The rain that had been hanging over the World Superbike test for the first two days finally came on the third and final day. But the factory Yamaha and Aprilia squads were still lucky, with the rain only starting to fall late on Thursday morning at Phillip Island, before disappearing again in the afternoon, giving the riders a couple more dry sessions at the Australian circuitl. It was Eugene Laverty who made best use of the session, putting on a set of soft tires to set the fastest time, with a lap of 1'31.5. The Yamaha rider finished ahead of Max Biaggi, once again the fastest of the two factory Aprilia riders, while Laverty's teammate Marco Melandri matched the pace of Aprilia's Leon Camier,
The rain did not go to waste, however. Marco Melandri took the opportunity to get some time on the Pirelli rain tires, having no experience on the Italian rubber, after having spent his career in the Grand Prix paddock racing Dunlops, Michelins and Bridgestones. His teammate Laverty was the only rider to test the softer tires, the two Aprilia riders using the harder race tires.
Testing is now complete for all of the motorcycle road racing world championships, and the teams all now head off for a well-deserved winter break. Testing for the World Superbike riders recommences in January, while Grand Prix riders in all three classes (MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc) must wait until the test ban expires at the end of January.
Unofficial times, courtesy of the World Superbike.com website: