World Superbike: More From Friday’s Action At Phillip Island

World Superbike: More From Friday’s Action At Phillip Island

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:

#AUSWorldSBK – Day 1

Redding tops frantic WorldSBK FP2 session as 2020 kicks off

The British rookie led the way as 12 riders were covered by a second after Day 1 in Australia

After the first Free Practice session, topped by Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), ran in mixed conditions, the second session was completely dry. It was a disrupted session following a Red Flag ten minutes into the session for debris on the track, but Redding was able to top the session as the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly underway in frenetic fashion.

Redding was one of several riders who set a flurry of fast laps at the end of the 50-minute session as he finished first by almost half-a-second from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team). Turkish rider Razgatlioglu held off teammate Michael van der Mark who finished third in the session. Razgatlioglu and van der Mark were leading the onslaught to British rider but he was able to resist, slamming in a strong lap time to put a healthy margin between his rivals.

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) had been top of the session until the final flurry of laps but finished fourth on his Honda. While Haslam was top of the order, he faced competition from Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). Baz was consistently setting fast laps and lapped within 0.037s of Haslam but was unable to usurp the British rider. Baz finished the session in fifth place ahead of five-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in sixth place and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in seventh. Rea’s Kawasaki teammate, Alex Lowes, finished just outside the top ten in 11th place.

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) started off the session in the lower half of the field but improved his pace throughout the session and finished in eighth place. Bautista’s run throughout the session included a slide through Stoner Corner, the third corner on the circuit. The 35-year-old Spaniard seems to have found a breakthrough following the Official Test and will be one to watch throughout the rest of the weekend.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) finished in ninth despite a mechanical issue at the start of the session which meant he returned to the pits minutes after joining the track. He was able to re-join the action around halfway through the session and kept improving his lap time to eventually finish in ninth place ahead of Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who rounded out the top ten in the second practice session on his return to the Championship.

German rider Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) finished the session in 12th place, the last rider to finish within one second of pace setting Redding. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished the session in 13th place ahead of Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and American rider Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team); Gerloff particularly impressing on his first time at the track in a race weekend.

Gerloff’s teammate Federico Caricasulo finished the session in 16th place, a tenth of a second behind his teammate, and 0.024s ahead of Chilean rider Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura). Leon Camier (Barni Racing Team) and Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team) rounded out the field in 18th and 19th respectively.

#AUSWorldSBK at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Friday

Top six combined below.

Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’30.436

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) +0.418

Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) +0.469

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.500

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.537

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.542

While Krummenacher and Locatelli traded paint for top position, it was Can Öncü who surprised on the opening day

Randy Krummenacher (1). Photo courtesy of Dorna WorldSBK Press Office.
Randy Krummenacher (1). Photo courtesy of Dorna WorldSBK Press Office.

The second Free Practice session was disrupted by two Red Flags with two separate incidents causing them, with Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) overcoming the delays to top the session. The first red flag was caused by birds on the circuit while the second came after Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) had a mechanical issue, and Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Yamaha) and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) both had an incident on track. Odendaal was taken to the medical centre for a check-up but was declared fit shortly afterwards.

Krummenacher finished the session with a last-gasp lap to claim first place ahead of Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who had been quickest right until the very end of the session. The Italian rookie had topped the earlier opening practice session as well as being quickest in the Official Test. Locatelli beat fellow Italian rider Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who finished the session in third place, making for a strong opening for MV Agusta.

Turkish rider Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) finished the session in fourth place after improving his lap times throughout. The Turkish star put in a string of good laps and cemented his fourth place in the standings. He was one of several riders who improved after the second Red Flag, along with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), who ended the session in fifth place. Odendaal was sixth at the end of the running despite the fact he was unable to return to his bike. A mixed day for the South African who will be eager to return to a strong pace tomorrow.

Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) finished in seventh place ahead of Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in eighth, the latter of which had a late mechanical problem on the Gardner Straight. Despite a mechanical problem, Jules Cluzel managed to hold on to a spot in the top ten in ninth. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rounded out the top ten, with the German rider completing a solid day one. Spaniard Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finished the session in 12th place while Australian wildcard Oli Bayliss (CUBE Racing) was 18th in the standings.
#AUSWorldSBK at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Friday

Top six combined below.

Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 1’32.894

Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.319

Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.616

Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) +0.677

Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) +0.845

Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +0.939

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:

Camier cautious in the first day at Phillip Island

The Barni Racing Team rider, still suffering on his left shoulder, decided non to be on track during FP1 due to the wet condition on tarmac. Than he was 17° in FP2.

Phillip Island (AUS), 28th February 2020. For the Barni Racing Team and its rider Leon Camier the first day of free practice sessions at the Phillip Island circuit, Australia, first round of the 2020 World Superbike Championship, ended with a 17th place overall. A result that certainly can’t makes the Marco Barnabò’s team happy, but the Brit have to deal with his physical condition not yet at 100% and with lack of confidence in the Ducati Panigale V4 R due to the very few kilometres of testing he had in winter. Further complicating the situation it was the uncertain weather on the island of Cowes, where the track is located: after the rain fallen during the night between Thursday and Friday, with the asphalt still wet, Leon Camier decided to stay at the pits throughout the first free practice session avoiding any risks. In the afternoon, with the track finally dry, he put together 13 laps, setting his best time (1’32.649) in his final hot lap. Tomorrow the team and the rider will have 20 minutes to test Camier’s physical condition looking at the Superpole and the first race of the season.

Marco Barnabo, Team Principal:

“Leon has a lot of pain on his shoulder, we were hoping his physical condition would allow him to ride comfortably, but it’s not. We’re trying to make some changes to get him familiar with the bike, but in this situation it certainly won’t be easy to bring something good home.”

Leon Camier (2). Photo courtesy of Barni Racing Team.
Leon Camier (2). Photo courtesy of Barni Racing Team.

Leon Camier:

Free practice combined results P17 (1’32.649)

“We tried to be on track this afternoon, but the shoulder is not in good condition. I could make only few lap than the shape is not good enough to maintain a good level of performance, and I can’t give any more the most on the bike. Tomorrow I want to keep trying but I know it won’t be easy to ride.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea And Lowes Get Race Ready At Phillip Island

KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes experienced one wet and one dry track session on the first day of practice during the opening round of the new season at Phillip Island in Australia today, with Rea ending up sixth fastest and Lowes 11th.

After two days of official tests at PI earlier this week on the Ninja ZX-10RR both British riders concentrated on trying to maximise their race pace rather than go for a single fast lap time from the outset, to make sure they approach race one on Saturday afternoon in the best possible condition.

As well as finding a different grip level from the asphalt compared to the recent tests, after overnight rain and then two heavy showers today that made FP1 fully wet, Rea worked on final raceday tyre choices as he starts his campaign to become a six time world champion.

In his first season with KRT Lowes was unfortunate to lose the first free practice session to rain and then be forced to spend some time in the pits, but he is confident his race pace will be much better than his first day 11th fastest lap time suggests.

Alex was still just 0.900 seconds from the fastest time of the day, and just over half a second from the second fastest rider.

Now the official Kawasaki WorldSBK pairing will face FP3 on Saturday morning, then Superpole qualifying and finally a 22-lap opening race. On Sunday a short ten-lap sprint race and then a second full distance 22-lap contest will round out the first weekend of the long championship campaign.

Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy of Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy of Kawasaki.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “The bike set-up was quite similar to the recent test but I did not feel as good today and we did not make too many changes. We concentrated on testing both the new option tyre that Pirelli brought and the standard tyre we had at the tests. Both have different feelings, some positive some negative. So we need to look a bit deeper at why the feeling was not so good and there is clearly a lack of grip compared to the tests. Tomorrow morning, depending on the grip level, hopefully there will be a lot more rubber down from the support classes, and the track will be a little bit different. It is always a difficult one when you have a lot of rain. But I feel we are not so far away.”

Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy of Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy of Kawasaki.

Alex Lowes, stated: “The first session was wet and then we lost a bit of track time in the pits today, which was a shame, but we used the same tyres all session and we stayed in the 1’31 lap times right to the end. My pace was definitely better than during the tests; my bike set-up felt better even after 18 or 19 laps. I need more laps but I do not think my pace was that bad. A lot of people used new tyres at the end but we chose to work on the same set of tyres, trying to work out what it is going to be like at the end of the race on Saturday. I need that experience on the bike but I am happy that we have made a step in my feeling on the bike. I could have done with another session today but a clean FP3 tomorrow, then put a good lap in during qualifying and I am looking forward to my first race in green.”

Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was tenth fastest rider in his first race weekend for his new team while Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) 12th fastest. New Kawasaki rider to the entire championship, Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki), was 17th from the 19 riders at Phillip Island.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:

Podium Pace from Pata Yamaha Pair on Opening Day in Australia

Phillip Island, Australia (28 Feb 2020) – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Michael van der Mark proved to be fully competitive on the new 2020 Yamaha R1 during the first day of action at the 4.445km long Phillip Island circuit in Australia, with Razgatlıoğlu second overall and van der Mark third fastest.

After testing extensively on Monday and Tuesday of this week the team carried on the good work into the first day of the new FIM Superbike World Championship season, although sitting out the opening session this morning due to adverse weather conditions.

As the FP1 session provided a tricky track surface for all, neither of Yamaha’s Official riders took to the track, simply to make sure that they would be fully ready for the dry conditions of FP2.

Razgatlıoğlu worked on his set-up and finally ended up second fastest over a single lap, after showing real commitment to find the furthest extremes of his machine’s capabilities near the end of the session.

A new signing to Yamaha this year, he has proven to be fast from the start on the R1 and is now riding with a consistently high pace that should make him a threat to the podium places from the first race of the season on Saturday.

Van der Mark, enjoying the performance improvement from the multiple changes made to his 2020 spec WorldSBK machine, was third overall on day one, making it a positive day for all in the new look Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official with Rizla team. The Dutch rider finished a short but intense day just 0.051 seconds from his new team mate Razgatlıoğlu.

The Pata Yamaha rider spent most of his time working on tyre options to ensure that both he and Razgatlıoğlu can provide the best possible race long results on a track that is notorious for being a tough test of grip and durability over race distance.

On Saturday 29 February van der Mark and Razgatlıoğlu will face a final FP3 session, then Superpole qualifying to determine their grid positions and finally Race One itself, to he held over 22 laps of the 4.445km long Phillip Island circuit.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy of Pata Yamaha.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy of Pata Yamaha.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: 2nd – 1’30.854

“We did not ride in the wet and just waited for some dry conditions, which arrived in the afternoon session. We tried some new tyres in a race simulation for about 12 laps and after that we tried for a good lap time. In the first lap I had a big slide, and the best time did not come. In the second lap I made a real push but I was not so happy because I felt a better lap time would be the result. The bike was not turning quite as well as before, but we will see how things are tomorrow. I think we can make a step forward before my first race with Yamaha.”

Michael van der Mark (60). Photo courtesy of Dorna WorldSBK Press Office.
Michael van der Mark (60). Photo courtesy of Dorna WorldSBK Press Office.

Michael van der Mark: 3rd – 1’30.905

“In the afternoon we were keen to ride as much as possible because Pirelli brought some different tyre options for the race weekend, so we had to try to do some longer runs. I did some back-to-back tests and we even tried some small electronic stuff. I wasn’t really sure which tyre to use at the start but we are pretty sure now. We are still improving the electronic set-up and I am really happy with the R1 and my best lap, which could have been much better without a mistake in the final corner. Now, it is all about the race pace and it seems to be quite good – I’m looking forward to the first races of the year.”

