2013 WSBK Private Phillip Island Test Day 2 Times: Camier Fastest Amidst Another Crashfest

The second day of the private test for the World Superbike  teams at Phillip Island went very much as the first day did: with fast times, and a lot of crashes. The new surface was to blame for both: Leon Camier got half a second under the race lap record, but the on/off grip levels of the track saw him, and almost every one else, flung off their bikes at one point or another.

Camier ended the day fastest, the engine updates on his FIXI Crescent Suzuki improving the machine considerably, along with electronic updates for the bike. Sylvain Guintoli - the man Suzuki originally signed alongside Camier, but who jumped ship for the factory Aprilia ride - was 2nd, a tenth off the pace of Camier, proving that the Aprilia RSV4 still a potent weapon. Johnny Rea put the Pata Honda into 3rd, work continuing on ironing out the wrinkles with the HRC electronics, with both Rea and Haslam pleased with the progress made, though still aware of the task ahead. Marco Melandri was the fastest BMW man, though the Italian was wary of pushing too hard for fear of crashing, and adding further damage to his painful shoulder. Melandri did put in a long run on used tires, running a consistent string of laps around the 1'32 mark, a solid race pace.

The list of crashers was long. After setting the fastest time, Leon Camier completely destroyed his Suzuki, crashing at the high-speed final corner. His bike managed to somersault the barrier, suffering much damage in the process. It has been an expensive two days for the Crescent Suzuki squad, team manager Paul Denning joking after the first day that it had already cost them 50,000 pounds in crash parts. Camier walked away unhurt, but there was less luck for Ayrton Badovini. The Alstare Ducati man highsided nastily over Lukey Heights, and had to be evacuated to a local hospital by helicopter. Examination there found that the rib which doctors had feared was broken was fine, and Badovini had escaped relatively unscathed.

Badovini joined Carlos Checa in the hospital, though, Checa was not there through injury, but rather thanks to a blocked intestine, a condition serious enough to be treated in hospital for, forcing the Spaniard to miss both days of the test. Checa is recovering very well, and both he and Badovini are expected to ride early next week, once the official test resumes. 

Checa was not the only rider to miss the test. Suzuki's Jules Cluzel had chosen not to ride, after a crash on the first day of testing opened an old wound, for which he had minor surgery to fix. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes sat out the second day, after fracturing his radius in an early crash on the first day, and Loris Baz also skipped the second day, still suffering back pain after crashing on Thursday.

Unofficial Times from day 2 of the test, courtesy of Andy Walker & Bikesportnews:

Pos No Rider Team/Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 2 Leon Camier Fixi Suzuki 1:31.2    
2 50 Sylvain Guintoli Factory Aprilia 1:31.3 0.1 0.1
3 65 Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 1:31.4 0.2 0.1
4 33 Marco Melandri Goldbet BMW 1:31.6 0.4 0.2
5 84 Michel Fabrizio Red Devils Aprilia 1:31.7 0.5 0.1
6 91 Leon Haslam Pata Honda 1:31.8 0.6 0.1
7 34 Davide Guigliano Althea Aprilia 1:31.9 0.7 0.1
8 58 Eugene Laverty Factory Aprilia 1:32.1 0.9 0.2
9 19 Chaz Davies Goldbet BMW 1:32.1 0.9 0.0
10 86 Ayrton Badovini Alstare Ducati 1:32.2 1.0 0.1
11 27 Max Neukirchner MR Ducati 1:32.6 1.4 0.4


Overall times from both days of the test:

No Rider Team/Bike Day 1 Day 2 Overall
2 Leon Camier Fixi Suzuki 1:31.9 1:31.2 1:31.2
50 Sylvain Guintoli Factory Aprilia 1:32.3 1:31.3 1:31.3
65 Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 1:32.0 1:31.4 1:31.4
33 Marco Melandri Goldbet BMW 1:32.2 1:31.6 1:31.6
58 Eugene Laverty Factory Aprilia 1:31.7 1:32.1 1:31.7
84 Michel Fabrizio Red Devils Aprilia 1:33.7 1:31.7 1:31.7
91 Leon Haslam Pata Honda 1:32.0 1:31.8 1:31.8
34 Davide Guigliano Althea Aprilia 1:32.7 1:31.9 1:31.9
19 Chaz Davies Goldbet BMW 1:33.0 1:32.1 1:32.1
86 Ayrton Badovini Alstare Ducati 1:32.8 1:32.2 1:32.2
16 Jules Cluzel Fixi Suzuki 1:32.4   1:32.4
27 Max Neukirchner MR Ducati 1:32.9 1:32.6 1:32.6
76 Loris Baz Factory Kawasaki 1:33.2   1:33.2
66 Tom Sykes Factory Kawasaki 1:34.5   1:34.5


