Michel Fabrizio continued to send out an early warning shot to his rivals as he brought the three-day World Superbike test at Kyalami to a close with another clear lap record.

The Italian has been comfortably the quickest rider throughout the three days, but scored a further coup today by becoming the first person to lap the South African circuit in under 1min 40secs aboard a Superbike.

Significantly, Fabrizio proved to be the quickest rider on both qualifying and race rubber as he joined his rivals in helping Pirelli test their rubber for the coming season.

Furthermore, while the start of the season remains some three months away, Fabrizio's fair two tenth advantage over the opposition went a long way to overshadowing the arrival of high-profile Ducati Xerox team-mate Noriyuki Haga.

Nonetheless, with Haga still up there in third place, reigning champions Ducati will be pleased to see both of their riders continuing their dominant form from the end of the 2008 season.

Splitting the two was Ben Spies, who recovered from his off-track moment yesterday to haul his sole Yamaha R1 back to the front of the field in second place. The American was also the only non-Ducati rider to slip beneath the 1min 40secs barrier.

Honda nearly joined them, courtesy of Jonathan Rea, but the Northern Irishman had to be content with missing the cut by a mere 35 thousandths of a second. Even so, with team-mates Carlos Checa fifth and Ryuichi Kiyonari down in tenth, Rea will be delighted to have upstaged his more experienced 'team leaders' on his first group test with Ten Kate.

After bothering the top three on the first two days, Suzuki's Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama eventually settled into sixth and seventh respectively. That placed them marginally ahead of the Aprilia pair, with Max Biaggi getting the better of Shinya Nakano this time, around a second adrift of Fabrizio's ultimate pace.

Fellow newcomers BMW made a small stride today as Troy Corser got close to breaking the 1min 41secs barrier, despite being hampered by a crash in the early stages of the session. Although his time of 1min 41.102secs left him 11th out of the 13 riders, the Aussie rider is just 1.4secs from the front - compared to 1.7secs on the first day.

Tom Sykes was back on track again, but had to settle for 12th, while Ruben Xaus was 13th and last of the Superbike riders, eight tenths slower than BMW team-mate Corser.



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