Preview - Losail.

Former AMA and WSBK star Ben Bostrom, who is Renegade Honda's sole rider this season, will need to find a great deal of speed from his Koji backed Fireblade before the first race after only setting the 23rd fastest time at the teams first test.

Bostrom commented before the start of the season that he had unfinished business in the WSBK championship after leaving in 2002 following a very disappointing year to go back to the AMA.

He may well have a disappointing start to the year unless he gains the three-seconds needed to get back to the top, a feat he is unlikely to do without much needed testing time.

Former MotoGP rider Abe and 250GP rider Fonsi Nieto had a mixed introduction to Superbike racing, setting the 11th and 20th fastest times respectively.

Yamaha Motor France's Abe was surprised by the level of competition and closeness of the whole field's times, obviously something he is not used to in the MotoGP championship.

“The level here is very tough,” he commented. “For me this was the first time to ride together with most of the other riders. Everybody is so close and it is not just the top riders who can go fast. This was a surprise. When I made a little improvement my position would go up, but when I was not able to make a good lap time I went down a lot! It was all so close in the top 15.”

Meanwhile in World Supersport, Sebastien Charpentier with his new Ten Kate Honda team has dominated testing, showing his clear plans for this season.

Fabien Foret also looks strong, setting the second quickest time in the test, on his Megabike Honda. Kevin Curtain was the fastest Yamaha completing significantly less laps than his competitors with the top five being completed by the Hondas of Michael Fabrizio and Katsuaki Fujiwara.

World Superbike and Supersport fans will not have long to wait to see who will come out of the box fastest with the first race of the season only days away.

The first round of the season takes place at the Losail circuit in Qatar, on Saturday 26th February.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Yukio Kagayama at the Qatar preseason official test.
Gimbert, Magny Cours WSBK, 2004
Regis Laconi at a very chilly Valencia circuit for pre-season testing.
Van der Mark, Lowes, Nakasuga, Yamaha, Suzuka 8 Hours [Credit: Yamaha]
Jake Gagne, Red Bull Honda [Credit: Red Bull Honda]
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes and Corser, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale engine, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale bikes, Misano WSBK 2017
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Pata Yamaha]

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