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Glad an engine has finally been worked out for Suzuki. Camier is a very decent racer and seeing him not even be able to stay in the draft of other bikes was disheartening to watch. Then when he was in contention for a good result, some technical issue would take him out of the race. Looking forward to seeing him be able to compete more evenly this year.

re: "It has been an expensive two days for the Crescent Suzuki squad, team manager Paul Denning joking after the first day that it had already cost them 50,000 pounds in crash parts."

yet 10x less than what the hospital and surgeon charged for amputating hoppers finger from jerkin' around with a ne-er-do-well GSVR.

Nice to see this. I still cannot figure out how/why Suzuki/Yoshi won so much in AMA but couldn't keep up in WSBK, though.
Hopefully, it puts Crescent/Denning in a good position if the MGP team does get re-built.
Haslam seems to be being a bit more prudent this year too.....I hope that I'm not speaking too soon! Those Hondas seem to have improved a lot in the past few weeks.
Frustrating for Checa too, but after a good 'jetting' he should come back raring to go with no excess weight penalty!

Q: I still cannot figure out how/why Suzuki/Yoshi won so much in AMA but couldn't keep up in WSBK?

A: hamamatsu made a conscious choice.

america's rich (shocking!) and the combination of Mladin, Doyle, O'rourke, etc made for a "meal ticket" that exceeded GP and WSBK combined. many a zook rolled off dealer floors and onto 'merican streets in the 20 year span of '86-'06.

do you remember there was a de-facto all gsxr class called AMA 750 supersport...? did you remember there was also an AMA class called formula extreme that was won in the first year of the gsxr1000 by a non-yosh suzuki (valvoline)...? did you know there was another race series below AMA known as FUSA (Formula USA) where ulrich's valvoline suzuki first started with hopper and grant lopez...? suzuki owned america and was likely the impetus for their car-side hopes of becoming the next honda or bmw.

A bunch of stuff deleted. More to follow. Casey Stoner is no longer racing motorcycles. I have one more relevant article to write about him, and that is likely to be the last, unless he goes racing again. Anyone feeling the need to bring him up outside of any useful context is likely to see their comments deleted.

EDIT - Given the rumors currently circulating about Stoner, I may have to write about him sooner rather than later.

but you can't leave us hanging like that. Do you mean the Motegi/Phillip Island wildcard rumours? I'd be amazed if he did it. It would be a herculean task to even make the podium without having run even a single practice session throughout the year. Winning would be impossible even for him. Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Marquez, Rossi and Stoner would be incredible though!

If Casey issues a point blank denial that it's happening we'll know it's on for sure haha.

I wasn't questioning the facts around winning in the US, it was why could they not repeat that in WSBK with Crescent? It wasn't money, so wealth has nothing to do with it. Crescent seemed to have better engine tuning skills, which was a surprise to quite a few people - including me and Camier.
You also seem to be suggesting that Suzuki and Yoshi are the same. They may be close, but as far as I'm aware they are an independent Co.

Everyone is forgetting how good Francis Blatta and the Alstare team were and also how good the K5 GSXR-1000 was.

To be honest, Suzuki has stayed pretty stationary in their development since then, whilst the other teams (except Honda) have moved forward.

I wouldn't be getting too excited about Suzuki's form, remember it is Philip Island.

This is a fairly unique circuit.
A private 1982 Suzuki Katana in the hands of Steve Martin can do 1.38.7 !

Camier's excess weight and Suzuki's under performance will show at shorter, stop-go circuits. Plus Yoshimura have to demonstrate reliability to offset the performance.

I wish them all the best, however this Suzuki owner isn't holding much hope, though I am looking forward to Jules Cluzel making progress.

Cutting quick laps at Phillip Island means carying ludicrous mid corner speed through all those fast turns, which means you need a stable chassis, which also helps conserve the tyres, which is why Ducati have traditionally done fairly well there. I think Guintoli took a win there on a Suzuki a couple of seasons back?