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Smrz sets pace at start of 2011 testing

First day of official 2011 World Superbike testing ends with Jakub Smrz fastest and four different manufacturers in the top four.
Jakub Smrz denied Jonathan Rea a clean sweep of the Wednesday Portimao World Superbike test timesheets on his very last lap of the afternoon session.

Rea, riding in his new Castrol Honda colours, had dominated the two track sessions and looked set for a perfect start to 2011 after successfully repelling the afternoon challenge of Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes and rookie Eugene Laverty.

However Smrz - second fastest to Rea in the morning - put the new Liberty Ducati team ahead as he leapt from seventh to first place by 0.173sec. Prior to that 25th and final lap, Smrz had failed to improve on his morning time.

Smrz, just 13th in last year's world championship, set a best lap of 1min 43.503sec, which compares with the official Portimao WSBK race lap record of 1min 42.772sec, set by Max Biaggi in last year's event.

Behind the top two, new factory Yamaha rider Laverty made extraordinary progress as he improved from 14th in the morning to third place and just 0.204sec from Smrz in the afternoon.

While Smrz improved by 0.61sec, Laverty slashed over two-seconds from his morning lap time.

Tom Sykes showed Kawasaki had been wise to retain his services for 2011 with a confident fourth on the new ZX-10R, making it four different manufacturers in a top four covered by just 0.267sec.

First of the 'repeat' bikes was the Althea Ducati of Checa, who almost matched Laverty progress as he rose from just 15th in the morning - after a fall from his 1198 - to fifth in the afternoon.

Checa was the only rider other than Rea and Smrz to lead the afternoon session, when he briefly replaced Rea with just over an hour to go but lost ground in the closing stages.

Reigning world champion Biaggi began the test with third in the morning on his factory Aprilia, then didn't improve for much of the afternoon, until a late burst promoted the Italian star to sixth.




Related Pictures

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Eugene Laverty Aprilia Jerez Test
Jonathan Rea receives WSBK trophy at the FIM award presetation, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sykes, Jonathan Rea and Davies at the FIM awards presentation ,Qatar WSBK 2016
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Cluzel, Davies, Rea, Sofuoglu, Sykes, Krummenacher and Kyle Smith, FIM award winners, Qatar WSBK 2016
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Jonathan Rea arrives at FIM awards on his bike, Qatar WSBK 2016

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Wesley - Unregistered

January 26, 2011 7:58 PM

How can this be? A under-powered and against the odds Ducati leading the pack...please tell me Ducati, you told us that your bikes were uncompetitive against the rest and decided not to have a factory team anymore. Load of trash!

Gino - Unregistered

January 27, 2011 9:52 AM

Dannyboy, you say you think its a good indication of who will be at the front, and then contradict yoursefl by saying skakey topped the sheets last season in testing. Make your mind up haha! Clearly your a EL fan, but i assume if he stayed at the bottom of the sheets, then it wouldnt be a good indication then, yeah? Haha! Testing is just that, TESTING! Some go for fast laps to be at the top to look good (Rea, Smrz, Crutchlow and byrne last year as examples), and some use the test time more wisely, like Biaggi, Camier, Haga etc. Lets wait and see what happens when the racing starts as thats the only thing that matters, not testing, not practice, not qualifying, but the RACING!



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