Paul Denning: Team Principal

“Obviously Michael and Toprak only did 50 minutes on track today having decided to sit out the wet FP1 but nonetheless we managed to squeeze a lot of work into one short session. Michael ran every combination of slick tyre option that Pirelli has available, and really put in the work in terms of understanding the pros and cons of each one. This has added a lot of clarity to the tyre decision. It appears that both the riders will be on the same options for the races. There was not really an opportunity to improve the R1 a big step with regard to settings today, given that the tyre work was the priority today. On both sides we will probably try a couple of minor adjustments tomorrow morning, then try and qualify the bikes as well as possible and get involved with the front runners in the first race of the year tomorrow afternoon.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

Scott Redding goes quickest in Friday’s first free practice sessions at the Phillip Island Circuit. Chaz Davies ends the day in thirteen.

Scott Redding starts in the best possible way his first season in WorldSBK with Aruba.it Racing – Ducati finishing the #AusWorldSBK free practice in first place. Chaz Davies makes significant progress in terms of race pace.

The first day of activity of the 2020 WorldSBK began with heavy rain that forced the riders to stay in the pits for a long time. Scott Redding (along with six other riders) entered the track mid-session in wet conditions managing to set the quickest lap time in the last run.
The sun was back to shine before the FP2 and the British rider completed a long run before returning to the track for an extremely incisive time attack, which allowed him to finish in first place with more than four-tenths advantage over Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).

After deciding not to take any risks in FP1, Chaz Davies completed 24 laps in the afternoon with an interesting race pace especially in the middle part of the session. The Welshman then preferred to postpone the appointment with the time attack until tomorrow.

FP1+FP2 – Scott, Chaz & Top 6 after #AusWorldSBK Free Practice

P1 – S. Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45) 1’30.436

P2 – T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’30.854, +0.418

P3 – M. Van Der Mark (Yamaha) 1’30.905, +0.460

P4 – L. Haslam (Honda) 1’30.936, +0.500

P5 – L. Baz (Yamaha) 1’30.973, +0.537

P6 – J. Rea (Kawasaki) 1’30.978, +0.542

P13 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) 1’31.478, +1.042

 

Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy of Aruba.it Racing Ducati.
Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy of Aruba.it Racing Ducati.

Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)

“It was a very positive day even though we couldn’t complete many laps in the first session. We also did a great job because I lapped completely alone almost all the time without being able to exploit any slipstream. The race pace is good and that gives us a lot of confidence. Expectations? I understand that the Ducatisti expect a lot from me but, as I’ve already said, there are many things I still have to learn. I can’t hide the fact that getting on the podium tomorrow would be an extraordinary result”.

Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy of Aruba.it Racing Ducati.
Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy of Aruba.it Racing Ducati.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)

“All in all I am satisfied because we have made progress compared to the tests a few days ago. It’s clear that I would have preferred to end the first day of the season with a better classification even though Friday’s is not important. The feeling is positive, especially on race pace and this gives me a lot of confidence for the race. We have to take another step tomorrow to get to Race 1 in the best possible conditions. We are not at the top yet but the trend is definitely positive”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:

RINALDI END NINTH A BIZARRE FRIDAY!
 
A busy Friday inaugurated the 2020 Superbike season!

A few moments before FP 1, a more and more persistent rain plentifully wet the 4,445 meters of the Phillip Island track. Michael, as well as some of other riders, preferred to stay in the box, without taking unnecessary risks given the expected weather improvement in the afternoon. 50 minutes spent carefully watching the opponents on the track.

Michael Rinaldi (21). Photo courtesy of Team Go Eleven.
Michael Rinaldi (21). Photo courtesy of Team Go Eleven.

