WSBK Phillip Island Test Day One
While the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit remained dry for the afternoon WorldSSP session, unfortunately a few tiny drops of precipitation started falling around the circuit just as the final two-hour WorldSBK session got underway on schedule at 1540. It really was something of nothing, but changed the risk versus reward ratio in the balance of a very quiet track this afternoon.
With just under an hour remaining Loris Baz, Michael Rinaldi, Leon Haslam, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alex Lowes, Scott Redding and Chaz Davies were amongst the first riders to break the Phillip Island silence. The ambient air temperature was around 20-degree celsius while the track temp’ was just under 30-degrees.
The track was obviously not in too bad a condition as Leon Haslam quickly bettered his morning time, as did Eugene Laverty.
Tom Sykes was the only man to dip under the 1m31s barrier in the morning but was joined in the 1m30s by Loris Baz on the Ten Kate prepared Yamaha with ten-minutes remaining in the afternoon session, the 27-year-old going top of the time-sheets with a 1m30.777s.
Tom Sykes returned fire a few minutes later to lower the benchmark to 1m30.762, besting the Frenchman by a narrow 15-thousandths of a second.
Jonathan Rea then wound up the KRT bike and dropped in a 1m30.996 to go third quickest, he backed that up with a 1m31.194, cruised a lap then made another time attack, a 1m31.175 the result.
Turkish star Toprak Razgatlioglu saved his best for last and went top at the chequered flag, a 1m30.740 at the last gasp to top the days proceedings.
Alex Lowes had gone down at turn four late in the session, as did Federico Caricasulo.
Honda’s new Fireblade does is not short on mumbo. Alvaro Bautista hasn’t mustered any competitive lap-times on the Honda as yet, but the diminutive Spaniard is setting the fastest trap speeds, 317.6 km/h to top the morning session and then 314 km/h to also top the second session. HRC team-mate Leon Haslam was also in the top five speeds.
Alvaro Bautista – P15
“Today we were able to test some new items that the HRC engineers brought us. We are moving in the direction I requested, though we’re not quite there yet. Essentially, we are working to find a set-up that allows me to get better feedback from the bike and the tyres. We have actually improved front feeling to some extent, but not enough yet, and having good feedback from the tyres is particularly important at this track. Considering that this is still a brand-new project, I think it will be challenging for us this coming weekend, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time and we will get there if we continue to put in the work.”
Bautista’s 1m32.541 a long way from the 1m30.303 he set at the Phillip Island Test last year on the Ducati V4 R. Haslam though is competitive, his 1m31.196 was good enough for fifth quickest today.
Leon Haslam – P5
“To be honest, we were looking for more track time, but a red flag and rain meant we weren’t able to put in many fast laps. Luckily, we got the last 40 minutes or so this afternoon, and the lap times were not so bad. We’re quite consistent but there’s still a lot of work to be done. At this point, we also need to look ahead to the race weekend and work with that in mind, planning accordingly. With it being a new bike, and not having any references from last season, we need to be focused in our approach as we can’t do everything in a single test. A lot of my strengths suit this kind of track, so I’m confident in that regard, but right now the important thing is to develop, testing everything we have and starting to make some decisions. So, we’re trying to be methodical in our work during this test rather than focus on setting fast laps.”
Scott Redding was the fastest Ducati in sixth ahead of Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark, BMW’s Eugene Laverty and KRT’s Alex Lowes while Chaz Davies rounded out the top ten.
Testing continues tomorrow ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the Motul backed 2020 World Superbike Championship. Tuesday does present some probability of rain showers but hopefully riders can get in plenty of dry track time. The forecast for the race weekend is mostly sunny with expected temperatures in the low 20s.
Phillip Island WorldSBK Testing
Monday Combined Times
|1||T RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||1m30.740|
|2||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||+0.022|
|3||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||+0.037|
|4||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+0.256|
|5||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR||+0.456|
|6||S. REDDING||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+0.496|
|7||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||+0.700|
|8||E. LAVERTY||BMW S1000 RR||+0.845|
|9||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+0.925|
|10||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1.373|
|11||S. CORTESE||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1.524|
|12||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1.532|
|13||X. FORES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1.747|
|14||M. SCHEIB||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1.758|
|15||A. BAUTISTA||Honda CBR1000RR||+1.801|
|16||F. CARICASULO||Yamaha YZF R1||+1.966|
|17||G. GERLOFF||Yamaha YZF R1||+2.089|
|18||L. CAMIER||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2.889|
Phillip Island WorldSSP Testing
23-year-old Italian Andrea Locatelli topped both World Supersport test sessions at Phillip Island on Monday. The Bardahl Evan Bros Yamaha rider set a 1m33.362s in the morning session before narrowly besting that this afternoon with his 1m33.336s the benchmark for the day.
Randy Krummenacher had left that team after winning the championship in 2019 and fronts this season with the #1 plate on the MV Agusta Reparto Corse entry and was second quickest today, three-tenths behind Locatelli while De Rosa rounded out the top three ahead of Vinales.
16-year-old wildcard Oli Bayliss acquitted himself well today on the Cube Racing Yamaha and recorded a best of 1m35.918 to end the day 16th out of a 22-rider field.
At 258 km/h though Bayliss was the slowest through the speed trap. Spain’s Manuel Gonzalez set the fastest speed through the traps with the ParkinGo Kawasaki registering 271.4 km/h.
“The day ended better than it started. Not so happy this morning. So we worked in the break, and I had a whole new bike set-up for the afternoon session and it came together from there. And that time was on an old tyre, and we had a few other issues, that we are working on. Tomorrow, I am aiming to break into the top ten. I’d be happy with that for the test,” he said of his bike, that was only prepared to world-spec in the last two weeks and was given its first run on the island circuit today.”
Phillip Island WorldSSP Testing
Monday Combined Times
- Locatelli – Yamaha 1m33.336
- Krummenacher – MV 1m33.638
- De Rosa – MV 1m33.671
- Vinales – Yamaha 1m33.882
- Mahias – Kawasaki 1m33.896
- Cluzel – Yamaha 1m33.921
- Odendaal – Yamaha 1m34.426
- Oettl – Kawasaki 1m34.543
- Perolari – Yamaha 1m34.599
- Soomer – Yamaha 1m34.750
- Oncu – Kawasaki 1m34.862
- Fuligni – MV 1m35.131
- Gonzalez – Kawasaki 1m35.224
- Sebestyen – Yamaha 1m35.259
- Okubo – Honda 1m35.269
- Bayliss – Yamaha 1m35.918
- Bergman – Yamaha 1m36.006
- Hobelsberger – Honda 1m36.092
- Webb – Yamaha 1m36.218
- Cresson – Yamaha 1m36.326
- Verdoia – Yamaha 1m36.329
- Van Sikkelerus – Yamaha 1m36.419
Images by TBG