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Jan 26, 2011

Updated Again: Jakub Smrz Fastest On First Day Of Official World Superbike Test At Portimao

Althea Racing Ducati's Carlos Checa (7).
FIM Superbike World Championship Official Test
Parkalgar Circuit
Portimao, Portugal
January 26, 2011
Best Overall Lap Times (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jakub SMRZ, CZE (Ducati 1098R), 1:43.503
2. Jonathan REA, GBR (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:43.676
3. Eugene LAVERTY, IRL (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:43.707
4. Tom SYKES, GBR (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:43.770
5. Carlos CHECA, ESP (Ducati 1098R), 1:43.789
6. Max BIAGGI, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:43.840
7. Michel FABRIZIO, ITA (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:43.879
8. Sylvain GUINTOLI, FRA (Ducati 1098R), 1:44.369
9. Leon CAMIER, GBR (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:44.446
10. Joan LASCORZ, ESP (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:44.752
11. James TOSELAND, GBR (BMW S1000RR), 1:44.764
12. Noriyuki HAGA, JPN (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:44.857
13. Ruben XAUS, ESP (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:44.885
14. Maxime BERGER, FRA (Ducati 1098R), 1:44.886
15. Marco MELANDRI, ITA (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:45.461
16. Ayrton BADOVINI, ITA (BMW S1000RR), 1:45.678

More, from a press release issued by Supersonic Racing Team:

Positive first day of testing for the Supersonic Team in Portimao.

A great day on track for the Supersonic Team in Portimao, Portugal. Maxime Berger made his official debut in the SBK circus and demonstrated an excellent performance in both tests. In the morning and during the second session held in the afternoon, partly disturbed by rain. This morning Maxime Berger performed a lap time from 1'45 "418, in the afternoon he managed to do even better going down to 1'44" 886. But it was not the objective of Berger, who has done a great deal of work with the team by making a total of 52 laps on his Ducati 1198. The tests will continue over the next two days and will be very important in preparation for the start from the World Superbike Championship.

DANILO SONCINI : "It was the first testing day, generally positive, which the team has completed the program that we planned. We had many things to try to define the best setup for our Ducati 1198 on this track. Maxime tried for the first time the "ride by wire" and the first impressions are good. Although he used a very hard rubber. We wanted to mount another tire to see a better lap time but there was not time enough. Today, Maxim Berger was confronted for the first time with the Superbike riders and I'm really satisfied with his performance and his fellowship with the team. We will try to keep it in the next two days."

MAXIME BERGER: "Today I really enjoyed myself and at the same time I worked a lot with my team. We tried several new components and assemble the final parts. I wanted to ride on a softer tire to capitalize on all the work we did today. Unfortunately there was not time, but we still have two days ahead of us. Overall I am very happy with my test today. I also tried the "ride by wire" and I must say that it is not easy to get used to this device, it is completely new for me. But I have to adapt as quickly as possible and use this device very good, it will allow me to improve my performance. In Superbike they push it even from the first minutes of testing and I certainly do not want to be left behind. I have a fantastic team and I want to give my best for them and for all those who believed in me and allowed me to get here at World Superbike."

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing Ducati:


Portimao (Portugal), Wednesday 26th January 2011: The first official tests of the 2011 World Superbike season, organized by Infront Sports, got off to an overcast start this morning at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Almost every Superbike team is present at this three-day test session, including Team Althea Racing, on track with Spanish rider Carlos Checa.

Despite a small crash early on in the opening session, Carlos was able to return to the track where, rather than concentrating on times, he and his technicians worked to fine tune the bike.

In the second session, that took place in the early afternoon, small modifications made to the bike allowed the Spaniard to make a much quicker start, dropping his best time of the morning by almost two seconds. Unfortunately, a rain shower only a few minutes into the session forced riders to retire temporarily to the pit garage but in the later stages, on dry asphalt, Carlos further improved on his time, ducking under the 1m44 barrier to record the fifth fastest time of the day, 1m43.7.

"It was a bit strange at the start because during the long winter break I rode the GP bike, an enduro, trial bike, motocross so to come back to the twin took me a bit of time", commented Carlos. "We started with a bike and a set up that was slightly different but once I gained confidence, I was able to make some solid progress. I'd say that we're at a good starting point, me as a rider but also the bike and the team. We closed last season at a high level and I think we've regained some of those feelings again today. The real work starts tomorrow but I can say that I am very happy to be back on track and the entire team, slightly different in configuration, is ready for the season to start in earnest."

TIMES (Day 1) 1. Smrz (Ducati) 1'43.5; 2. Rea (Honda) 1'43.6; 3. Laverty (Yamaha) 1'43.7; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'43.7; 5. Checa (Ducati) 1'43.7; 6. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'43.8; 7. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1'43.8; 8. Guintoli (Ducati) 1'44.3
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