WorldSBK: Phillip Island, Day one roundup

 In News, World Superbikes

World Superbike

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Friday times now decide direct entry to the Tissot-Superpole session, and the man who leads the way after a day of track time is 2014 WorldSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli. The only man to set a lap within a 1’30 bracket all day and consequently the fastest on Friday, the Frenchman kept his YZF R1 almost 4 tenths clear of next man on the timesheets, Honda rider Michael Van Der Mark.

With much of the afternoon dedicated to longer runs, the expected dash for the line in the last stage of the session saw a lot of track action. Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea did a long and consistent run as he dueled with Michael Van Der Mark for the top spot in both long run and one lap pace, before Guintoli dropped his time significantly with a lap that proved unbeatable by the end of the session. The rhythm of the reigning Champion, however, looks set to be difficult to beat. Van Der Mark, who lead laps last year in Phillip Island, also looked impressive over a longer run.

Top Australian Josh Brookes had a difficult first day at his home round but did outpace his teammate, looking to improve upon his lap time after before the lights go out for the new era of WorldSBK.

Michael Van Der Mark (NED) and Josh Brookes (AUS) on day 1 down under
The top ten times were very competitive, with Sykes, Hayden, Giugliano and Davies all looking solid around the Australian track and Sykes fastest in the morning session. Lorenzo Savadori put in a great lap to join them in the top ten, and the fastest BMW from the morning, Markus Reiterberger, maintained his title as just that. By virtue of the combined timesheet, the German pips Alex Lowes to a final entry into Tissot-Superpole 2.

Leon Camier remained the fastest Italian motorbike on track on his MV Agusta, with his pace of the morning proving no fluke, the Italian marque the seventh different manufacturer to find a place in the top ten in a field poised to deliver incredible racing over the season ahead.

Yamaha Finance Australian Round – Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2
1 – Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha 1’30.865
2 – Michael Van Der Mark Honda +0.384
3 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki +0.459

 

World Supersport

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Reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu retained his grip on at the top of the timesheets after the second WorldSSP session practice of the day, despite not setting a time in the afternoon, as rival Jules Cluzel took a tumble at T11. The Frenchman walked away from the gravel trap before being taken to the circuit Medical Center for a medical check.

Swiss Puccetti rider and Sofuoglu’s teammate Randy Krummenacher was quickest in the afternoon, registering a best time of only one thousandth of a second slower than Frenchman Cluzel, reinforcing his quickly earnt reputation as a WorldSSP force to be reckoned with.

PJ Jacobsen, a key protagonist of the 2015 season, improved his time in the afternoon session before suffering a crash in the final few minutes from which he escaped unhurt. Taking the sixth fastest time on the combined sheets, in FP2 the American was the third quickest behind Italian Lorenzo Zanetti. Gino Rea showed the biggest leap in FP2, ending the session fourth, ahead of fastest local and wildcard Australian Anthony West; the Grand Prix winner ending the afternoon session sixth.

Yamaha Finance Australian Round – Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2
1 – Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki 1’33.664
2 – Jules Cluzel MV Agusta +0.213
3 – Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki +0.214

 

Source: WorldSBK

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