Tuesday 17 February 2015 – The second day of testing ahead of Sunday first two eni FIM Superbike World Championship races of the 2015 season saw Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) better his own time from yesterday, ending the day in top spot, 0.070s under last year’s race lap record.
This morning’s first test ended with some impressive performances from a number of World Superbike rookies, especially Spanish riders Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) who finished second and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati) who was eighth.
After eight hours of on-track action and as testing concluded over 2000 laps had been completed by the 25 entered riders across both days.
Behind Lowes, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Jordi Torres completed the top three, the trio covered by only 0.112s.
With Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK) completing the top six on combined times, and with seven manufacturers in the top 13, the scene is set for the opening race of WorldSBK 2015.
Davide Giugliano (Aruba Ducati SBK) was not in action on day two, while Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) made an appearance this afternoon, both riders suffered crashes yesterday.
Former World Champion Sykes suffered a crash as the test entered its final hour but was able to rejoin the action as did reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Supersport) who tumbled while on a personal improving lap in the final eight minutes. Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) suffered a high speed crash entering the Gardner Straight but was able to walk away from the incident, unlike 12 months ago when he suffered a similar crash at the same corner. Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) joined the list of fallers, the Argentine rider’s condition will be reviewed on Thursday.
The on-track action is set to resume on Friday with the opening Free Practice sessions which will officially start the 2015 WorldSBK season.
As day two of official World Supersport testing drew to a close at an overcast yet dry Phillip Island it was 2014 round one winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and his team mate Lorenzo Zanetti who will head into Friday’s opening Free Practice sessions as the ones to beat after both riders dipped below the existing race lap record for the class, Cluzel producing a stunning 1.32.967s lap – the first ever sub 1.33s lap.
The cooler and less windy conditions ensured that all of the World Supersport contenders could maximise the track time available to them and despite a few spots of rain during the morning test almost every rider posted a faster time than on the opening day.
Behind the flying MV Agusta duo it was former multiple champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who gave chase in a solid 3rd position overall, a fraction of a second ahead of the current STK600 Champion Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) who impressed in 4th on his Phillip Island debut.
French sensation Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres) and American team mate PJ Jacobsen rounded the top 6 of two days of testing that has many people now predicting a close and hard fought 2015 World Supersport campaign.
Ratthapark Wilairot adjusted to his CORE Motorsport Thailand Honda machine moving up to 7th overall while WSS returnee Alex Baldolini elevated himself into 10th aboard his privately entered Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta.
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From: WSBK Press Office