Crash.Net WSBK News
Laverty quickest as 'unofficial' test begins
14 February 2013
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Eugene Laverty got his 2013 World Superbike campaign off to a positive start by topping the 'unofficial' timesheets at the end of a day's free testing at Phillip Island.
Two days of unofficial testing at the Australian venue is taking place ahead of next week's official test on the 18-19th February and the opening round of the 2013 season on 22-24th February, the riders taking the opportunity to get to grips with the circuit's resurfaced tarmac.
Though no official timing facilities were in place, Laverty was unofficially listed as the quickest rider with a time of 1min 31.7secs on the factory Aprilia RSV4, two tenths faster than Leon Camier, who was an impressive second quickest despite missing part of the day due to a crash.
After a successful day dialling in the electronics on the Pata Honda, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam were a positive third and fourth best, both three tenths behind Laverty, while Marco Melandri led the BMW contingent in fifth place.
Behind them, Sylvain Guintoli prepared for his official Aprilia debut in sixth, ahead of rookie rider Jules Cluzel, who joined Fixi Crescent Suzuki team-mate Camier in making a strong impression despite also suffering a fall.
Davide Giugliano showed off his now-liveried Aprilia RSV4 in eighth place, while Ducati will be encouraged to see Ayrton Badovini and Max Neukirchner just over a second off the ultimate pace on their respective Alstare and MR 1199 Panigales in ninth and tenth.
In all, 14 riders would take part in the test with Chaz Davies, Loris Baz, Michel Fabrizio and Tom Sykes bringing up the rear, the latter missing most of the day after a dramatic accident at Siberia left him nursing a painful wrist (see separate story).
Also missing was Carlos Checa, who has been forced to sit out this test due to a stomach bug
Pedercini Kawasaki duo Alexander Lundh and Federico Sandi, Ivan Clementi and Vittorio Iannuzzo will join the ranks next week, while Glenn Allerton and Jamie Stauffer will compete as wild-cards.