Alex Lowes tops Phillip Island WSBK Test – Problems plague wildcards Walters and Metcher By Trevor Hedge
Alex Lowes continued where he left off yesterday to again set the pace today at Phillip Island as the official WSBK Phillip Island Test drew to a close.
Lowes set the marker at 1m30.859 this morning in cooler conditions and no headwind to slow his Suzuki GSX-R1000 down the straight where he managed 306.8km/h for the fifth fastest time down the chute. Strangely, Lowes set the fastest sector times in only one of the five sectors, but was outside the top three sector times across the remaining four sectors.
Alex Lowes:“We’ve had a good day and got through a detailed test programme, there’s not too much that we wanted to try that we haven’t really, so it’s been a difficult two days for the mechanics working really hard! The GSX-R is pretty good now, we’ll make a few changes over the weekend depending on the temperature and some minor things to try with electronics and the chassis but the biggest improvement still to come is from me and I know a few areas I can ride differently. I enjoyed it a lot today, did a race-run, put a lot of effort in and tried to keep within the limits. Thanks to the lads for all the hard work; hopefully we’ll keep progressing over the race weekend.”
Jonathan Rea is clearly gelling with the Kawasaki ZX-10R after many years aboard Honda machinery and was only a whisker away from top spot, a 1m30.880 to the Phillip Island based Irishman. Interestingly it was Rea who put in the most amount of laps across the two days with 139 laps of the 4.45km circuit amassing 619km on Kawasaki Racing Team machine.
Jonathan Rea: “I am happy to go into race weekend like this, although we still have some things to work on. It is just a bit of an unknown really so I am just working with my guys on the bike and trying to focus on going as fast as we can for all 20-laps. I was able to do a long run today and was able to keep most of the laps in the 1’31s. I do not know how competitive that is going to be but for now it is a start and we have that information to work with. We have done all the testing we can do, so I am happy that race weekend is coming. All the anticipation and excitement is there but we do not have to wait long now. I am looking forward to the lights going out on race day. Definitely, this is the best position we have ever been in at the start of a season.”
Jordi Torres again showed the extra weight and horsepower of a World Superbike, compared to the Moto2 machinery he has been on in recent years, is to his liking. The Spaniard third quickest and his Aprilia the fastest machine through the speed trap at 310.3km/h.
Jordi Torres: “At the end of the day I’m satisfied, even if there are still a lot of aspects I need to understand better, such as the braking sections or the “tight” ride this bike requires. The RSV4 rides well, the team works great and I don’t think that even the crash today will create any big problems in terms of confidence. It was a shame to have to stop the tests early because there were still a few important things to try in order to further adapt my riding style to the bike. We need to continue working like this in order to improve lap by lap.”
Wily Yorkshireman Tom Sykes ended the test fourth quickest from his 127 laps. A 1m31.075 to the 2013 World Superbike Champion.
Tom Sykes: “In general I am relatively happy and we set some good lap times at the end on used tyres. We have got a little bit of thinking to do now to decide our final direction for the race weekend and it is not a bad situation to be in, even though I had a very strange crash today. As I entered the last corner I felt OK but then I lost the rear quite easily. I tried to correct it and when I did it reacted and threw me over the high side. The boys worked really well and they were able to get out on the second bike, on a different set-up, so I was able to gather more information. Phillip Island is not ‘my’ circuit so to be so fast over race distance is promising. Credit to the boys and Kawasaki for giving me what I need. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well and if it does what I want it to then we can have a good race weekend.”
Leon Haslam put down a 1m31.102 on his Red Devils Aprilia to declare his intentions to fight for podiums and race wins in season 2015 after what has been a problematic few years for the likeable 31-year-old.
Leon Haslam: “Another positive day. This morning we tried a lot of new things over a long run and this afternoon we focused on fine tuning everything, testing more new changes without pushing to the limit to try and find our best lap time. I’m pleased with the job we did during these two days and I’m confident for the first race weekend. We still have the Friday and Saturday practice sessions which we will use to further improve some aspects of the setup and the electronics, but I’m confident that we will be very competitive in the races.”
