2011 WSBK Phillip Island Test Press Release Roundup

A round up of the press releases issued after the World Superbike test at Phillip Island:


Pre-event Infront Test at Phillip Island.
21/22 February 2011.

Weather conditions: Gusty winds with some clouds and rain on Monday, overcast on Tuesday.
Temperature: Air: 15 - 19 °C, Track: 17 - 37 °C
Number of riders participating: 23 from 15 teams
Fastest lap overall: Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 1:30.578 min

Both Leon Haslam (GBR) and Troy Corser (AUS) completed a lot of laps and made good progress with the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RR. Their respective crews compared the different tyre compounds and worked on chassis and suspension set-up.

Leon Haslam: 
Test kilometres: 561 (126 laps)
Fastest lap Monday: 1:32.578 min (P9)/ Fastest lap Tuesday: 1:32.413 min (P14)

"We had a few issues to resolve over the course of the two day test. This morning I lost the front of the bike twice and crashed. We have made some progress with the electronics which has helped a lot. The lap times in the afternoon were slower for everybody but even so we seem to have made some improvement. While I was way off the pace this morning, I was only six tenths of a second in the afternoon. Tomorrow we have a day off and we will all try to recover for Friday."

Troy Corser:
Test kilometres: 471 (106 laps)
Fastest lap Monday: 1:33.255 min (P14)/ Fastest lap Tuesday: 1:32.994 min (P16)

"We already tested here a couple of weeks ago, and we tried a lot of different things here yesterday and today. So far, it is difficult to judge whether we went in the right direction. We will know more on Friday. The conditions today have been close to perfect. It was not too warm for the tyres and it is not too windy today. I am not surprised that Carlos Checa was able to beat the Superbike lap record. Tomorrow will be a day off, before we head into the first race weekend of the season."

What comes next:
The team will stay on Phillip Island on Wednesday before heading into the 2011 season's first race weekend. Leon and Troy will go for a round of golf tomorrow at the Phillip Island Golf Club. Troy will be in the official pre-event press conference at the circuit on Thursday at 11:50am.

Rea crash disrupts Castrol Honda preparations

Jonathan Rea crashed during a World Superbike championship testing session at Phillip Island in Australia this afternoon, potentially jeopardising his participation in this weekend's opening round of the 2011 championship.

Rea had set the third quickest time in this morning's session on day two of an official WSBK test and was on his first lap this afternoon when he crashed at Phillip Island's fast turn three, getting off his Castrol Honda CBR1000RR at around 210kph (130mph).

Rea dislocated the ring finger on his left hand but was later transferred to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne to undergo x-rays and scans on his left wrist. Despite the crash, the 24-year-old set the third fastest overall time of the test, with Carlos Checa and Sylvain Guintoli taking the top two slots.

His Castrol Honda team-mate, Ruben Xaus, meanwhile set the 13th fastest time over the two days. The Spanish rider continues to familiarise himself with the CBR1000RR after severely curtailed winter testing time, and has been able to improve his times in each of the testing sessions at Phillip Island.

Jonathan Rea – best lap 1m31.206s
I'm so frustrated because we were just about there on race pace and everything was feeling really good. Early in this afternoon's session, I was in turn three and winding it on when I suddenly felt the rear squirming and then I realised the bike was on fire. Basically I had to get off it quickly and unfortunately it was at 130mph, which is quick enough. My finger and wrist are sore – in fact I'm pretty sore all over – but I'm still waiting for the final diagnosis. At the moment it's too early to know how I'll be feeling at the weekend, but I certainly didn't want to start this season the way I finished the last one. I know it's one of those things that you don't expect and can't prepare for, but it's nobody's fault and we'll just have to hope I can be back on it soon.

Ruben Xaus – best lap 1m32.405s
We've had four days here now and done many laps on the bike, which I really needed. It's like when you go to school and you need to put in the study hours to improve. We had a few problems in the first test last week when we struggled for grip opening the throttle. Johnny has given me some help and his set-up, which is completely different to what we had last week, seems to be a way around that and during these last two days we have shifted more weight to the front of the bike and it's definitely improved things. We've worked step-by-step, especially working to stop the bike jumping around a bit at the rear. We've got a couple of days to relax and analyse things now, but that's the only thing that's slowing me down a little. I'd like to be closer to the front, of course, but we haven't had the best weather during our winter tests, so we just haven't done as many laps as some others. The times are still quite close though, so I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike this weekend and getting the season started, which I hope will be the same for Johnny.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
The testing was going well until the start of this afternoon's session when Jonathan had a very big crash. He was not to blame at all for the crash, which came at high speed when the machine started to leak oil on his rear tyre and caught fire. Jonathan was forced to jump off at one of the fastest corners of the track. We hope he'll be back on the bike with us soon. On Ruben's side we are step-by-step improving the set-up, but we're sure we'll master it and have the puzzle sorted by the weekend. He's been going faster in every session and we aim to keep things going in that direction.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's two French riders, Fabien Foret and Florian Marino, have both set impressively fast times during an official two-day World Supersport test at Phillip Island which concluded this afternoon.