Free Practices 1:

P 1   S. Redding   1.41.195

P 2   L. Baz   + 1.009

P 3   L. Haslam   + 1.073

No Time Set   M. Rinaldi

The second free practice session was definitively more interesting and exciting, on dry asphalt, the only one for teams and riders left for about an hour to settle race pace and fast lap in view of the busy Saturday. Michael Rinaldi had a technical problem in the exit lap from the pits when his V4-R stopped and the commissioners were slow to bring it back to the box; fortunately it was a banality, which the Go Eleven staff was able to solve in a few moments. However, Hal session was went away. The number 21 showed great tenacity and strong mentality, he did not become agitated and on the second timed lap he managed to move into the current top ten. The rhythm of the following laps was also surprising, all on the high 31. With new tyres, at the end of the session, he managed to complete only one lap, improving by half a second his previous best, bringing Ducati in ninth position, seven tenths from the top.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK Team:

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team complete Day 1 of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship in Australia. 

28.02.20

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

The highly anticipated 2020 WorldSBK season finally approached us at Phillip Island (Australia) however with wet conditions for the opening Free Practice. Eugene Laverty new to the team for 2020 managed to complete 10 laps in the session despite the damp and slippy surface. Eugene finished his FP1 in P12 with a lap time of (1’45.169). Tom Sykes didn’t get to complete many laps however looked to gel with his BMW S 1000 RR pretty quickly, he ended the session in P5 (1’43.290) completing 3 laps.

The afternoon FP2 soon approached and with the sun breaking through the clouds, dried the track ahead of the 50-minute session. Both riders got to work on their race pace throughout the session with Tom Sykes lapping solid mid (1’31.000) laps, Eugene a few tenths slower also in the high 1’31’s. Towards the closing stages of session other riders opted to go for fresh tyres to find their 1 lap pace, both Eugene and Tom decided to concentrate on gathering information on the used tyre ahead of the opening race tomorrow. Final positions at the end of day 1; Tom Sykes P7, Eugene Laverty P14.

Shaun Muir, Team Principal:

“It was a disappointing FP1 being wet with having tested in good conditions on Monday and Tuesday, where we represented ourselves well. Tom did a pretty good job with the time he had and Eugene having only limited experience on the BMW in wet conditions. In FP2 everyone was eager to get out and get some dry lap times in. Tom settled in well on the race tyre with making some very minor suspension changes and ultimately got some solid race simulations in, so overall happy with Toms efforts in Free Practice. Eugene on the other hand struggled to match the times he put in on Monday and Tuesday, so he has bit of work to do but i’m sure come tomorrow he will make some progress in FP3 and heading into Superpole and Race 1.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:

“It was a difficult session this morning but still it was good to get out in the rain as there might be some chance of showers on Sunday, so from that point of view we looked strong. Of course you miss the chance to finalise the set up in the dry, and although our position at the end of FP2 might not show that we did not use a soft tyre and our race pace looked good which I am happy about. Tom should be a little higher than he is and again the time sheets don’t reflect this. Eugene still hasn’t found his happy place yet, but we will continue to work and don’t expect him to be up at the top with Tom this early in the season.”

 

Tom Sykes (66). Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
Tom Sykes (66). Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

 Tom Sykes, Rider:

“Its been a good day. We made some changes on the BMW S 1000 RR and felt really comfortable in the wet this morning and straight away settled into a good rhythm. This afternoon we started off the session good, tried a few different set ups along with an alternative tyre to try understand and gauge where we are at, so certainly happy with the information we found today. We finished FP2 in P7 which I feel for sure isn’t a true reflection of our potential.”

 

Eugene Laverty (50). Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
Eugene Laverty (50). Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

 Eugene Laverty, Rider:

“We are little down the order at the moment which we need to improve for tomorrow. I have struggled in the flowing sections of the track on acceleration especially in sector 3 which is unusual as I have been normally strong there in the past, so this is something we need to have a look at. Tomorrow is looking dry so this will give us a chance to have a look at the data and try get ourselves up to where we want to be.

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