Chaz Davies was the quickest Ducati. A 1m31.296 to the Welshman on the Ducati Panigale R. Davies ranked sixth overall on completion of the two-day test ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki) and fellow Ducati pilot Nicolas Terol.
Nico Terol: “I’m pleased with how these two days of tests at Phillip Island have gone. We’ve done a good job, our pace is good, having recorded lap times that were more or less in line with my expectations. I really like the bike and I see that I still have room for improvement, and this is important and something I will concentrate on during the sessions on Friday and Saturday, doing my best to improve on my times. I have good feeling, the team has worked very well and I want to do a good job, starting from Friday, in order to prepare as well as possible for the races.”
The fastest Honda time was a 1m31.854 by Michael Van Der Mark while Davide Giugliano rounded out the top ten courtest of his Monday morning time. Giugliano is currently awaiting the opinion of specialists at a Melbourne hospital after suffering tiny fractures in his L1 and L2 vertebrae and is looking like to miss this weekend’s season opener.
Michael van der Mark – “I’m really excited now because I love racing more than testing! I think everyone’s the same but we needed this test and I have a good feeling now. Most of the time for me has been making laps, and lap-by-lap I’ve improved. It’s quite difficult – everyone is really fast and I’m still learning, but that’s the way we have to do it. We’ve had two quite good days and tried a lot of things and we’ve seen which things work and which things don’t, so I’m looking forward to starting the race weekend.”
Niccolo Canepa was a very encouraging 11th quickest on the Hero EBR, more than two-seconds quicker than his teammate Larry Pegram.
Defending Superbike World Champion Sylvain Guintoli was 12th quickest on the Pata Honda Fireblade but is still suffering back problems sustained in a testing crash earlier in the year.
Sylvain Guintoli – 1m32.220s – “We’re working hard and I’m actually feeling quite upbeat tonight, despite being quite a way down on time. It was important to get back on the bike here because obviously at the last test I didn’t get any track time, so almost no winter testing. I missed out on some good conditions in Jerez and I had to rebuild my confidence as well after that massive crash there. I had a little off today as well, which, in a way was quite good and it kind of woke me up at the end of the second day!”
Randy De Puniet only did 14 laps today after crashing heavily at turn 11 yesterday. The Frenchman has severe bruising and swelling across his lower back but is hopeful of being in better shape when proceedings get underway on Friday.
Randy de Puniet:“Nothing much to tell, the good news is nothing is broken but my back is very swollen. I had an examination today and everything looks ok. I tried to complete some laps this afternoon to get an idea of the feeling for Friday but it was so painful I only did 15 laps and decided to stop for medical treatment after one hour. Tomorrow and Thursday I will seek further treatment to try to reduce the pain but I’m confident that it will just get better day by day.”
Both Australian wildcards suffered their share of mechanical woes this morning with Matthew Walters blowing a gearbox apart in the Pedercini ZX-10R while Jed Metcher’s Race Center Team were frustrated all morning with electrical gremlins plaguing their machine also into the afternoon session. Better those problems rear their head today rather than on the race weekend though!
Matthew Walters ended the test 19th quickest with a 1m33.354 narrowly putting him ahead of Metcher’s 1m35.570. Walters put in 90 laps across the two days to Metcher’s 80 laps and the Pedercini machine recorded 295.1 through the speed trap today compared to the 293.5 of Metcher’s Race Center Kawasaki.
