Superbike - Laverty sets pace at unofficial Phillip Island test, Sykes injured

Eugene Laverty went quickest as the World Superbike riders tuned up for the upcoming season at Phillip Island, Australia.

The unofficial testing day comes before two official days on February 18-19 ahead of the season opener next weekend, and Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 posted the fastest time, 1:31.7.

It was a day of incident, however, with Tom Sykes, last-year’s championship runner-up, one of several racers to suffer crashes and possible injuries.

Sykes had only managed five laps before high-sided at the Siberia turn. He suffered a wrist injury and has gone to hospital in Melbourne for X-Rays, but remains optimistic of being able to compete in the first race weekend of the season.

Leon Camier went second for Suzuki on the newly-relaid surface, despite missing part of the day’s testing because of a crash.

“I don't really know why I crashed,” Camier admitted, “because the track felt good and it was nice and smooth with the new surface - in fact it was quite confidence inspiring. I was on an in-lap and as I turned into the second-last corner in quite a positive way - but slower than previously - the bike just came round on me and off I went.

Camier’s team-mate Jules Cluzel, seventh on the timesheets, also went off twice at turn 11, injuring his elbow in the process.

Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam were third and fourth of the 14 riders to test.

2011 champion Carlos Checa sat out the session with a stomach bug.

Tests

1. Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 31.7s

2. Leon Camier Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 31.9s

3. Jonathan Rea Pata Honda CBR1000RR 1m 32.0s

4. Leon Haslam Pata Honda CBR1000RR 1m 32.0s

5. Marco Melandri BMW GoldBet S1000RR 1m 32.2s

6. Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 32.3s

7. Jules Cluzel Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 32.5s

8. Davide Giugliano Althea Aprilia RSV4 1m 32.7s

9. Ayrton Badovini Alstare Ducati 1199 R 1m 32.8s

10. Max Neukirchner MR Ducati 1199 R 1m 32.9s

11. Chaz Davies BMW GoldBet S1000RR 1m 33.0s

12. Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 33.2s

13. Michel Fabrizio Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 1m 33.7s

14. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 34.5s