The Bend proved yesterday that champion circuits lift world champions when Troy Bayliss became the only rider to go under 1min53secs on the new track.
After two 30-minute practice sessions the three-time World Superbike champion ended Day One of Round Three of the ASBK championship with a fastest lap of 1:53.394.
Bayliss, who later claimed a two-book training camp has left him fitter than ever, threw down the gauntlet in P1. With 10 minutes to go he pitted and then blitzed the field with a 1:53.662. This beat Yamaha rider Wayne Maxwell’s time of 1:54.020 set at the recent tyre test at this all-new international-standard $110m circuit an hour east of Adelaide, South Australia.
Halfway through the second 30min practice session Bayliss had a long pit stop. Then he returned to lower his earlier time to 1:53.394.
A crash and bike fire on Turn 18 ended the session a few minutes early. The closest riders to Bayliss in this session were Yamaha’s Daniel Falzon (1:54.028) and the ASBK reigning champion, Suzuki’s Josh Waters (1:54.203).
At 39C, the track temperature matched conditions during the official ASBK tyre test. Bayliss said the surface was unchanged.
“The car event (a round of the Shannon Nationals) hasn’t done anything to the track,” he said. “It’s not dusty, but just a new surface. It’s developed a few high-frequency bumps but I think it adds a bit of charm to it.”
The ASBK round is part of a double-header with the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Round Two.
Today sees more practice and Qualifying One. Saturday is Qualifying Two and the first race. Sunday sees another two races across all classes.