WSBK Phillip Island Test 2015 Combined Times All Sessions Monday and Tuesday
Alex Lowes – Suzuki -1m30.859
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki – 1m30.880
Jordi Torres – Aprilia – 1m30.971
Tom Sykes – Kawasaki – 1m31.075
Leon Haslam – Aprilia – 1m31.102
Chaz Davies – Ducati – 1m31.296
David Salom – Kawasaki – 1m31.510
Nicolas Terol – Ducati – 1m31.593
Michael Van Der Mark – Honda – 1m31.854
Davide Giugliano – Ducati – 1m31.948
Niccolo Canpea – EBR – 1m32.002
Sylvain Guintoli – Honda – 1m32.220
Leon Camier – MV Agusta – 1m32.238
Leandro Mercado – Ducati – 1m32.239
Sylvain Barrier – BMW – 1m32.268
Randy De Puniet – Suzuki – 1m32.402
Matteo Baiocco – Ducati – 1m42.430
Roman Ramos – Kawasaki – 1m33.349
Matthew Walters – Kawasaki – 1m33.354
Jed Metcher – Kawasaki – 1m33.570
Santiago Barragan – Kawasaki – 1m34.104
Larry Pegram – EBR – 1m34.274
Christophe PPonsson – Kawasaki – 1m34.966
Gabor Rizmayer – BMW – 1m35.351
Imre Toth – BMW – 1m36.112
WSBK Phillip Island Test 2015 Top Speeds Tuesday
Van Der Mark 306.8
Cluzel pips team mate and betters existing race lap record in final day of WSS testing at Phillip Island By Michael Hill and Trevor Hedge
As day two of official World Supersport testing drew to a close at an overcast yet dry Phillip Island it was 2014 round one winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and his team mate Lorenzo Zanetti who will head into Friday’s opening Free Practice sessions as the ones to beat after both riders dipped below the existing race lap record for the class, Cluzel producing a stunning 1.32.967s lap – the first ever sub 1.33s lap.
The cooler and less windy conditions ensured that all of the World Supersport contenders could maximise the track time available to them and despite a few spots of rain during the morning test almost every rider posted a faster time than on the opening day.
Behind the flying MV Agusta duo it was former multiple champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who gave chase in a solid 3rd position overall, a fraction of a second ahead of the current STK600 champion Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) who impressed in 4th on his Phillip Island debut.
French sensation Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres) and American team mate PJ Jacobsen rounded the top 6 of two days of testing that has many people now predicting a close and hard fought 2015 World Supersport campaign.
Ratthapark Wilairot adjusted to his CORE Motorsport Thailand Honda machine moving up to 7th overall while WSS returnee Alex Baldolini elevated himself into 10th aboard his privately entered Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta.
Aiden Wagner had starred on the opening day of testing with the sixth quickest time on his locally prepared Yamaha but he dropped a valve in one of their new engines this morning and missed the afternoon session and slipped down the order to 16th quickest overall. Wagner remains confident for the weekend where they have different spec’ engines to utilise over the race weekend.
Glenn Scott continued his familiarisation with the AARK Racing Honda and is happy to be moving in the right direction with set-up.
Alex Phillis finished the test 20th overall and is getting himself back up to speed on a 600cc machine after spending the last two years on 1,000cc bikes.
Sam Lambert blew a tyre in the afternoon session and finished the two days in 23rd spot on the timesheets aboard the only Triumph entered.
