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portimao_testThe Aprilia riders were at the front of the pack at the end of the World Superbike testing session at Portimao. Eugene Laverty took the top spot ahead of his fellow Aprilia rider max Biaggi.

Laverty, who raced a Yamaha in 2011, set the unofficial lap record at the Portimao circuit. Laverty brought the RSV4 around the track in 1’42.7, beating out Max Biaggi’s 2010 record by .07 seconds. Biaggi nearly broke his record too, with a 1’42.8 laptime.

Chaz Davies, the third Aprilia rider, finished 6th for the day with a 1’43.2 laptime.

Chasing Laverty and Biaggi around the track was a string of BMW riders. Ayrton Badovini, Leon Haslam, and Marco Melandri took places three through five on the final day of testing.

“I am very happy. It was very good to come back to Portimão and set constantly quick lap times on this track, on which we were not so competitive last season,” said BMW Motorrad factory rider Leon Haslam. “This shows that we have taken a really good step forward, particularly in regard to the engine characteristic and the electronics. We also found very good settings with the new chassis. The team will now use the coming two months to prepare everything for Australia. If we continue in this direction, everything is looking good for Phillip Island. I will now return to England and have an intensive fitness programme with my trainer lined up for December and January. And I am really excited about the birth of our first child very soon.”

The Portimao test was the last testing session for the World Superbike riders until after the Winter. The new winter testing ban will go into effect tomorrow and will last until January 15th. The first round of the 2012 World Superbike season will be held at Phillip Island in Australia on February 26th.

Overall unofficial times (with qualifying tyre times in brackets): 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’42.7; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’42.8; 3. Badovini (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.5); 4. Haslam (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.2); 5. Melandri (BMW) 1’43.1 (1’42.4); 6. Davies (Aprilia) 1’43.2; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 1’43.8; 8. Fabrizio (BMW) 1’43.9 (1’43.3); 9. Seeley (Suzuki) 1’44.1 (1’43.5).

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