Checa tops testing ahead of 1199 debut

Carlos Checa wastes no time in establishing the new Alstare Ducati 1199 as a front runner by ending the World Superbike pre-season test on top.
CLICK HERE to view the combined times from Monday and Tuesday

Carlos Checa gave the clearest hint yet that the new Ducati 1199 Panigale will be a competitive force from its World Superbike debut after concluding the pre-season test at Phillip Island with the fastest time.

Showing few ill-effects from the virus that kept him out of testing action last week, 2011 champion Checa opened the final day of testing with the quickest time in the weather-hampered morning session before going on to set the pace again in the warmer afternoon session.

Lapping in a best time of 1min 31.059secs, Checa – winner of four of the last five races to be held at Phillip Island - was two tenths quicker than day one front runner Leon Camier, the Spaniard's impressive form sending a warning shot to his rivals who may have expected the 1199 to be further down the order at this early stage.

Even so, the field remains remarkably close with just six tenths covering the top ten riders after two days of action, while the six manufacturers would occupy the top six positions too.

Behind Checa, Marco Melandri was second fastest on the BMW, while Camier's lap time from day one was still good enough to leave the Suzuki rider third in the overall order.

Having maintained a fairly low profile in the wake of his wrist injury, Kawasaki's Tom Sykes made advances towards the head of the leaderboard as he ended the test in fourth place, while Michel Fabrizio and Jonathan Rea headed up the Aprilia and Honda charges in fifth and sixth.

Leon Haslam backed up his Pata Honda team-mate in seventh place, ahead of Eugene Laverty on the best of the factory Aprilias and Althea Racing's Davide Giugliano, who was one of two riders to suffer a fall during the session.

The other was the already-injured Jules Cluzel, who suffered another set-back with a red flag-inducing tumble less than an hour into the session. Despite failing to return to the track, the Superbike rookie was still a creditable 11th quickest on the overall timesheets, just behind countryman Sylvain Guintoli.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Checa, Australian WSBK 2012
Frances Batta and Checa, Australian WSBK 2012
Checa`s Ducati, Australian WSBK 2013
Checa`s Ducati, Australian WSBK 2013
Checa, Australian WSBK, 2013
Checa, Australian WSBK, 2013
Gino Rea, WSS Race, Donington WSBK 2017
Mahias and Cluzel, WSS Race, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam, WSS Race, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam , WSS Race, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam , WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Davies, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017
Sykes, WSBK Race2, Donington WSBK 2017

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Dave - Unregistered

February 19, 2013 7:46 AM

Top stuff and looking at the times, asking myself what the point of Motogp is? $30m+ for a factory team to lap barley 1 second quicker than production bikes with "used" riders. Really puts the CRT experiment in a different light also...maybe scrap CRT and each round of GP they include the top 5 superbikes from the previous SBK round?? They are all owned by the same group now and all that "development" in gp for 1 second?

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