WSS Phillip Island Test 2015 Combined Times All Sessions Monday and Tuesday
Jules Cluzel – MV Agusta – 1m32.967
Lorenzo Zanetti – MV Agusta – 1m33.229
Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki – 1m33.555
Marco Faccani – Kawasaki – 1m33.930
Lucas Mahias – Kawasaki – 1m34.248
Patrick Jacobsen – Kawasaki – 1m34.269
Ratthapark Wilairot – Honda – 1m34.394
Riccardo Russo – Honda – 1m34.464
Kyle Smith – Honda – 1m34.482
Alex Baldolini – MV Agusta – 1m34.769
Roberto Rolfo – Honda – 1m34.772
Dominic Schmitter – Kawasaki – 1m34.922
Kevin Wahr – Honda – 1m34.955
Fabio Menghi – Yamaha – 1m35.029
Gino Rea – Honda – 1m35.041
Aiden Wagner – Yamaha – 1m35.055
Martin Cardenas – Honda – 1m35.331
Christian Gamarino – Kawasaki – 1m35.783
Glenn Scott – Honda – 1m36.328
Alex Phillis – Honda – 1m36.733
Kieran Clarke – Honda – 1m37.180
Nacho Calero – Kawasaki – 1m37.591
Sam Lambert – Triumph – 1m38.482
Marcos Ramirez – Kawasaki – 1m38.744
Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Sports Activities Director, had this to say at the end of the two days of testing: “By now we all know that Phillip Island puts tyres to a hard test and this is why working together with the teams is just as important as the riders’ style and the bike settings, both determining factors. Speaking of which, I would remind everyone that Pirelli recommends keeping the tyres in heat covers at a temperature of 95-100 degrees for an hour and, in any case, no longer than two hours in order to prevent the rubber from possibly losing its properties if subjected to excessive and prolonged heating. As for tyre pressure, it is important not to drop too low in order to obtain proper operating temperature as well. Having clarified this very important point, the weather will certainly also play an important role. The tests were conducted in relatively low temperatures, between 25 and 36 degrees on the tarmac, but Phillip Island has historically gotten us used to much higher temperatures in the past.”
In the Superbike class each rider will be able to choose from 5 solutions on the front and 7 on the rear for a total of 72 tyres, 32 on the front and 40 on the rear. As always, in addition to the DIABLO™ Superbike slicks, the riders will be able to count on the intermediate DIABLO™ Wet and DIABLO™ Rain solutions.
On the front Pirelli has chosen, in addition to the SC1 and SC2 compound solutions, slicks in the SC1 S1699 development solution, a tyre that made its début at Aragon and which was then the most used last season. Both this last solution and the SC2 were also used in the tests conducted on Monday and today.
For the rear Pirelli has confirmed the two development solutions used during the tests: the S1633, the go-to race tyre last year for all the riders, and the newS1687, another SC1 compound solution but with higher mechanical resistance than the standard SC1 from last year. In addition to these there are two new specifically developed solutions: the T1105 and the T1392, two solutions that use a blend similar to that of the S1687 but which differ because of the different structural materials intended to improve tyre performance and limit overheating, especially on the left side of the tread, one of the main problems that the rear tyres face on the Phillip Island circuit.
Also, for Superpole on Saturday, in addition to the race tyres all the riders participating in one of the two Superpole sessions will be able to use a qualifying tyre in a supersoft compound that can guarantee maximum performance for a flying lap as they try to put their best times on the board and earn a good spot on the starting grid.
In Supersport Pirelli’s goal with the solutions brought is the same with the difference that, compared to Superbike, the lap times are longer and therefore the stress on the tyres, in this case grooved and not slicks, is also greater.
On the front the riders will have their choice of one of two solutions, the same used in the tests: the standard SC1 and the SC1 S1485 development solution that was used for the first time last year at Misano with reasonable success.
For the rear, in addition to the new T1538 development solution already used in the tests, riders will be able to count on yet another new development solution, the T1394,two 190/60 size specifications (instead of the standard 180/60 size).
This means also increasing the size of the tyre’s contact area with the tarmac and this should help to dissipate the strong thermal stress that the tyres suffer on this track.
WSBK Phillip Island Stats Smorgasbord – Round1, Phillip Island–2015eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Sylvain Guintoliin the last three years climbed on the podium five times out of six races in Phillip Island, winning race one two years ago and race two last year. In both cases he narrowly missed out on a double win: in 2013 in race two he led for 21 laps before being passed by Eugene Laverty, while last year in race one he led again for 16 laps before being passed by Laverty and team-mate Marco Melandri, finishing third. Sylvain last year was the polesitter, one of his two front row starts in this track together with the third in grid in 2011.
Two podiums out of twelve Phillip Island races for Tom Sykes, third in 2012 in race two and last year, always in race two. Tom missed out on a points finish here only in 2010 in race two, due to a steering damp failure. Sykes was able to start from pole here in 2012: since then he always finished his Phillip Island races between third and seventh.
