Misano WSBK Day 2 Test Times - Melandri Leaves As Fastest Man

Marco Melandri topped the timesheets at the final day of testing for the World Superbike series at Misano. The Yamaha rider broke into the 1'35s on Wednesday, setting a time of 1'35.8, seven tenths quicker than the official lap record set by Carlos Checa during the race back in June. Checa and Eugene Laverty once again set the 2nd fastest time, two tenths behind Melandri, while BMW Italia's Ayrton Badovini continues to impress, ending the test just a tenth of a second slower than Checa and Laverty.

Toni Elias, drafted in to test the bike vacated by the precipitate retirement of James Toseland, made some improvement, but ended the day 2 seconds behind Melandri, a tenth closer than yesterday, but still a long way behind the Italian. Elias left the test early on Wednesday, heading off to Aragon for this weekend's round of MotoGP, where he will be mulling over the BMW offer he is reported to have.

The day was spent testing various types of tires: Pirelli had brought three different types, GPOne.com reported, including qualifiers to test. Tom Sykes matched Marco Melandri's 1'35.8 mark on the Kawasaki, but Sykes set his time on qualifiers, while Melandri used a soft race tire to get to 1'35.8. Most of the riders spent their time focusing on the race tires to be used in 2012 though.

With the test now concluded, the WSBK paddock packs up and heads 100 kilometers up the road for the next round of the series at Imola on September 25th.

Unofficial overall times after the test, courtesy of WorldSBK.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff. Diff. Previous
1 Marco Melandri Yamaha 1:35.8    
2 Carlos Checa Ducati 1:36.0 0.2 0.2
3 Eugene Laverty Yamaha 1:36.0 0.2 0.0
4 Ayrton Badovini BMW 1:36.1 0.3 0.1
5 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki 1:36.1 0.3 0.0
6 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1:36.2 0.4 0.1
7 Jonathan Rea Honda 1:36.7 0.9 0.5
8 Alex Hofmann Aprilia 1:36.9 1.1 0.2
9 Steve Martin BMW 1:37.1 1.3 0.2
10 Ruben Xaus Honda 1:37.4 1.6 0.3
11 Toni Elias BMW 1:37.8 2.0 0.4
12 Chris Vermeulen Kawasaki 1:38.4 2.6 0.6
13 Makoto Tamada Honda 1:38.8 3.0 0.4


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While two seconds adrift of top of the time sheet... Still he's faster than Vermeulen and Tamada on only his second day on the BMW and the Pirellis, not bad.

Toni's still a full second behind the pack. Not good, IMO.

I don't know if Tamada has any excuse, but do keep in mind that Vermulen's knee is still VERY messed up.

I know he's only had two days at it..but the best part of two seconds slower than Badovini and he's walking away with an offer? Something fishy going on there!

Elias is reigning Moto2 WC, the acknowledged feeder class to GP, and should be doing better. How embarrassing is this for the Honda CBR600 streetbike powered series?

Toni just lost his confidence. His mojo is gone and he may have to go as far down as WSS or a domestic series like BSB to get it back. As for comparisons to WSBK and Moto2, look at how riders like Michele Pirro, Kenan Sofogolu, and Max Neukirchner are fairing in Moto2. The first season of Moto2 was more of a trial by fire with a bunch of unknown, poorly setup bikes with no power. Now that the bikes and riders have come into their own, I'd be willing to bet money that Elias would be mid pack if he went back to Moto2.

There were only 3 BMWs out there. Badovini is doing pretty well on his all year. He's been the match or better than the factory team. This is Elias first go on a Superbike and wasn't miles off the other BMWs. If he was 2 seconds off while on a Yamaha, well that would be a different issue.

One would think, anyway.

Absolutely disastrous year in MotoGP. And that just after winning the Moto2 title in fairly convincing fashion. Hard to figure. Some rumors of conflicts over setup within the team -- i.e. Elias struggling to get the team to agree to what he wants. And you have to take that seriously I guess, as a rider needs total confidence to push at the limit, which is what you must do in order to be competitive. Still it is hard to find excuses for a season as bad as this one has been to date.

It's also a bit, although not too, hard to see why a WSBK team would offer him a contract -- his performance over the years has been, let's say, inconsistent. Test times here not impressive, but he can be cut some slack for that.

His exit from MotoGP seems like a sure thing at this point. Very unlikely he'll return. Personally, I'd rather see Melandri back up there -- he seems to belong more.

Elias seems like a decent enough guy, though, so good luck to him.

It's common knowledge why Elias is having a tough year in 2011, and all the WSBK teams would be interested in him if they had a slot available.

Is who impresses me the most here. Only a second of the pace, pretty decent result for a journo.

I never thought of Hofmann as a journalist before.
If he was indeed a pure journo that would be an unbelievable laptime, but even considering his career that's still very very fast!
1 second of the leaders is certainly fast enough to secure a wildcard if he was still into this sort of things.

Steve Martin has obviously still got his eye in too, although he does tend to get a bit more actual race action than most 'retired' racers... would love to see Bayliss out testing the Duc, but I don't think Checa would be so keen! : )