Jonathan Rea fastest in WSBK test opener


Kawasaki Racing Team duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have sent an early and ominous warning that they’ll be the crack combination in this year’s world superbike title after setting the fastest two times at the start of a two-day official WSBK test session at Phillip Island ahead of this weekend’s opening round.

Rea, who has joined Kawasaki in 2015 after a long career at Honda, was best with a 1:31.663, ahead of Sykes (1:31.761), Ducati’s Davide Giugliano (1:31.948) and Aprilia’s Leon Haslam (1:31.980) – the only four rides to stop the clock under the 32-second barrier.

The current lap record is held by Briton Chaz Davies (1:30.949), set in 2014 on his factory Ducati.

Davies (1:32.412) was seventh fastest in the two-hour session, behind world superbike rookies Jordi Torres (Aprilia, 1:32.133) and former MotoGP rider Randy De Puniet (1:32.402).

Ducati rider Nicolas Terol (1:32.524), another fresh face in the 2015 WSBK title, was eighth fastest, ahead of Alex Lowes (Suzuki, 1:32.806) and world champion Sylvain Guintoli (Honda,  1:32.912), who is still riding under duress after a big crash in final European testing at Jerez a few weeks ago.

Australian wildcards Matt Walters and Jed Metcher, both riding Kawasakis, completed the first session of four in 19th and 20th positions respectively.

The WSBK riders will be back on track at 3:40pm this afternoon.

WSBK Test Session One

  1. Rea – Kawasaki – 1m31.663
  2. Sykes – Kawasaki – 1m31.761
  3. Giugliano – Ducati – 1m31.948
  4. Haslam – Aprilia – 1m31.980
  5. Torres – Aprilia – 1m32.133
  6. De Puniet – Suzuki – 1m32.402
  7. Davies – Ducati – 1m32.512
  8. Terol – Ducati – 1m32.524
  9. Lowes – Suzuki – 1m32.806
  10. Guintoli – Honda – 1m32.912
  11. Salom – Kawasaki – 1m32.957
  12. Camier – MV Agusta – 1m33.162
  13. Vd Mark – Honda – 1m33.325
  14. Canepa – EBR – 1m33.400
  15. Baiocco – Ducati – 1m34.077
  16. Mercado – Ducati – 1m34.489
  17. Pegram – EBR – 1m35.090
  18. Ramos – Kawasaki – 1m35.296
  19. Walters – Kawasaki –  1m35.415
  20. Metcher – Kawasaki – 1m35.517
  21. Barrier – BMW – 1m35.705
  22. Barragan – Kawasaki – 1m36.174
  23. Ponsson – Kawasaki – 1m36.760
  24. Rizmayer – BMW – 1,39.306

Sofuoglu dominates WSS Test Day One – Wagner ends day one sixth quickest

Australasian Supersport champion Aiden Wagner has made a promising start to a two-day world supersport test session at Phillip Island by setting the fourth fastest time in this morning’s opening 110-minute hitout.

The 20-year-old Queenslander set a best lap of 1min35.322secs on his locally built Yamaha to complete the first  session behind triple world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki, 1:34.269), 2014 Phillip Island world supersport winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta, 1:34.968) and Italian Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta, 1:35.306).

The world supersport riders headed back out for their second and final session of the day this afternoon with Sofuoglu further lowering his mark to 1m33.734 on the Kawasaki ZX-6R.  MV Agusta teammates Cluzel and Zanetti improved by almost a full-second from their morning time to finish the day a lot closer to the Turk this afternoon.  

Jacobson and Gino Rea slipped past Wagner in the afternoon session to relegate the Australian to sixth fastest on a 1m35.055. 

Wagner, who competed in last year’s Moto2 world championship race at Phillip Island, will be one of three Aussie wildcards in this Sunday’s world supersport race, alongside Alex Phillis (Honda) and Sam Lambert (Triumph).

Aiden Wagner – “I’m riding the thing pretty hard, what I am losing out on the straights I am making up on corner entry and mid-turn, we are setting the bike up now so that it is working smoother so I can do that each time and do it more consistently, so we have just got to keep chipping away, keep making some positive changes to the bike then we should be right.”

Phillis only received a call-up to the Italian Team Lorini squad last Friday, and his teammate will be veteran Roberto Rolfo who was seventh fastest today while Phillis finished the day with the 20th fastest time ahead of Briton Clarke, while Lambert rounded out the 22-rider session.

Glenn Scott is the fourth Australian in the field and is using the test to familiarise himself with the AARK Racing Honda CBR600RR he will campaign throughout the whole 2015 World Supersport Championship season. A last minute deal catapulted Scott from the ranks of the Australasian Superbike Championship to World Supersport and this week’s two-day test is vital preparation for the NSW rider who finished the first day 19th quickest.

There will be another two sessions tomorrow for the world supersport field, starting at 11:20am and 3:40pm respectively.

WSS Test Session Two

  1. Sofuoglu 1m33.734
  2. Cluzel 1m34.012
  3. Zanetti 1m34.431
  4. Jacobsen 1m34.946
  5. Rea 1m35.041
  6. Wagner 1m35.055
  7. Rolfo 1m35.143
  8. Faccani 1m35.195
  9. Russo 1m35.429
  10. Smith 1m35.561
  11. Baldolini 1m35.815
  12. Mahias 1m35.838
  13. Wahr 1m36.360
  14. Schmitter 1m36.394
  15. Wilairot 1m36.421
  16. Menghi 1m36.481
  17. Cardenas 1m36.497
  18. Gamarino 1m36.615
  19. Scott 1m37.739
  20. Phillis 1m38.154
  21. Clarke 1m39.536
  22. Lambert 1m41.584

WSS Test Session One

  1. Sofuoglu – Kawasaki – 1m34.269
  2. Cluzel – MV Agusta – 1m34.968
  3. Zanetti – MV Agusta – 1m35.306
  4. Wagner – Yamaha – 1m35.322
  5. Rolfo – Honda – 1m35.338
  6. Russo – Honda – 1m35.377
  7. Faccani – Kawasaki – 1m35.776
  8. Jacobsen – Kawasaki – 1m35.784
  9. Rea – Honda – 1m36.109
  10. Smith – Honda – 1m36.275
  11. Menghi – Yamaha – 1m36.558
  12. Mahias – Kawasaki – 1m37.024
  13. Cardenas – Honda – 1m37.197
  14. Wahr – Honda – 1m37.530
  15. Gamarino – Kawasaki – 1m38.221
  16. Phillis – Honda – 1m38.637
  17. Scott – Honda – 1m38.654
  18. Schmitter – Kawasaki – 1m38.906
  19. Clarke – Honda – 1m40.838
  20. Baoldolini – MV Agusta – 1m41.415
  21. Lambert – Triumph – 1m41.645
Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea
Aiden Wagner finished day one of the test with the sixth fastest time
Aiden Wagner finished day one of the test with the sixth fastest time