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.

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Bautista TBG
Alvaro Bautista set the highest trap speeds in both sessions today on the new Fireblade

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.

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Sykes TBG
Tom Sykes

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.

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Rea TBG
Jonathan Rea

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.

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Bautista TBG
Alvaro Bautista set the fastest trap speeds in both sessions

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.”

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Haslam TBG
Leon Haslam ran competitive pace today on the new Fireblade

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.

WSBK TBG Test Phillip Island Redding TBG
Scott Redding was the fastest Ducati in sixth

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

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
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.

WSBK TBG ASBK Round Phillip Island Andrea Locatelli TBG
Andrea Locatelli topped both World Supersport test sessions at Phillip Island on Monday

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.

WSBK TBG ASBK Round Phillip Island Oli Bayliss TBG
Oli Bayliss

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.

Oli Bayliss

“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.”

WSBK TBG ASBK Round Phillip Island Oli Bayliss TBG
Oli Bayliss

Phillip Island WorldSSP Testing
Monday Combined Times

  1. Locatelli – Yamaha 1m33.336
  2. Krummenacher – MV 1m33.638
  3. De Rosa – MV 1m33.671
  4. Vinales – Yamaha 1m33.882
  5. Mahias – Kawasaki 1m33.896
  6. Cluzel – Yamaha 1m33.921
  7. Odendaal – Yamaha 1m34.426
  8. Oettl – Kawasaki 1m34.543
  9. Perolari – Yamaha 1m34.599
  10. Soomer – Yamaha 1m34.750
  11. Oncu – Kawasaki 1m34.862
  12. Fuligni – MV 1m35.131
  13. Gonzalez – Kawasaki 1m35.224
  14. Sebestyen – Yamaha 1m35.259
  15. Okubo – Honda 1m35.269
  16. Bayliss – Yamaha 1m35.918
  17. Bergman – Yamaha 1m36.006
  18. Hobelsberger – Honda 1m36.092
  19. Webb – Yamaha 1m36.218
  20. Cresson – Yamaha 1m36.326
  21. Verdoia – Yamaha 1m36.329
  22. Van Sikkelerus – Yamaha 1m36.419

Images by TBG