Moscow Raceway (Russia), Wednesday 22 August 2012 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) led the way in testing for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship runners at Moscow Raceway, heading up the 21-strong group as World Superbike ventured onto the new circuit for the very first time. His final best time of 1 minute 35.891 seconds was enough to keep him ahead of Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and the charging late push of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team). Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) ran out fourth, only just ahead of the works Aprilia Racing machine of Max Biaggi.
Carlos Checa: “It is a nice adventure to be here in Russia and it’s a really nice track. In some places you can only use about 15% of throttle and just keep rolling the bike. We feel quite well today and this is a track where we have been working well in both the morning and the afternoon. We understand the line, the gearbox and the tyres. At the end we felt the tyres were working a lot better in the afternoon because probably the asphalt is less aggressive now. We are losing a lot on the straight, which is uphill, so it is not easy to manage that.”
Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) put his vee four into the top six places, ahead of Checa’s team-mate Davide Giugliano. Top Honda rider was Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in 12th place, one up on the best Suzuki tester, Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
The new circuit proved to be a challenge for all the top riders, with slow and fast corners combined, including a drop downhill and a long straight back uphill into the final corner.
A long delay after a red flag incident, when one machine lost oil at the end of the main straight, cost the SBK riders some track time this afternoon, but all had the opportunity to get used to the challenging new circuit in a territory all new to SBK racing before practice starts for real on Friday 24th August.
Times: 1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’35.891; 2. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.071; 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’36.119; 4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.304; 5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.421; 6. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.637; 7. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 1’36.716; 8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’36.823; 9. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 1’36.858; 10. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 1’36.865; etc.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) eased to the top of the testing timesheets at the all-new Moscow Raceway today, pushing his CBR600RR machine just ahead of his PTR team-mate, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), who had been fastest this morning. Lowes set a best lap of 1 minute 38.548 seconds, with Cluzel the only other rider into the 1’38 bracket. Testing at the 3.931km Moscow Raceway circuit was carried out in near perfect conditions and track grip improved all the way to the finish. Ten Kate Racing Products rider Broc Parkes was the third Honda competitor in the top three places. The first Kawasaki, ridden by Kenan Sofuoglu (Lorenzini Kawasaki), was fourth and the first Yamaha was the Yakhnich Motorsport R6 of local star Vladimir Leonov, in a fine fifth place. Sofuoglu’s team-mate, Sheridan Morais, was sixth.
Times: 1. Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.548; 2. Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.596; 3. Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) Honda CBR600RR 1’38.794; 4. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.021; 5. Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport) Yamaha YZF R6 1’39.448; 6. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.531; 7. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.537; 8. Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini) Honda CBR600RR 1’39.568; 9. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE) Honda CBR600RR 1’39.582; 10. Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) Honda CBR600RR 1’39.711; etc.