In his twelve Superbike races run here, JonathanReamanaged to finish at least once in the positions between fourth and ninth and never retired, always scoring points. He misses a podium finish here though: his best result is a fourth, scored three times (2010 race one, 2011 race two and 2012 race two). Last year he was sixth and fifth. His best grid spot here dates back to his maiden Superbike race in Phillip Island: third in 2009. This is one of the few tracks in which Jonathan raced without climbing on the podium, the others are: Jerez, Monza, Moscow, Sepang and Valencia. During his career, Rea climbed on the podium in fourteen different tracks, winning in eight of them.
Four Superbike races here for ChazDavies: his best result came in the first one, 2013 race one, when he was fourth from twelfth in grid (first BMW at the flag). Last year he was eighth and seventh. The result in race two could have been better, but a stone pierced his fairing, creating an electronical problem. Chaz last year posted the fastest lap in race one.
LeonHaslamwon here from pole for Suzuki (with a 0.004 seconds margin over Michel Fabrizio) the first 2010 race, finishing second, beaten on the line by Carlos Checa, in the following one. At these two podiums he adds two third places, in 2009 in race two with Honda and in 2011 in race one with BMW.
Twelve points finishes for him in fourteen races: he was stopped only by a mechanical failure in 2004 race one and a falllast year in race one, when he was running despite back pain after a fall in practice. He was eventually sixth in race two.
Last year DavideGiuglianowas pipped in both races, missing out on a podium spot and finishing fourth twice. In race one he was third for half of the race, but was then passed by Melandri, while in race two he was able to stay with the leading group, but then was passed by Sykes. Davide in his six Superbike races here didn’t score points only in 2013 in race one for a mechanical failure.
ToniEliaslast year fell in race one, while in race two managed to finish ninth. The Spaniard in the 125cc class was third in 2001 behind Youichi Ui and Manuel Poggiali, while in the 250cc class was fifth both in 2002 and 2004.
At his first race as a works rider last year, Alex Lowes was immediately in the spotlight: qualified in fifth, he fell in race one while in the top-10 and in race two he climbed through the field after going wide at the first corner after the start. Last on the opening lap, he was able to climb up to ninth with a pace similar to the leading riders, but then made another mistake, finishing fourteenth.
Six Superbike races for DavidSalomin Phillip Island: the best results last year, when he was ninth and tenth, in both cases the first of the EVO class. He scored pole in the 2011 Supersport race, finishing fourth behind Luca Scassa, Broc Parkes and Sam Lowes: the four at the line were separated by less than three tenths of a second.
Three points finishes out fo four Superbike races in Phillip Island for Niccolò Canepa: tenth in race two in 2012 and tenth and eleventh last year, when he was second in the EVO class in both races behind David Salom.
SylvainBarrierlast year had to miss the Phillip Island races after breaking his hip in testing (18th of February).
The last Superbike races for LeonCamierin Phillip Island date back 2013, when he was twice ninth: those results were influenced by a bad start in race one, which put him back in thirteenth, and by the Davies-Baz accident in race two,which relegated him in seventeenth; Leon had qualified in seventh. Out of eight starts
here, Leon missed out on a points finish only in 2012 in race one, when a contact with Giugliano sent him off-track at the hairpin.
Ayrton Badovinimanaged to score only two points in five Superbike weekends in Phillip Island, with a fourteenth in race one in 2011, the only time he saw the chequered flag here. For him four mechanical failures and two withdrawalsdue to injuries in his foot.
At his Superbike debut last year, Imre Toth was sixteenth and nineteenth in Phillip Island.
in his Superbike and Supersport races in Phillip Island, MatteoBaioccodidn’t enjoy much luck so far: two retirements in Supersport in 2004 and 2005 and two more retirements in Superbike in 2009 and 2010. In the latter year he was able to pick up his best result here: seventeenth in race one.
