In the opening session of the second day of testing at Phillip Island reigning world superbike champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) posted the fastest lap of the morning with a blistering 1’30.239, just 5 thousandths of a second outside of the outright circuit best lap.
Five manufacturers filled the top seven positions, with the top ten riders covered by 0.8s.
The session was stopped a total of three times due to falling riders but that didn’t stop the Englishman throwing down the gauntlet to leave him a quarter of a second faster than his nearest rival, the impressive Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).
In his debut performance at Phillip Island, the young Lowes led the session until the last ten minutes and further improved his personal best lap before the chequered flag.
As expected there were improvements from almost everyone including the Aprilia Racing Team duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli, who both moved up three positions. Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was again the best of the Ducati entrants whilst yesterday’s pacesetter Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) did not improve his time and ended the session sixth overall.
The Pata Honda pairing of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea closed the gap to the front to half a second but this did not result in a significant jump in terms of placing.
Italian Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) continued to be the quickest amongst the EVO entries, whilst David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) bettered their lap times considerably from yesterday.
Of the two new manufacturers joining the championship this year, MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport rider Claudio Corti fell early in the session at turn 11 with no major consequences as the all American Hero EBR pairing of Geoff May and Aaron Yates both reduced their personal best laps by over two seconds.
The other riders who fell during the session were Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and EVO rider Luca Scassa, both crashing at Turn 2. The Team Pedercini Kawasaki rider is currently undergoing x-rays and medical checks to his left hip and pelvis. Baz on the other hand was unhurt and he is expected to take part in the afternoon session.
WSBK Tuesday – 1st session: 1.
Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’30.239 average 177.449 kph; 2. Lowes (Suzuki) 1’30.528; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’30.579; 4. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’30.644; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’30.766; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’30.767; 7. Haslam (Honda) 1’30.798; 8. Rea (Honda) 1’30.813; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’30.900; 10. Davies (Ducati) 1’31.087; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 1’31.373; 12. Elias (Aprilia) 1’31.441; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 1’32.008; 14. Foret (Kawasaki) 1’32.780; 15. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1’32.897; 16. Morais (Kawasaki) 1’32.919; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1’33.205; 18. Corti (MV Agusta) 1’33.632; 19. May (EBR) 1’34.807; 20. Toth (BMW) 1’34.917; 21. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1’35.657; NC. Yates (EBR) 1’36.662.