Michael Van Der Mark tops hot WSBK FP4 as Troy Bayliss highsides at Lukey Heights
The final free practice session for the World Superbike riders at Phillip Island today saw a track temparature exceeding 50-degrees celsius, more than ten-degress warmer than they saw in testing here earlier in the week and it is causing plenty of grip problems across the 24-rider field. FP4 is an untimed 30-minute practice session ahead of the afternoon Superpole sessions, the field for which had already been decided after FP3.
Alex Lowes has been fastest much of this week but disaster struck the Briton at turn one this afternoon. Immediately after setting his fastest lap of the session, a 1m31.842 he threw it away at turn one. He bounced up uninjured but his Suzuki burst into flames! Under the no spare bike rule introduced in 2012 this could be a massive blow for Lowes who was fastest throughout Friday and slipped to third overall after this morning’s FP3.
Another rider to experience misfortune this afternoon was Troy Bayliss. Bayliss was 12th quickest in the session but in the dying minutes suffered a huge high-side crash at turn nine. It looked quite strange, perhaps even the result of a nip-up seize, gearbox issue or some mechanical problem. He was launched high into the air instantaneously but got up and walked away seemingly unhurt.
Jordie Torres went down very heavily at turn 11 quite early in the session, he was taken to the medical centre for a check over but looks to be fine.
Leon Camier watched his mechanics work feverishly on his MV Agusta for most of the session, possibly an engine change for the Italian machine. Camier did get out in the dying minutes of the session to put down 1m33.209.
World Superbike Free Practice 4 (30-minute session does not count towards Superpole)
Vd Mark 1m31.721
De Puniet 1m31.953
The top 20 riders on combined times across the opening three practice sessions (as listed below) progress to the Tissot-Superpole sessions with 10 places on offer for the fastest ten riders from the three free practice sessions to automatically progress to the Pole Position Superpole 2 shootout. The second ten, positions 11 through 20, compete in a 15-minute Superpole 1 session with the top two of that group then granted access to join the top ten and make a top 12 shootout for Pole Position in the Superpole 2 session. Superpole 1 is scheduled for 1500 this afternoon and Superpole 2 for 1525.
World Superbike 2015 – Round One – Phillip Island Free Practice 3 Combined Times All Sessions – Counts towards Superpole
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