MOSCOW – Carlos Checa of Althea Racing Ducati led the way in testing for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Moscow Raceway, heading up the 21-strong group as World Superbike ventured onto the new circuit for the first time.
His best time of 1:35.891 was enough to keep him ahead of Leon Haslam of BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the charging late push of Tom Sykes of the Kawasaki Racing Team. Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Motorsport ran fourth, just ahead of the Aprilia Racing machine of Max Biaggi.
“It is a nice adventure to be here in Russia and it’s a really nice track. In some places you can only use about 15 percent of throttle and just keep rolling the bike. We feel quite well today and this is a track where we have been working well in both the morning and the afternoon,” said Checa. “We understand the line, the gearbox and the tires. At the end we felt the tyres were working a lot better in the afternoon because probably the asphalt is less aggressive now. We are losing a lot on the straight, which is uphill, so it is not easy to manage that.”
Chaz Davies of ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia put his entry into the top six places, ahead of Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano.
The top Honda rider was Jonathan Rea of Honda World Superbike Team in 12th place, one up on the best Suzuki tester, Leon Camier of FIXI Crescent Suzuki.
The new circuit proved to be a challenge for all the top riders, with slow and fast corners combined, including a drop downhill and a long straight back uphill into the final corner.