Foret, who returns to the Ten Kate fold for the first time since winning the World Supersport championship with the team in 2002, set the fastest overall time of the test, with his young team-mate, Marino, running fourth quickest. Foret's best lap of 1m33.904s was less than 0.1s off the fastest ever World Supersport lap at Phillip Island.

It is the 17-year-old Marino's first visit to the fast 4.5km circuit which lies 150km south of Melbourne, and he has continued to improve his lap times following a private two-day test at the circuit last week.

Phillip Island will host this weekend's opening round of the World Supersport championship, with the Ten Kate team aiming for its ninth title in 10 years.< br />

Fabien Foret – best lap 1m33.904s
I felt a bit tired this afternoon – mentally more than physically, as I was trying to give good information to the team. The two tests here have been very positive, not just because of the quickest lap but because the race pace is quite good, too. And, most important for me, I have a good feeling on the bike and I'm having fun. I think we are working very well together and we're are quite close to being ready for the race. We'll adjust a few things if conditions change, but it's nice for everybody to be able to prepare like this.

Florian Marino – best lap 1m34.726s
I like this track very much – I've learned it quite fast and everything was good at the test last week, except I had a fast, fifth gear crash and hurt my shoulder a bit. We changed a few things to start this second test but I couldn&rsquo ;t get the right feeling so we decided to make two different settings and found something I liked this morning. I went half a second faster without pushing too much and then followed Fabien with a new tyre and was able to do a quick lap, again without pushing so hard. I found it hard to get into a rhythm by myself and go any faster, so there is still some work for me to do at the weekend.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
It's been a really good test with both boys up at the front. Florian has been quite impressive in his first visit to the island. Of course, he's getting some tricks and tips from Fabien, but a young man like him has to learn to master the bike himself around here and he's doing that very well. We mustn't forget to take it step-by-step with him but it's developing well and he's giving good feedback to the team. Fabien has been flying ever since he put his leg back o ver the Honda and I've only seen him with big smiles on his face. On long runs, he's been fast – as in faster than last year's race – and he can put in the quick laps, too. We've ticked a lot of boxes and hope to be ready for the weekend when we still have a bit of work to do to improve things more, but team and riders are prepared to do the job.


Phillip Island (Australia), Tuesday 22nd February 2011: the Althea Racing team, and rider Carlos Checa, concluded testing at the Phillip Island track today, with fantastic results.The Spanish rider, having been fastest on track yesterday, improved even further today, lowering his best time of yesterday by another eight tenths of a second to record a 1m30.578. With this extremely impressive time, Carlos and his Ducati 1198 also smash Laconi's 2009 Superpole lap record by half a second.

During the morning, on a very fast track, Carlos and his Althea Racing technicians were able to proceed with the planned work without interruptions, today concentrating mainly on tyre wear. Althea's flagbearer completed 26 laps during the morning, recording the flying lap just prior to the end of the session to close ahead of the pack once again, and six tenths ahead of second placed Guintoli, also on board the Ducati. To better illustrate just how impressive Checa's performance was here today, Casey Stoner, winner of the 2010 MotoGP round at Phillip Island, also made the fastest lap of that race, a 1m30.4, just a tenth of a second quicker than Carlos and his Ducati 1198 today.

In the last session of the afternoon, track conditions didn't allow riders to make any further improvements and so the Althea Racing team instead made the most of the track time to check that both bikes were working well.

Over these two days of testing, Carlos clocked up a total of 116 laps, with a best time of 1m30.578, set this morning. Now the rider and his team can enjoy two days of relaxation before returning to the track on Friday, ready for the challenge that the inaugural round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship will bring.

Carlos Checa
"I'd say that the test went extremely well, we worked well with the tyres and I felt comfortable on the bike right from the start. I was a little worried as we have not ested much over the winter but we did a great job here. I thank the entire team and also Pirelli for all their hard work which allowed me to record some fast times. We've found a strong rhythm and are very satisfied. The Ducati always goes well at Phillip Island so we'll try to make the most of this opportunity and focus on achieving great results on Sunday."

