2009 Yamaha Motor Italia Superbike riders Ben Spies and Tom Sykes endured some serious heat on their three day test in Kyalami. The young riders endured track temperatures approaching 50 degrees as they put the all-new-for-2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 through its paces on only its second outing on track.
The final day saw Spies pull in his fastest time of the test, taking second fastest honours overall and only a mere 0.2s behind Michel Fabrizio and beating Noriyuki Haga to the second spot, making him one of only three riders to break the 1.40 barrier with a time of 1.39″978. Tom Sykes was getting back on form until an unfortunate crash curtailed his testing for the day, he again improved on his times in the limited laps run with a 1.41″562. read more
The first ever lap of Kyalami under 1 minute and 40 seconds came early in the final day of WSB testing, thanks to Michel Fabrizio, the star of these tests so far. With little over half an hour gone Fabrizio set a time of 1’39.714, the best ever lap of Kyalami by a motorcycle.
With the weather shaping up to be scorching once more, the track temperature will be rising as the day goes on, then dropping again in the late afternoon. The teams should therefore have one final chance to take their best times shortly before the finish of track action, at 5pm local time. read more
Michel Fabrizio once again set the pace for Ducati Xerox on the second day of Pirelli tyre development tests at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa. The young Italian clocked a time of 1 minute 40.256 seconds, one second beneath his day 1 time and some way quicker than the circuit’s previous Superbike lap records which date back to 2002.
“I’m not entirely satisfied today either because I made a small mistake on my good lap, otherwise I’m convinced I could have got below the 1’40″ mark” declared the 24 year-old from Rome. read more
Ben Spies continued to slash the odds on him proving a title contender in his rookie World Superbike season as he eased to the second quickest time on the first day of testing around Kyalami.
Having made a fine impression on his debut at Portimao last month, Spies continued where he left off in South Africa, despite having never experienced the circuit before.
Getting more miles aboard the Yamaha Italia machine under his belt, Spies completed 46 laps over the course of the day on the way to a best time of 1min 41.599secs, around three tenths adrift of pace setter Michel Fabrizio read more
With two days of testing remaining, the multiple AMA Champion has already given the bike his approval.
The top World Superbike teams have arrived at Kyalami in South Africa for the first leg of winter testing in preparation for the 2009 season, which gets underway on March 1 in Australia.
The three days of testing, from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 December, will help to develop the evolution tyres that one-make supplier Pirelli is producing for next season. Kyalami will once again be the venue for a round of the championship for production-based bikes for the first time since 2002: the South African Round is scheduled for May 17 next year. read more