WorldSBK riders put their speed to the test at Clip ‘n Climb Phillip Island
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is coming to a close this weekend, but riders are just starting to rev up for what is set to be a fire-cracking season finale at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round.
World Superbike and World Supersport riders joined forces with our ASBK – Australian Superbike competitors this morning, putting their speed to the test at Phillip Island’s Clip ‘n Climb.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Kyle Smith (TPR Team Pedercini Racing), Oli Bayliss (Barni Spark Racing Team), and ASBK riders Ted Collins & Max Stauffer went head-to-head in battle, sparking their competitive side before pit lane opens tomorrow morning!
Toprak Razgatlioglu will look to secure second place in the 2022 World Championship at the season finale round, with a 37-point advantage ahead of six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “I’m happy to come back to Australia and Phillip Island; I have good memories of this track, back in 2020 on my Yamaha debut when we won! This year will be very difficult as Alvaro will be very strong, and Jonny. Last weekend was unbelievable for me, to win everything; we’re very strong at Mandalika but this circuit will be more difficult because we need to manage the rear tyre through the race. Maybe the new Pirelli tyres are better than before and the feeling will be better, so we can fight with Alvaro. With the weather, it looks like it could be raining, but it also looks like more fighting between Alvaro and Jonny! For 2023, I’ve already started training and we’ll quickly start working for next year.”
World Supersport rider and of course our sole Australian rider Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) is looking to end his year strong, with hopes of scoring his highest finish in the WorldSSP Championship as he returns to Australia to race in front of his home fans.
Oli Bayliss: “I’m excited and happy to be at home, it’s been a long year. To finish the year off at my home circuit, hopefully, I can get a good result. At the tracks we did a test, it was more where I took the training bike, like at Magny-Cours and Misano, it helped. So, at a circuit I’ve done a lot of laps at like Phillip Island, it can be like those weekends. I’ve had a couple of top ten results this year but if I can be top five, I’ll be quite happy. I think I’m being a bit realistic; we rode here on the training bike at the start of the year and the times were quite fast and consistent. If we can put that over to this weekend, then I think we’ll be in a good place.”
The Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round will see Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) make his third appearance at Phillip Island Circuit in WorldSBK. Rinaldi has had a flying 2022 season so far with the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team, currently placed 4th in the overall standings on 279 points. While Rinaldi can wrap up 4th overall in the 2022 World Superbike Championship, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) is chasing hot on his tail.
Kyle Smith will again join the WorldSBK grid in the TPR Team Pedercini Racing outfit, substituting for Leon Haslam. Smith made his debut in World Superbikes in Mandalika last weekend for the penultimate round of the 2022 World Superbike Championship, but luck didn’t quite go his way with a DNF in both Race 1 and 2.
Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) made his WorldSBK debut at Phillip Island Circuit in 2020, however, his debut was short-lasting after an early Sunday morning warm-up crash ended his weekend early due to a concussion. Before this, the American rider qualified in 17th