Battle Of The Brits To Rea

Paul Carruthers | January 24, 2010

Hannspree Ten Kate Jonathan Rea ended up the best of the Brits and that put him at the very top of the World Superbike time sheets after six sessions of testing at the Portimao circuit in Portugal today.Four Brits ended up in the top five in today’s final session, but none were better than Rea and the CBR1000RR as he came out on top of a battle with Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam for bragging rights at the conclusion of the first test of the new season. Rea lapped at 1:42.270 with Haslam just behind with his 1:42.557. The final rider to crack the 1:43 barrier was yet another Brit, Shane Byrne on the Althea Racing Ducati 1098R. Byrne was the fastest of the Ducatis at the test, beating out factory Xerox Ducati man Michel Fabrizio, the Italian ending the day fourth fastest.”This test was a lot of fun, we worked through everything methodically and we are in good shape to begin the season,” Rea said. “We got most of the big things like suspension spec, linkage and swingarm teed off so now we can go to Phillip Island and fine-tune our racing. To say we are ready to go racing at Phillip Island, we’re not sure about that, but the bike is ready and now I plan to put the next three or four weeks to good use with my trainer and hopefully I’ll be ready. We’re all excited about the prospect of racing for a world championship.”Cal Crutchlow rode the factory Yamaha R1 to the fifth best time, barely ahead of his teammate James Toseland. Then came Xerox Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga in seventh, over a full second off Rea’s pace.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Max Neukirchner ended up eighth today, ahead of Alsare Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli with Max Biaggi riding the factory Aprilia to 10th. Biaggi actually went slower in today’s dry session than he did on the first day. His best lap of the test was Friday’s 1:43.364.The factory Kawasaki’s ended up 14th and 15th with Chris Vermeulen leading Tom Sykes in today’s session. Roger Lee Hayden (pictured), meanwhile, rode the Pedercini Kawasaki to 19th with his 1:46.990, shaving 1.3 seconds off his best effort from Friday’s dry sessions in his first outing with the team.

Sunday Times

1.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:42.270

2. Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:42.557

3 . Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:42.877

4. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:43.137

5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:43.141

6. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:43.157

7. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:43.417

8. Max Neukirchner (Honda) 1:43.471

9. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) 1:43.508

10. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:43.51519. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:46.990

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.