New Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi set the fastest time at this week's two-day World Superbike test at Valencia in Spain with a time of 1:33.9, as team mate Yukio Kagayama was close behind in third.
Despite having brand new GSX-R1000 Suzukis to work with, Biaggi and Kagayama knuckled down to the business of starting to learn about the new bike and its characteristics. The pair was ably assisted by the whole Alstare crew and work progressed at a good rate.
Conditions throughout the two days were perfect for the squad plus other WSBK top runners that included Troy Bayliss, Lorenzo Lanzi, James Toseland, Robbie Rolfo, Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga.
Max Biaggi - 157 laps. Best lap 1:33.9, 1st:
Valencia is a very twisty track and there is not much opportunity to catch your breath because you are always working hard. The chicanes seem to just come one after another and although it is not my favourite track, I enjoyed trying to make the bike work with me round it. This championship is full of specialist riders and I am new to it, so I know I have to adapt to the way of riding a Superbike.
Today we had many things to test and I concentrated on two areas - the first was to get the bike to steer into the turns the way I wanted and be smooth and the second was to see how the tyres behave after quite a few laps. Today I wanted to push the bike to the maximum so that I could give lots of information to the Japanese technicians so they can work well and improve the bike. I think I did that.
Yukio Kagayama-141 laps. Best lap 1:34.2, 3rd:
I had a small crash today when I lost the front on the brakes but I didn't hurt myself, so that was ok for me! But there was a lot of work for my mechanics to do and that lost quite a bit of time. So, sorry to my mechanics for giving them extra work. Today, I worked with the new bike and there were many settings to try'and many adjustments to make during the day.
Later in the day I tried a qualifying tyre but I didn't go any quicker than when I was on race rubber! I am pretty satisfied with these tests and we did a lot of good work on the new bike and gave a lot of information to the team so that we can improve next time out.
Best lap Times(over two days) on race rubber:
- 1. Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:33.9
- 2. Lanzi (I-Ducati) 1:34.1
- 3. Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:34.2
- 4. Bayliss (Aus-Ducati) 1:34.2
- 5. Toseland (GB-Honda) 1:34.6
- 6. Nieto (E-Kawasaki) 1:34.8
- 7. Corser (Aus-Yamaha) 1:34.9
- 8. Laconi (F-Kawasaki) 1:35.1
- 9. Haga (J-Yamaha) 1:35.3
- 10. Rolfo (I-Honda) 1:36.7