WorldSBK 2016 Phillip Island Test Day One

Tom Sykes heads a Kawasaki 1-2 on the opening day of two-day World Superbike Phillip Island Test
Tom Sykes - Image by Graeme Brown
Tom Sykes – Image by Graeme Brown

Jonathan Rea and his factory Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes have begun the final WorldSBK pre-season test session in dominant fashion by setting the fastest two times at Phillip Island today.

In an ominous display of force on the updated ZX-10R, 2013 world champion Sykes was fastest with a 1min31.097sec lap across the two 120-minute sessions, ahead of reigning No. 1 Rea (1:31.293), Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Honda, 1:31.510), Jordi Torres (BMW Motorrad, 1:31.526) and WorldSBK rookie Nicky Hayden (Honda, 1:31.558).

Michael Van der Mark - Image by Graeme Brown
Michael Van der Mark – Image by Graeme Brown

Van der Mark was the fastest rider on track in the morning session, but failed to better his time this afternoon — as was the case for Aussie Josh Brookes (BMW Motorrad), who crashed at the high-speed turn 11.

Brookes was uninjured and returned to work soon after, finishing day one in 14th position with a best lap of 1:32.714.

Josh Brookes - Image by Graeme Brown
Josh Brookes – Image by Graeme Brown

That put Brookes two spots ahead of compatriot and wildcard Mike Jones (1:33.051), who really started to ramp things up on his Ducati.

Mike Jones - Image by Graeme Brown
Mike Jones – Image by Graeme Brown

The third Australian in the 25-rider field, Josh Hook, was 19th fastest with a 1:33.792 on his privateer Kawasaki.

Josh Hook - Image by Graeme Brown
Josh Hook – Image by Graeme Brown

Hayden, alongside Max Biaggi one of the biggest names to ever join WorldSBK from MotoGP, was a big improver this afternoon as he continued to feel more comfortable in his first outing on a superbike at Phillip Island.

Nicky Hayden - Image by Graeme Brown
Nicky Hayden – Image by Graeme Brown

Hayden completed day one ahead of Yamaha teammates Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes — the riders tasked with steering the Japanese company’s official re-entry into WorldSBK.

Meanwhile, emerging Spaniard Xavi Fores (Ducati) finished ahead of the Ducati factory riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano to complete the top 10.

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies

“We followed a specific program, working on competitiveness over 20 laps and keeping the race weekend in mind. With the team, we only made a few, small changes to the chassis and electronics, and I was quite happy before the crash. I was trying a new compound, but I couldn’t find the same feeling. Maybe I needed a bit more time with it, but unfortunately I crashed out in the last corner. The good news is that I’m physically OK, so we’ll be able to move on with our program tomorrow.”

Davide Giugliano

“I’m working differently with my new team compared with the past, prioritising consistency. Looking at the time sheets, I feel satisfied because I was able to consistently lap in the 1:31 mark. We still lack a bit of rear grip to improve our speed, but I feel I can repeat my times constantly and that gives me confidence. Tomorrow, if the weather improves, we’ll try a long-run to evaluate tyre wear.”

Davide Giugliano
Davide Giugliano

German Marcus Reiterberger, teammate to Torres, was also mightily impressive in his first ride at Phillip Island, completing day one in 11th position. Reiterberger comes to WorldSBK after winning the 2015 German IDM superbike title, just as Brookes is making the switch after a similarly dominant campaign in the UK.

In world supersport, Swiss rookie and former Moto2 rider Randy Krummenacher ended day one just in front of Kawasaki teammate and world champion Kenan Sofuoglu, followed by yet more big guns: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta), Patrick Jacobsen (Honda) and Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta). The gap between the quintet was 0.786secs.

Aiden Wagner (MV Agusta) and wildcard Anthony West (Yamaha) were the fastest Australians in ninth and 10th.

Aiden Wagner
Aiden Wagner

Of the other locals, Glenn Scott (Honda) was 15th, Mitch Levy (Yamaha) 20th, Alex Phillis (Honda) 22nd, Kane Burns (Suzuki) 24th and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) 27th.

Lachlan Epis - Image by Graeme Brown
Lachlan Epis – Image by Graeme Brown

Testing continues tomorrow with two sessions apiece for the world championship classes, in what will be the final shakedown before practice and qualifying begins on Friday for round one.

Video Highlights – World Superbike 2016 – Phillip Island Test – Day One
(only available for viewing within Australia)

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Josh Brookes Interview – World Superbike 2016 – Phillip Island Test – Day One

[you[youtube id=”c7jijNoxwwc” width=”560" height=”315"]

World Superbike 2016 – Phillip Island Test – Day One Times
  1. Sykes 1m31.097
  2. Rea 1m31.293
  3. Van Der Mark 1m31.510
  4. Torres 1m31.526
  5. Hayden 1m31.558
  6. Guintoli 1m31.583
  7. Lowes 1m31.620
  8. Fores 1m31.661
  9. Davies 1m31.678
  10. Giugliano 1m31.810
  11. Reiterberger 1m31.928
  12. Ramos 1m32.500
  13. Camier 1m32.707
  14. Brookes 1m32.714
  15. Savadori 1m32.892
  16. Jones 1m33.051
  17. Barrier 1m33.147
  18. Menghi 1m33.792
  19. Hook 1m33.792
  20. De Angelis 1m33.979
  21. Abraham 1m34.706
  22. Schmitter 1m35.640
  23. Al Sulaiti 1m36.121
  24. Toth 1m36.463
  25. Sebestyen 1m37.927
World Supersport 2016 – Phillip Island Test – Day One Times
  1. Krummenacher 1m33.678
  2. Sofuoglu 1m33.770
  3. Cluzel 1m34.233
  4. Jacobsen 1m34.415
  5. Zanetti 1m34.464
  6. Wahr 1m34.579
  7. Rea 1m35.146
  8. Jezek 1m35.163
  9. Wagner 1m35.449
  10. West 1m35.511
  11. Baldolini 1m35.557
  12. Terol 1m35.744
  13. Smith 1m35.746
  14. Khairuddin 1m35.842
  15. Scott 1m35.914
  16. Ryde 1m35.931
  17. Stapleford 1m36.603
  18. Rolfo 1m36.612
  19. Caricasulo 1m36.775
  20. Levy 1m36.901
  21. Okubo 1m37.480
  22. Phillis 1m37.735
  23. Calero 1m37.918
  24. Burns 1m38.109
  25. Hill 1m38.535
  26. Gamarino 1m38.885
  27. Epis 1m39.183

The kick-off of the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round will be held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit this Friday to Sunday (Feb 26-28).  

Tickets at www.ticketek.com.au or at gate.