In 2008 here, Santiago Barragan was 33rd in grid and 30th in the Supersport race.
in his eight MotoGP races in Phillip Island, RandydePunietscored two sixths as best result: in 2007 and 2011. Sixth is als his best result in the 250cc championship here, scored in 2002.
LeandroMercadowasn’t able to enter the 2012 races here after injuring himself while training with his Supermotoduring the winter.
Only one experience for RomanRamosin Phillip Island: last year in the Moto2 championship he was 31st in grid and 23rd in the race.
In his three Moto2 races run in Phillip Island, Nicolas Terol was able to score points once, when he was ninth two years ago. In 2010 he climbed on the podium here in the 125 cc race behind his countrymen Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro.
Four Moto2 races forJordi Torresin Phillip Island: he managed to climb on the podium two years ago behind PolEspargaro and Thomas Luthi.
MichaelvanderMarkin the Supersport championship was fourth in grid and third in the race two years ago, when he had to surrender to Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes, while last year he was victim of a clash with the aforementioned Sofuoglu, which saw him drop to the back of the field before retiring.
Apriliain recent times has been the team to beat in Phillip Island: starting 2011, they won four of the eight races heldhere and, in the same timespan, when they didn’t win, they were second at the flag. This made Aprilia, together with Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki, the second most successful team here with five wins, trailing Ducati (22). The sameperformances were achieved in qualifying: since 2011, the best-placed Aprilia in grid was either on pole (2014) or second (2011-2013). In the last two race weekends in Australia they won three races out of four, missing out only last year in race one (Laverty, Suzuki).
BMWposted three podium finishes here: the last one was two years ago with Marco Melandri. Last year the best result for the German manufacturer was an eleventh by Allerton in race one.
Ducatidominates the statistics in Phillip Island, with 22 wins, 51 podiums and 11 poles, however in the last two yearsthey didn’t manage to finish on the podium, scoring two fourths last year with Davide Giugliano. The last Ducati podiumhere is Carlos Checa’s win in 2012 race two and the last pole came by the same Checa one year later.
Honda‘s best results here, four wins and 25 podium finishes, came a while ago: their last win came in 2007, with James Toseland in race two, while their last podium is a third by Leon Haslam in 2009 in race two. The best finish by a Honda rider in the last two years is a fifth by Rea last year in race two. Jonathan is also the last rider to have qualified a Hondaon the front row here, back in 2009 (3rd).
Kawasakiwon five times here, but these wins are not related to the most recent years, when Tom Sykes was a regular championship contender: they came in the ’90s, when they won one race with Rob Phillis (1990) and four with AnthonyGobert (1994/2, 1995/2 and a double in 1996). In the last two years Kawasaki managed only two podium finishes in Phillip Island: the second and third last year in race two (Sykes-Baz). Tom Sykes started from pole for Kawasaki here in2012.
In Phillip Island last year Suzukiwon their only race of the season: Eugene Laverty won in race one before the two Aprilias of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. To find other podium placements for the Japanese manufacturer in Australia, we have to go back to 2010, when Haslam started from pole, won race one and was second in race two. Sincethen, Suzuki weren’t able to start from the front row in this track.
25 years of World Superbike competition at Phillip Island to be celebrated with Friday night fireworks
Celebrating a record 25 years of staging the Superbike World Championship, Victoria’s Phillip Island will be inundated by the world’s leading production bike riders this weekend as they roll into town for Monday and Tuesday’s final pre-season test (February 16-17) and next week’s opening round of the 2015 series (Friday to Sunday,February 20-22).
To honour the milestone 25 years, gates at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit will be thrown wide open at 7:00pm Friday night for everyone to enjoy FREE festivities culminating in a fireworks display to light up Gardner Straight.Prior to that, fans will meet motorcycling legends from the past 25 years, including Peter Goddard and Robbie Phillis – the winners of the very first round in 1990; and also be treated to stunt bike displays and kids’ activities.
