WSBK: Kyalami test day three results

Fabrizio on top again

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 12, 2008
Michel Fabrizio topped the timesheets once again in the final day of the World Superbike test at Kyalami, South Africa.

The Ducati Xerox rider set an unofficial course record with a time of 1:39.714. Fabrizio set the best lap time on each day of the Dec. 10-12 test at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

“We tried qualifiers today and as I thought it allowed me to go just a little faster than I had so far. I was aiming to break the 1:40 barrier and succeeded, and even on the race tire I managed 1:40 dead which wasn’t bad,” says Fabrizio. “This afternoon got more difficult as I was very tired after the non-stop riding but all things considered, I’m very happy with how the three days has gone. This winter I’m concentrating a lot on training and physical preparation so as to be as fit as possible in time for the opening round at Phillip Island.”

Meanwhile Yamaha Motor Italia rider Ben Spies returned to the track after a crash forced him to retire early on day two. Spies also broke the 1:40 barrier with a time of 1:39.978 on qualifying tires, just ahead of Fabrizio’s Ducati Xerox teammate Noriyuki Haga’s best time of 1:39.984.

Noriyuki Haga (left) and Ben Spies were among the leaders in the final day of testing at Kyalami.Spies has put up consistantly fast times throughout the three-day test despite the challenges of riding a new motorcycle on completely foreign race tracks. It has been a while since the three-time AMA Superbike Champion could be considered a rookie but Spies has not looked out of place so far in his World Superbike career.

“In AMA there might be two or three guys in testing who get down to business from start to finish,” says Spies. “There’s no lollygagging here. No one’s going around doing wheelies the length of the straightaway. Everyone pushes hard here all the time. The competition is going to be good for sure.”

Spies has noticed the differences off the track as well, noting the turnout through the week to watch WSBK action at Kyalami for the first time since the circuit last hosted races in 2002.

“The fan support here is pretty amazing,” says Spies. “It was a good week to get to know some of the other riders too. I had a lot of them come up and shake my hand and welcome me to the series. Max Biaggi came up and talked with me for awhile. That was pretty awesome for me. I’ve been a fan of Max since I was a kid.”

Paul Mashatile, Premier of the South African province of Gauteng, met with the riders before the final day of testing began.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders Jonathan Lea and Carlos Checa also came back from day two crashes to record the fourth and fifth fastest times.

The Kyalami test features the first head-to-head matchups for the two new factory teams competing in 2009, Aprilia and BMW.

The Aprilia team appears to be slightly ahead in terms of development. Biaggi and Shinya Nakano both recorded times under 1:41 on the final day of testing on the Aprilia RSV4. An oil leak delayed Biaggi’s morning testing but the veteran rider still managed to log a time just a second behind Fabrizio’s course record.

BMW’s team of Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus struggled on the final day. Corser crashed his BMW S1000RR in the morning session while Xaus barely made it under the 1:42 mark to bottom out the timesheet.

The three day test helped spec tire provider Pirelli gather data to continue development over the winter.

“In conditions of extreme heat we accumulated a lot of interesting data that confirms the positive development of our tires” says Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli’s head of racing activities. “The times were excellent but above all we are satisfied with performance over race distance. It’s going to be a great season.”

The next round of WSBK testing will take place Jan. 24-25, 2009 at Portimao, Portugal.

WSBK - Kyalami Test - Day Three Results
Pos. Rider Bike Best Time
1st Michel Fabrizio Ducati 1098F09 1:39.714
2nd Ben Spies Yamaha YZF-R1 1:39.978
3rd Noriyuki Haga Ducati 1098F09 1:39.984
4th Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1:40.035
5th Carlos Checa Honda CBR1000RR 1:40.170
6th Max Neukirchner Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:40.394
7th Yukio Kagayma Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:40.675
8th Max Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1:40.768
9th Shinya Nakano Aprilia RSV4 1:40.968
10th Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1:41.067
11th Troy Corser BMW S1000RR 1:41.102
12th Tom Sykes Yamaha YZF-R1 1:41.562
13th Ruben Xaus BMW S1000RR 1:41.996

Related Reading
WSBK: Kyalami test day two results
WSBK: Kyalami test day one results