Record times were set in two days of official SBK testing at Valencia in preparation for the third round of the championship here on April 6th. Australian Karl Muggeridge surprisingly took the top slot on his privateer DF Racing Honda CBR1000RR machine, leaving the unofficial circuit record at 1'34.252, a fraction quicker than the mark set yesterday by Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who was not present today because of lack of engine parts
"This bike has got a lot of potential," said a delighted Muggeridge, former World Supersport champion. "On race tyre we didn’t go as well as on the Q but I would say we are probably around fourth or fifth there, we do have some small problems with the swingarm causing some chattering on race set-up but for the Spanish Round we'll have some new electronic parts so I'm feeling confident we can fix that too. The DF Racing guys are doing a great job and I think we're going to get some good results this season".
In the absence of Ducati Xerox's Bayliss and Fabrizio, the Ducati attack was in the hands of Xaus yesterday and Lorenzo Lanzi, who was quickest for much of today.
The Italian was followed by two Hondas of Spain's Carlos Checa and Japan's Ryuichi Kiyonari, both looking in good shape for the HANNspree Ten Kate team and doing really fast times on race tyres.
Three Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 machines were next up, Fonsi Nieto improving in the afternoon to slip ahead of his German team-mate Max Neukirchner, who went off in the final session, while Yukio Kagayama was eighth quickest
Roberto Rolfo (HANNspree Honda Althea) and Makoto Tamada (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse) rounded off the top 10.
Also absent were Yamaha Motor Italia riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga, as well as Max Biaggi of Sterilgarda, recovering from a wrist fracture suffered in Phillip Island.
Valencia SBK Test 13th – 14th March 2008 - Final Times
1. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1'34.252
2. Xaus R. (ESP) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'34.265
3. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098 RS 08 1'34.388
4. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1'34.493
5. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'34.828
6. Nieto F. (ESP) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'34.911
7. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'34.984
8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'35.017
9. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'35.152
10. Tamada M. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'35.581
11. Laconi R. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'35.740
12. Nakatomi S. (JPN) Yamaha YZF-R1 1'36.057
13. Holland R. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1'36.386
14. Badovini A. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'36.441
15. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'36.698
16. Napoleone L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1'37.696