The 2015 world superbike field for the Phillip Island opener boasts a tantalising mix of proven race winners, experienced world superbike campaigners and exciting new talent including Australian wildcards, Melbourne’s Jed Metcher (Kawasaki) and Cessnock’s Matt Walters (Pedercini Kawasaki).
Racegoers at the Swann round will also be treated to the Baylisstic Scramble flat track event featuring Australia’s three-time world superbike champion Troy Bayliss and a host of Australian motorcycling talent including Chris Vermeulen and Jason Crump.
The three-day meet also features world supersport competition with Australians Glenn Scott, Sam Lambert and Aiden Wagner debuting in the class, and Australian national events in superbike, supersport, Moto3 and juniors. Tickets are available now at www.worldsbk.com.au.
A short history…
2015:No 25 for Phillip Island and world superbikes
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit marks a major achievement next Sunday, February 22 when the opening round of the 2015 Superbike World Championship, Swann round is held at the sweeping, seaside layout : it will be the 25th time it has hosted the world’s leading production-based series.
World superbikes at the island carries a storied history which dates back to 1990, when Aussie duo Peter Goddard and Rob Phillis claimed the chequered flag in the first two races. In fact, local riders won nine of the first 12 world superbike races at Phillip Island, but now the tables have turned with the international brigade out in ‘front’ with 24 victories compared to the Aussie tally of 23.
That makes 47 races over 24 years. Dodgy maths? Not quite, as the second race in 2001 was cancelled after torrential rain lashed the Phillip Island circuit, making it more suitable for personal watercraft rather than high-powered four-stroke motorcycles.
Twenty-three rides have won WSBK races at Phillip Island, including seven Australians: the aforementioned Goddard and Phillis as well as Kevin Magee, Anthony Gobert, Troy Corser, Troy Bayliss and Garry McCoy. Between the three of them, Corser, Bayliss and Gobert have a staggering 18 wins to their credit.
The international list of winners is also mightily impressive, with Doug Polen, Carl Fogarty, Raymond Roche, John Kocinski, Aaron Slight, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi and current world champion Sylvain Guintoli among the stars.
Ducati has been the dominant brand throughout the journey, with the Italian manufacturer winning 22 races, well in front of Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and Aprilia on five apiece.
The highlights reel at Phillip Island since 1990 is massive, and includes the ubiquitous Phillip Island drafting battles to the finish line; the absolute domination of Bayliss and Corser at their peak; Gobert disrobing and throwing his leathers into the crowd after his clean sweep in 1996; and one particular ‘hot’ moment: Belgian Stephane Mertens crashing on Gardner Straight in 1992, with his Ducati then cannoning into the pit wall and catching on fire. It then continued its journey, still cooking, a few hundred meters down the track. Mertens was okay apart from a broken collarbone.
Phillip Island can also lay claim to help ‘ending’ Fogarty’s career after the four-time world champion crashed after an altercation with a backmarker in 2000, injuring his shoulder. That brought the curtain down on a great career.
Australia’s association with world superbike stretches way back to when the series began in 1988, with Sydney’s Oran Park hosting the round. It was dominated by a young tearaway called Mick Doohan. Oran Park backed up again the following year before Phillip Island took over hosting duties in 1990.
TICKETS FOR WORLD SUPERBIKES ON SALE NOW
For Tickets and on circuit camping for Feb 20-22’s opening round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, Phillip Island Swann round go to www.worldsbk.com.au or call circuit hotline on 1300 728 007.
Children 15 and under free. Adults $110* for a three-day pass purchased in advance, $75* for a Sunday only pass. Buy in advance and save!
Friday night’s 25 year celebration party and fireworks is free for everyone, ticket holder or not – gates open 7pm, Friday night February 20 for entry.
*plus processing fee – offer valid to Wednesday February 18 at 2pm AEST.At gate, a three day general admission is $150 so buy in advance, and save $40
** children are classified as 15 and under, and must be accompanied by a full paying adult.
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