News 22 Feb 2016

Sykes sets Monday WorldSBK test pace at Phillip Island

Krummenacher moves to the top of WorldSSP timesheets.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Jonathan Rea and his factory Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes have begun the final WorldSBK pre-season test session in dominant fashion by setting the fastest two times at Phillip Island today.

In an ominous display of force on the updated ZX-10R, 2013 world champion Sykes was fastest with a 1m31.097s lap across the two 120-minute sessions.

Sykes lapped ahead of reigning number one Rea (1m31.293s), Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Honda, 1m31.510s), Jordi Torres (BMW Motorrad, 1m31.526s) and WorldSBK rookie Nicky Hayden (Honda, 1m31.558s).

Van der Mark was the fastest rider on track in the morning session, but failed to better his time this afternoon — as was the case for Aussie Josh Brookes (BMW Motorrad), who crashed at the high-speed turn 11.

Brookes was uninjured and returned to work soon after, finishing day one in 14th position with a best lap of 1m32.714s. That put him two spots ahead of compatriot and wildcard Mike Jones (1m33.051s), who really started to ramp things up on his Ducati.

The third Australian in the 25-rider field, Josh Hook, was 19th fastest with a 1m33.792s on his privateer Kawasaki.

Hayden was a big improver this afternoon as he continued to feel more comfortable in his first outing on a Superbike at Phillip Island, and he completed day one ahead of Yamaha teammates Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes.

Meanwhile, emerging Spaniard Xavi Fores (Ducati) finished ahead of the Ducati factory riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano to complete the top 10.

German Marcus Reiterberger, teammate to Torres, was also mightily impressive in his first ride at Phillip Island, completing day one in 11th position.

Reiterberger comes to WorldSBK after winning the 2015 German IDM Superbike title, just as Brookes is making the switch after a similarly dominant campaign in the UK.

In World Supersport, Swiss rookie and former Moto2 rider Randy Krummenacher ended day one just in front of Kawasaki teammate and world champion Kenan Sofuoglu, followed by Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta), Patrick Jacobsen (Honda) and Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta). The gap between the quintet was 0.786s.

Aiden Wagner (MV Agusta) and wildcard Anthony West (Yamaha) were the fastest Australians in ninth and 10th. Of the other locals, Glenn Scott (Honda) was 15th, Mitch Levy (Yamaha) 20th, Alex Phillis (Honda) 22nd, Kane Burns (Suzuki) 24th and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) 27th.

Testing continues tomorrow with two sessions apiece for the world championship classes, in what will be the final shakedown before practice and qualifying begins on Friday for round one.

Click here for detailed results