Byrne Fastest At Portimao

Press Release | January 23, 2009

The folling is from Infront Motorsports… Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) led the time sheets for much of the first day of testing at Portimao, both in the morning session when it was wet in many places then in the afternoon as track conditions dried almost completely. His impressive pace took him to a day one overall best of 1’44.265, less than one second from the absolute track best, set by outgoing champion Troy Bayliss last year. Byrne had to put in an effort later in the session, as first Michel Fabrizio and then Ben Spies passed him, but after his 47 laps, Byrne held the upper hand on his private 1098R. Max Neukirchner pushed the new Suzuki to fourth fastest time, still inside the 1’44 bracket, as was the following Noriyuki Haga, getting used to his factory Ducati at a quick pace. Every one of the 27 riders on show went quicker in the afternoon sessions, leaving Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) sixth fastest as he put in a strong challenge throughout. The top Honda was the privateer Stiggy Motorsports machine of Leon Haslam, leading a three rider running flush of CBR machinery ahead of team-mates Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa. The top ten was rounded out by Yukio Kagayama’s Suzuki, with Broc Parkes the leading Kawasaki runner in 14th. The all-new BMW and Aprilia machines were out in full force at this test, with Troy Corser 15th on the S1000RR and Max Biaggi 16th on the vee-four Aprilia. In the Supersport class, the new combination of Joan Lascorz and his Kawasaki ZX-6R proved to be the quickest overall, albeit on a slightly wetter track than the Superbike riders finally got to ride on. Second was class rookie Cal Crutchlow, on a Yamaha, with Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu third, Suzuki man Barry Veneman fourth, making for four different types of machine inside the top four. Two more days of testing remain. 1. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’44.265 2. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’44.468 3. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’44.652 4. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.931 5. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’44.976 6. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’45.266 7. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.323 8. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.329 9. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.373 10. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’45.448

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