Reigning champion Carlos Checa has reassumed a familiar position at the top of the World Superbike Championship leaderboard after setting the fastest time on the second of a three-day test at Phillip Island.

The Spaniard, who has won three of the last four WSBK races around the Australian circuit, showed few ill-effects from the 6kg weight increase imposed on his Althea Ducati over the winter to lap in an unofficial 1min 32.1secs.

Though still around 1.5secs off the lap record, Checa was fast enough to hold off day one pace setter Tom Sykes, the Kawasaki rider maintaining his strong form to set the second quickest time on the Provec-prepared ZX-10R.

Aprilia Racing pair Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty followed up in third and fourth position, two and four tenths off the leading pace respectively, while Joan Lascorz reinforced team-mate Sykes's impressive form with the fifth best lap.

Following a strong start in the morning, BMW's Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri tailed off to an eventual sixth and seventh, leading Effenbert-Liberty duo Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger.

Behind them, Ayrton Badovini was tenth best on the BMW Italia GoldBet machine, while WSBK rookie Davide Giugliano made good strides by lifting the second Althea Ducati up to 11th fastest.

With his team-mate sidelined through injury, Leon Camier assumed the entire workload for Crescent Fixi Suzuki on the way to 13th fastest, just ahead of wild-card David Johnson on the Rossair AEP BMW.

As well as Hopkins' withdrawal, Sylvain Guintoli was unable to post a time after contracting a virus, while Pedercini Kawasaki's David Salom also sat out much of the day after hurting his wrist in a tumble.



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