2012 Aragon World Superbike Winter Test Day 1 Result: Camier Fastest As 2013 Season Gets Underway

With the 2012 World Superbike championship in the bag, preparations are already underway for next season. A significant part of the 2013 WSBK grid is at Aragon and testing ahead of next year, with some interesting developments apparent at the Spanish track.

Conditions were far from ideal with strong winds hampering progress, but despite the problems, times were extremely fast. Leon Camier was the fastest man on the day, circulating at lap record pace on the Suzuki, and four tenths quicker than Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki, while 2012 World Champion Max Biaggi was a tenth slower than Sykes. Camier was meant to be joined by Sylvain Guintoli, who already had a signed contract with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki squad, but had that contract torn up when Crescent found the Frenchman was still negotiating with another team to race an Aprilia, according to the ever-reliable Bikesportnews.com.

The biggest news of the test was Carlos Checa, circulating on the Panigale, the first time he has tested in public. Checa has yet to sign a new contract with the Althea Ducati team, waiting to see how the performance of the new machine was, as well as whether the Panigale will have the 6 kg extra it has to carry removed for 2013. The impression was positive, with Checa matching the lap times he posted in June on the 1198R, which is to lose its homologated status for World Superbikes in 2013. A positive test such as this moves Checa one step closer to returning to racing with the team.

The test continues tomorrow, with conditions likely to be better than they were today.

Times, courtesy of GPOne.com:

Pos. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 Leon Camier Suzuki 1:58.2    
2 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1:58.6 0.4 0.4
3 Max Biaggi Aprilia 1:58.7 0.5 0.1
4 Carlos Checa Ducati 1:59.0 0.8 0.3
5 Michel Fabrizio Aprilia 1:59.3 1.1 0.3
6 Eugene Laverty Aprilia 1:59.4 1.2 0.1
7 Lorix Baz Kawasaki 1:59.6 1.4 0.2
8 Alex Hofmann Aprilia 2:00.4 2.2 0.8
9 Josh Waters Suzuki 2:00.5 2.3 0.1
10 Davide Giugliano Ducati 2:00.7 2.5 0.2


Tweet Button: 

Back to top


Considering the "also ran" performance of the Ducati this year when saddled with the extra 6 kg of ballast, one would hope this would be removed for 2013. Is there a fixed mechanism to determine such things? Or management discretion?

That vacant Suzuki seat would be a nice opportunity for Brett McCormick to have another go on the WSBK grid.

..made a good point I read.

Given Sylvain's treatment at the hands of Effenbert, you would have thought he should have shown a little more respect for a deal he shook on?
He knows all at Crescent well where they stuck by him when injured while riding for them in the past too.

If Max and Carlos decide to race next year, where will he end up..given that everyone is aware of the above?
Kawasaki is an option I suppose?

Camier is class..good to see him so fast. They will do a lot better in their second year at world level.

do not seem that evident in racing to me. I understand Crescent's ideology and respect it, but we don't know how well-funded the Fixi deal is and it doesnt seem that great given I was expecting Paul Denning to be setting up a MGP team not taking over from Big Jack.
Guintoli probably thought he was in a well-funded team last year..... once bitten, twice shy etc.
Perhaps Denning (and I don't know the context of his awareness or discussions with Guintoli) should take a lesson from Poncheral at Tech 3 and be happy to give a rider a chance at a factory seat or come back with no hard feelings if that doesn't work out. That, rather than the quotes in the BSN article would be a better approach - and perhaps he should be annoyed with Aprilia for approaching a rider they knew had signed for him.

" expecting Paul Denning to be setting up a MGP team not taking over from Big Jack. "

Suzuki dump their respected crew chief, just when they are getting competitive, and replace him with a manager.........not a good trade in the view of a rider who's developed a taste for winning.

I hope Sylvain is trying to get onto the factory Aprilia to ride along Laverty if Max retires or when Max retires! Which would mean that he would be getting a multi-year contract instead of the 1 year deal Suzuki had for him! Keep in mind, Sylvain has been tossed around the paddock and he's trying to get something stable for his immediate future. Checa? Same lap times? What is that? He already rode the bike before, he should be going faster than before not the same as the old bike. Where's Haslam?

There are two sides to every story, and we don't have all the details, but it is hard to defend Sylvain Guintoli walking out on his deal with Suzuki. One can understand Guintoli's angst if a better ride opened up late, after he had signed with Fixi Suzuki, but that is no excuse for deciding not to honor an obligation.

Does anyone know if Guintoli had signed a (final) contract for 2013 with Fixi Suzuki, or was it equivalent to a letter of intent?

The team/rider contract system isn't very transparent, but this distinction may make the difference in the court of public opinion.

From the way Denning mentions a handshake, then an agreement and only then a contract, it can't have been more than a letter of intent. The deal can't have been finalised (and from what we know Sylvain never said that he wouldn't ride for Suzuki, only that he 'couldn't commit to the Aragon tests').