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Testing underway, Rea quickest

Jonathan Rea sets the pace as World Superbike testing gets underway in Portugal
Jonathan Rea proved to be the man in charge as a number of riders took to the track again to participate in the first of a two-day World Superbike test at Portimao.

While results remain unofficial, with a number of riders not running a transponder to record lap times, Rea was the front runner with a best of 1min 42.1secs, already quicker than Ben Spies' lap record during Superpole at the weekend.

He was followed closely by the man that beat him to victory in the second race, Michel Fabrizio, the pair being joined in the 1min 42 bracket by the immediately impressive Cal Crutchlow.

The newly crowned World Supersport champion shrugged off a fall in the morning to make an excellent first impression on the Yamaha R1. Returnee James Toseland was also in good form around an unfamiliar circuit, reportedly setting a time of 1min 43.7secs – a lap that would have gotten him into the Superpole shootout over the weekend.

Six of the seven manufacturer teams returned to action around the Portuguese circuit, with Ten Kate Honda, Suzuki Alstare and Yamaha each getting the chance to welcome its new riders for the first time. Ducati Xerox waslso present with re-signed pair Noriyuki Haga and Fabrizio.

Aprilia, meanwhile, ran three bikes for Max Biaggi, Leon Camier and test rider Alex Hofmann, who spent the day running an 'un-liveried' RSV-4.

Kawasaki was rather busy, running a number of riders, including new signing Tom Sykes, who put in a few first laps on the ZX-10R, despite missing the race weekend with injury. With Chris Vermuelen, who is present in Portugal, unable to ride due to contract restraints, Sykes was joined by Supersport front runner Joan Lascorz, who impressed many by lapping around the same pace as Max Neukirchner and Camier.

Japanese rider Hidemichi Takahashi was also on track aboard the Kawasaki, while Ian Hutchinson is present in Portugal to possibly test the ZX-10R on the second day.

Of the privateer riders, Regis Laconi did a half-day for DFX Ducati as he took the first significant step towards his World Superbike return, the bike being taken over Superstock rider Javier Fores in the afternoon.

Carlos Checa was also on track as Althea Racing began to learn its way around the Ducati 1098RS it will run in 2010. Squadra Corse Italia, meanwhile, ran a bike for Luca Scassa.

For all the latest pictures from the test, CLICK HERE and scroll through.



Related Pictures

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Rea, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
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JC - Unregistered

October 27, 2009 6:39 PM

So as feared, Shakey Byrne has been f**ked over by the entire Paddock, despite reaching the podium in his first full WSB season, ending the season 8th and as the highest Privateer Ducati and scoring 2 4ths in Portimao, leading Portimao race 2 for over half of it and Misano race 1 for most of it - all on a bucket of Ducati spares... What an absolute... complete and utter... disgrace... A man who has served Ducati so well over the years an delivered them 2 prestigious BSB titles. Absolutely disgusting.



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