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Phillip Island Official Test
Fores stuns in official test to end day one on top
WorldSBK sparks into action around Phillip Island
As riders took to the fast and flowing Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit for the first session of the Official test, changeable weather conditions caused disruption throughout the morning session.
Determined to get some solid testing time in, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders didn’t waste any time in heading out as they look at making any final changes before the season kicks off this week.
Eleven riders took to the track in the opening hour as Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) sat at the top of the tree with a lap time of 1.44.949 ahead of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) in second position.
Sunny intervals continued throughout the session and Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC Project) led the way before Italian Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) took the honours with a time of 1.42.902 just as the heavens opened. Only Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) didn’t take the risk.
Heading out at 13.40pm LT, the erratic weather calmed down and the circuit began to dry. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) set a 1.34 lap time straight off the bat and times continued to tumble with the sun breaking through the clouds.
Hitting the hour to go mark, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) shot into the fastest spot – his lap time a 1.32.723. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the only rider to challenge him before Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) was able to go 0.118s quicker, and the pair began to swap positions in the closing minutes.
All riders improved on their lap times from this morning, and it was Fores who ended the day ahead of Rea, with a final lap time of 1.31.412 which put the Spaniard 0.411s ahead of Rea’s 1.31.823.
Returning Melandri continued with a strong pace, keeping himself up the top end of the timing sheets – his final lap time a 1.32.216 ahead of van der Mark in fourth position. The young Dutchman finished the day setting a time of 1.32.440 with his new team, ahead of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who rounded out the top five with a time of 1.32.591 as he put in the most amount of laps of the day – 43.
1.32.663 put Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in sixth position, ahead of an impressive De Angelis time of 1.32.687. Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team continue to make steady improvements with the new Fireblade, and they finished the day 11th and 12th respectively; Hayden in 11th with a lap time of 1.33.189 an Bradl with a 1.33.353.
Ending in the top 15 – Althea BMW Racing Team will be hoping to have a more positive day tomorrow, as Jordi Torres in 13th ahead of Markus Reiterberger in 15th. Wild card rider Josh Brookes (ERMotorsport-EliteRoads.com.au) ended up down in 16th position – his time a 1.34.259.
WorldSBK testing action resumes tomorrow at 11.20am LT (GMT +11), but keep an eye on WorldSBK.com for all end of day reaction from Australia.