WSBK Imola Test Times: Crutchlow Ahead Of Fabrizio And Haslam

After the Misano round of World Superbikes, the WSBK paddock packed up and headed a few miles up the road for two days of testing at Imola. Sterilgarda Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow ended the test on top of the timesheets, breaking the track record along the way. The young Briton finished the test ahead of Xerox Ducati's Michel Fabrizio, while Leon Haslam ended in third. After a difficult weekend at Misano, third fastest was a big improvement for the Alstare Suzuki rider. Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea showed a similar improvement, ending testing just a couple of hundredths behind Haslam.

The test also saw a couple of big crashes. Haslam had two big crashes, though it did not prevent him from setting the 3rd fastest time. In the second crash, Haslam slammed into Shane Byrne, the Althea Ducati rider coming off worst, Byrne being examined for a suspected fractured metacarpal bone in his hand. 

The World Superbike paddock now heads to the Czech Republic, and the following round at Brno in 10 days' time.


Pos No Name Bike Best Diff Diff previous
1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha YZF R1 1'47.480    
2 84 Michel FABRIZIO Ducati 1098R 1'47.850 0.376 0.376
3 91 Leon HASLAM Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'47.970 0.488 0.112
4 65 Jonathan REA Honda CBR1000RR 1'47.990 0.512 0.024
5 41 Noriyuki HAGA Ducati 1098R 1'48.100 0.618 0.106
6 7 Carlos CHECA Ducati 1098R 1'48.150 0.669 0.051
7 111 Ruben XAUS BMW S1000 RR 1'48.330 0.851 0.182
8 67 Shane BYRNE Ducati 1098R 1'48.670 1.188 0.337
9 3 Max BIAGGI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'48.690 1.212 0.024
10 66 Tom SYKES Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'48.940 1.465 0.253
11 52 James TOSELAND Yamaha YZF R1 1'49.030 1.553 0.088
12 11 Troy CORSER BMW S1000 RR 1'49.080 1.601 0.048
13 2 Leon CAMIER Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'49.190 1.708 0.107
14 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'49.210 1.736 0.028
15 76 Max NEUKIRCHNER Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.420 1.945 0.209
16 23 Broc PARKES Honda CBR1000RR 1'50.050 2.576 0.631
17 77 Chris VERMEULEN Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'50.070 2.596 0.020
18 54 Kenan SOFUOGLU Honda CBR600RR 1'51.570 4.094 1.498
19 26 Joan LASCORZ Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'51.780 4.303 0.209
20 51 Michele PIRRO Honda CBR600RR 1'52.240 4.766 0.463
21 86 Ayrton BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 1'52.380 4.897 0.131
22 20 Sylvain BARRIER BMW S1000 RR 1'52.880 5.398 0.501
23 21 Maxime BERGER Honda CBR1000RR 1'53.150 5.668 0.270
24 87 Lorenzo ZANETTI Ducati 1098R 1'53.620 6.138 0.470
25 29 Daniele BERETTA BMW S1000 RR 1'53.620 6.144 0.006
26 6 Loris BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 1'54.840 7.357 1.213

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That is a reasonable margin for Crutchlow over the field. He maybe down on points through mechanical and mental DNF's but he has consistently shown real speed this year. Much more so than his 2 x WSBK Champ Bayliss beating team mate. I don't know what is going on with Toseland, but for sure Yamaha cannot be happy with his performance to date. He should have been fighting for the title this year. Yes perhaps the bike was a bit problematic early in the season, but Cal has shown over the last three rounds that it is every bit the equal of the other marques. And James, now he's the one binning it trying to keep up. Not a good omen for James' career, but Cal is on the up and up me thinks.

The hot and cold Honda. What's up there as well? There must be a fairly fundemental flaw in the chassis somewhere for a rider of Neukirchners quality to struggle as much as he has this year. Jonny, whilst still a bit of a diamond in the rough, seems to be able to ride around the problems more so - a testament to his talent perhaps.

Skyes is having a pretty good year on the dog in the field. I don't think Vermuelen can be using the knee as an excuse still this long after P.I.

The old timers Biaggi, Haga and Corser don't generally stick their necks out in tests. Haga must be feeling good here!

I think the most interesting bit about the Yamaha was when the Journos got to ride it last year after Portimao. I can't remember offhand who it was that rode it, but his feedback was that he couldn't understand how Spies did so well on it, because it was a very difficult bike to ride quickly.

..who despite his age and ability to be be brash, knows a thing or two about riding a bike fast.

Spies' talent made Tom look bad last year and Camier and Ellisons Airwaves Yamaha success in BSB, with a massive budget advantage and state of the art electronics, didn't help the perception that he'd had a poor year..