WSBK Portimao test preview

All seven factory teams to take part in Portugal

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 22, 2009
The World Superbike Championship returns from its winter hiatus to begin its official tests Jan. 23-25 in Portimao, Portugal.

The test is the official launch to the 2009 racing season which will see a record 32 riders lining up on the grid. The Portimao test will also be the first time all seven factory teams will meet head-to-head. Paul Bird Motorsport’s Kawasaki Racing Team of Makoto Tamada and Broc Parkes will face their competition for the first time after being absent from the December tests in Kyalami, South Africa.

Ducati appears to be the team to beat, based on their results from the Kyalami tests in December. Michel Fabrizio recorded the top time while new teammate Noriyuki Haga also put up impressive results.

Yamaha’s line-up of AMA champion Ben Spies and Tom Sykes will ride on the new R1.

Michel Fabrizio recorded the top times at the December WSBK tests in Kyalami, South Africa.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda will field Carlos Checa, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea while Suzuki Alstare returns with Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama.

New factory teams Aprilia and BMW will demonstrate how much their teams have developed since the South Africa test. Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano will represent Aprilia on the new RSV-4 while Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus will continue to find a good set-up on BMW’s S1000RR.

Riders will also test the WSBK’s new Superpole ‘knock-out’ qualifying format. After the morning sessions on each day of testing, the top 20 performers will return to the track for a Superpole simulation.

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