WSBK: Kyalami test day one results

Spies impresses in South Africa

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 10, 2008
The World Superbike Championship’s winter test kicked off Dec. 10 in South Africa, and Ben Spies is already impressing observers with his lap times.

The 2008 AMA Superbike Champion completed 46 laps in the first of three days of testing on the Kyalami circuit in Midrand, South Africa. Racing on a 2009 Yamaha Motor Italia YZF-R1, Spies recorded a best time of 1:41.599, good enough for second on the day.

“I like this track; it’s almost like some AMA tracks and it’s not too technical, not that difficult to learn, but I was having a lot of fun riding on it,” says Spies. “We were most interested in trying out the bike in hotter track conditions than in Portimao. The handling is good; the engine comes in really smooth exiting corners and it lays the power down well. Top end makes no difference in that situation and the engine really drives well from low down.”

Ben Spies will wear number 19 in honor of his friend Ryan Smith who died in a club race.

The only rider with a better time than Spies was Michel Fabrizio. The Xerox Ducati rider’s best time of 1:41.204 was a tenth of a second under the unofficial course record set by Colin Edwards when Kyalami last hosted a WSBK round in 2002.

“I’m really pleased because it’s the first time I’ve lapped on this track”, says Fabrizio, who completed 66 laps on the Ducati 1098F09. “I feel sure can go even quicker, I’ll try and do so in the remaining two days.”

Shinya Nakano was less than a second off the pace on the Aprilia RSV4.Fabrizio’s new teammate Noriyuki Haga had a more difficult day. Haga crashed three times in his debut on the ’09 Ducati. Japan’s “Sultan of Slide” still managed to set the fourth fastest time at 1:41.730.

A couple of new WSBK teams also took part in the first day of tests.

Aprilia’s Shinya Nakano and Max Biaggi were sixth and seventh respectively on the new RSV4.

“I really like the RSV4, today we just got warmed up, we’ll see where we can arrive in the remaining sessions,” says Biaggi, who missed the first half of the session due to problems with his flight.

Meanwhile, the BMW duo of Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus also recorded respectable times on the new S1000RR in their first head-to-head tests against the competition.

Riders will be back on the track Dec. 11-12 for two more days of testing.

WSBK - Kyalami Test - Day One Results
Pos. Rider Bike Best Time Laps
1st Michel Fabrizio Ducati 1098F09 1:41.204 66
2nd Ben Spies Yamaha YZF-R1 1:41.599 46
3rd Max Neukirchner Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:41.713 69
4th Noriyuki Haga Ducati 1098F09 1:41.730 31
5th Yukio Kagayma Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:41.755 39
6th Shinya Nakano Aprilia RSV4 1:41.846 51
7th Max Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1:42.446 29
8th Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1:42.744 62
9th Troy Corser BMW S1000RR 1:42.975 33
10th Ruben Xaus BMW S1000RR 1:43.274 41
11th Carlos Checa Honda CBR1000RR 1:43.418 10
12th Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1:44.496 16
13th Tom Sykes Yamaha YZF-R1 1:46.780 16