The opening round of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continues at Phillip Island today, with the international action focussed on the 18-lap WorldSSP race at 1:30pm and the 22-lap WorldSBK battle at 3:00pm.
There’s now extra intrigue in both Yamaha Finance races, with Race Direction introducing mandatory pit stops because of concerns over excessive rear tyre degradation around the grand prix circuit.
In WorldSSP, the race has also been reduced from 18 to 16 laps, with riders to enter pit lane to change the rear tyre at the end of lap seven, eight or nine.
Anthony West (Kawasaki) is the big Aussie hope in WorldSSP, and will start from row two. He’ll be joined by compatriots Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) and Tom Toparis (Kawasaki).
WorldSBK will remain a 22-lap race, but riders will have to pit at the end of lap 10, 11 or 12. WorldSBK will also continue with the race two reverse grid in 2018, which means yesterday’s race one winner Marco Melandri (Ducati) will start from grid position nine, alongside Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) and Chaz Davies (Ducati) who were second and third.
Xavi Fores (Ducati), world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) and Alex Lowes (Yamaha) are on the front row, followed by Leon Camier (Honda), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) on row two.
Australia is down to one wildcard in WorldSBK race two, with Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha) and Troy Herfoss (Honda) to sit out today’s proceedings. That will leave Daniel Falzon (Yamaha) as the lone hand against the internationals. All three were DNFs in race one.
Sunday’s program also includes Aussie championship support races in superbike, supersport, supersport 300 and the YMF R3 Cup. In superbike, Troy Bayliss (Ducati) continues his comeback after a superb second place in yesterday’s race one behind Herfoss (Honda) and in front of defending champion Josh Waters (Suzuki).
Nothing Beats World Superbikes Live At The Island
World Superbikes is super affordable with a 3 Day General Admission ticket just $155 at the gate. In an absolute first for World Superbikes at the Island, all 3 Day ticket holders in 2018 gain FREE Paddock access.
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Nothing beats World Superbikes…Live At The Island.