Genesio Bevilacqua – General Manager di Althea Racing
"I'm very happy with the outcome of the tests and the consistant speed demonstrated by our bike and by Carlos, who rode it to perfection. Other important teams tested at this track over the winter, gaining an advantage with regard to bike set-up but our team has worked extraordinarily well over these two days. Carlos dominated every session and his mental state is exactly what we need to be able to score some strong results on Sunday."

Yamaha World Superbike Team Wrap Up Phillip Island Test

2011 Yamaha World Superbike riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri today completed the second of two days testing at the Phillip Island circuit ahead of the season opening round this coming weekend. Both riders spent the sessions working on set up to deliver consistent pace for the Australian circuit. The team achieved their target of testing all updates for the 2011 R1 race bike, and will now take a couple of days rest in preparation for the two races on Sunday 27th February.

Italian rider Marco Melandri is still recovering from his previous shoulder operation and so rode less on the final sessions to give himself enough time to rest before the weekend.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
8th, 1'32.122

"I am very happy because I feel a big improvement from my shoulder. The second day was still quite difficult though, I didn't ride a lot as my shoulder was having some pain. The bike has made a small improvement over the last test and we have a good plan to make it even better for the race. My physical condition for the race distance is a question mark but we will see what happens on Sunday!"

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
9th, 1'32.137

"It's been a tough test but we're making progress bit by bit. We're focusing on consistency for the races, that's been the focus since we started the test. We've found that now and all we need is a little bit more pace. I'm excited about the race, it's a strange track like no other and requires a unique set up. I think it's going to be the smart guys who are there at the end of the race."

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager - Andrea Dosoli

"All our jobs are done here for the test which gives us the confidence that we've achieved our targets. We wanted a more consistent bike and we've got it. The Ducati is very quick at this track so we need to improve some more and reduce the time difference. For the two races on Sunday I am feeling quite confident as Eugene is improving everyday and is very consistent. Marco has also put a lot of laps in on his shoulder so we believe that with two days of rest he will be ok for the races. After all the winter tests we are ready. Considering both riders are World Superbike rookies and Marco recently had an operation we are happy with our results here."

Yamaha ParkinGO Team Complete Second World Supersport Test

Yamaha ParkinGO riders Luca Scassa and Chas Davies wrapped up the World Superpsort test at Phillip Island today, completing a valuable two days of familiarization with the 2009 championship winning Yamaha R6 Supersport bike. This is only the second opportunity the team and riders have had to spend time with the machines due to the late coming together of Yamaha and ParkinGo.

The team changed suspension partners between tests so this was their first time riding with the new set up. Both riders spent the two days chasing down a set up for the upcoming World Supersport opening round this weekend. Davies testing today was interrupted by a high speed crash after a change of tyres, the young British rider walking away uninjured after coming off on a fast right hand corner, crashing at nearly 220km'hr.

Luca Scassa finished the test sitting seventh fastest in the standings with a time of 1'35.272, team mate Chas Davies was in 11th with a time of 1'35.819.


Ellison surgery ahead of race
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA racer James Ellison will have key-hole surgery on his left knee tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to restore movement and strength in time for this weekend's opening round of the World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.
A crash during the opening session meant that Ellison missed the afternoon run on day one but was back in action on Tuesday. The key-hole surgery is no-risk and will manage the pain so he can concentrate on racing. Despite losing track time he finished the test in 12th place.
Bogdanka PTR Honda racer Pawel Szkopek concentrated on fast race simulations and was impressive over race distance. He finished 16th overall less than a second from the top eight.
James Ellison: "It was a good test because I was fastest in the wet and then very consistent in the dry on the second day so I'm looking forward to a good race on Sunday. Unfortunately I crashed on the first day and damaged a tendon in my left knee. It was a bit difficult to move around on the bike so I will have a quick key-hole surgery tomorrow morning to allow more movement and less pain. I might not be at full fitness on Sunday but will be fit enough to have a good race and will do my best."
Pawel Szkopek: "I'm very happy with the test because I was not only able to improve on my previous personal record at Phillip Island but also to keep a consistent pace on the long runs, so I'm really looking forward to the race weekend. I think I can still improve during practice and qualifying and hope to be fighting for a point scoring position on Sunday."
Simon Buckmaster: "Overall, apart from the crash, it was a positive test. The surgery will be a zero risk procedure from our point of view, because it gives James a chance to challenge right up the front on Sunday. It's positive we can have it done as early as  tomorrow morning and we're looking forward to a good result in the race. Pawel worked hard and concentrated on the long runs and was very consistent so he's looking good for a point scoring position."<p>

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