami testing
Michel Fabrizio once again set the pace for Ducati Xerox on the second day of Pirelli tyre development tests at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa.
The young Italian clocked a time of 1 minute 40.256 seconds, one second beneath his day 1 time
and some way quicker than the circuit's previous Superbike lap records which date back to 2002.
“I'm not entirely satisfied today either because I made a small mistake on my good lap, otherwise I'm convinced I could have got below the 1'40'' mark”, declared the 24 year-old from Rome.
The battle for second place behind Fabrizio was fast and furious, and it eventually went to German Max Neukirchner on the 2009-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000K9. Ducati's new signing Noriyuki Haga finally dialled into the leaders' pace after three crashes yesterday to end up with third quickest time.
On a day in which temperatures soared to a torrid 31°C and 47°C on track, fourth place went to the talented 23 year-old from Northern Ireland, Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), this year's Supersport championship runner-up.
After a stunning performance yesterday, the second day proved to be less fortunate for Ben Spies, Yamaha's American rookie signing, who crashed out harmlessly at Turn 6: his R1 machine was severely damaged and the Texan finished the day early. Carlos Checa and Rea were two other riders who crashed out today.
With the top nine riders in the space of eight-tenths of a second, Superbike is shaping up to be ultra-competitive.
Aprilia are already in the leading group with their RSV4, Nakano currently lying sixth and Biaggi ninth, while development work is continuing on the BMW S1000RR machines of Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus on their first major testing appearance.
Day 2 times:
1. Fabrizio (Ita-Ducati) 1'40”256 (44 laps)
2. Neukirchner (Ger-Suzuki) 1'40”688 (50)
3. Haga (Jpn-Ducati) 1'40”709 (53)
4. Rea (GB-Honda) 1'40”842 (40)
5. Kagayama (Jpn-Suzuki) 1'40”959 (52)
6. Nakano (Jpn-Aprilia) 1'40”968 (42)
7. Checa (Spa-Honda) 1'40”995 (31)
8. Spies (Usa-Yamaha) 1'41”049 (38)
9. Biaggi (Ita-Aprilia) 1'41”077 (56)
10. Kiyonari (Jpn-Honda) 1'41”412 (84)
11. Corser (Aus-Bmw) 1'41”986 (34)
12. Xaus (Spa-Bmw) 1'42”438 (40)
13. Sykes (GB-Yamaha) 1'42”933 (18)