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“A Rash Of Crashes And Some Injuries” | Day 2 Test Wrap In Full | EVENTS

A comprehensive wrap of World Superbike, and Supersport testing at Phillip Island ahead of this weekend's WSBK season opener.

Sykes Fastest In Testing As PI Takes Its Early Toll

The second and final day of action at Phillip Island saw a rash of crashes and some injuries, all of which led to lost track time for all at the awesome but tricky 4.445km track in Australia.

As the air temperatures jumped up to almost 40°C just a few days before the real start of the 2016 season the final session delivered few improvements in times for most.

With a strong wind to go with the massive hike in temperatures on the second half of day two the track proved difficult and slower in the final afternoon than on day one. In the morning session of day two, when four of the top five put their best laps in, it was still warm but nothing like the heights of the second afternoon.

Rea, Lowes, Davies, Sykes, Camier, Australian WSBK 2016

Thanks to his day-one time Tom Sykes was top of the final pile on his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R. His team-mate and reigning champion Jonathan Rea was second – thanks to his second day morning time on one of the championships all-new machines in WSBK spec.

Sykes said, “There were a lot of stoppages for red flags over the course of two days but I think we are in a very good situation. We are fast with the cold conditions, warmer conditions, and also with some laps on the tyres. We have finished our two days of testing in a strong way, at a track that has been one of our limits in the past. Everything is definitely heading in the right direction and we have gathered some great information. I am happy to head into the race weekend now having completed a successful test.”

Rea, who like Sykes is now anticipating the weekend after what some would consider to be almost too much winter testing, said of his test, “It was challenging at times because the red flags came out while we were making a constant effort with some items but in general the two days have been pretty good. We had two different conditions; one cooler one on day one and then one very hot one with really high wind.

Jonathan Rea

That wind made getting across from turn two to turn three so difficult. All things considered, we ticked all the boxes we needed to and we managed to do a race simulation this morning. We are ready to go into the race weekend with a package I feel comfortable on. I am just super-excited because even though it is not that long a winter in WorldSBK it feels like forever since the final race of last year in Qatar. I just want to see the lights go out and get stuck in for 22 laps at one of the best circuits in the world.”

Third best of the test was Davide Giugliano ( Racing Ducati WSBK) finding pace and calmness to fill in right behind the top two Kawasaki riders.

“In general, I’m pretty happy about these tests,” said the Roman rider. “Especially, about the competitiveness shown this morning, when the climate conditions were similar to those that we should find during the race week-end.

“We just lack a bit of grip in the center of the corner. Unfortunately, I could not do a long run in the afternoon because of the weather. The extreme heat does not suit a flowing riding style such as mine, and there were so many crashes and red flags that I preferred not take risks. Still, I managed to do 22 laps on the same tyre with a competitive pace.”

Davide Giugliano
With a new team-mate to push him on, and more so because of his strong PI showings in his own right last year, second season WSBK rider Michael van der Mark took his red, white and blue Honda to fourth best time, having been fast from the start in Australia.

Fastest man in the final session, in the heat and the wind of the second day, was new Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli. The 2014 Superbike champion on his all-new (to WSBK at least) YZF-R1 put down a strong early marker that in real race conditions anything is possible for Yamaha’s re-entering race rocket.

I’ve tried lots of solutions that are working well – we ended up getting closer and closer to the leaders and ended up topping the last session so that felt good! This track really suits the character of the YZF-R1, the bike is fantastic to ride here – with the change of direction and the long, fast corners – it’s really sweet and efficient to ride.”

He was another faller, but with little consequence on day two.

Sylvain Guintoli

Despite a big fall and an elbow injury that only just stopped short of requiring surgery, Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) was top S1000RR rider, just ahead of Nicky Hayden and his official Honda.

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) completed the top eight riders, like Torres and Hayden, with his best time coming from the first day of action.

Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) was ninth on his privateer Panigale, one up on the still recovering Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati WSBK). Badly beat up and with the effects of a head-knock to carry around – albeit not a concussion – he rode to be ready for Sunday, and this finished tenth from 25 riders.

New WSBK full timer, Markus Reiterberger (Althea Racing BMW) placed himself 11th – and he was yet another fast faller – while Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Kawasaki) piled in with a 12th best time. He too crashed and was taken for checks before being declared fit.

Aprilia’s 2015 spec bike took Lorenzo Savadori to a respectable 13th in his first IodaRacing Team outing in the big class, ahead of Leon Camier’s works MV Agusta and two places up on local rider and 2015 BSB champion, Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW).

Local wild card Mike Jones (Desmo Sport Ducati) scored 16th place.

Mike Jones with Troy Bayliss – photo credit Russell Colvin

In these final pre-season tests, littered with crashes and a huge number of red flag interruptions, two rookie riders – Josh Hook (Grillini Kawasaki) and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Ducati) – will now miss race weekend due to injury. Hook fractured and dislocated his left shoulder, while Menghi’s fast highside fractured his pelvis.

A final red flag ended the last WSB session a minute or two early, ending yet another crash strewn final pre-season official test.

Swiss Krummenacher The Swiftest | World Supersport

After four track sessions over two days, the top WSS rider at the official DWO tests was a rookie – if not exactly an inexperienced rider – Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

He said of his success so far, “We have to sort out a few things but in general this test was very positive. For sure yesterday was a bit better than today but we will keep on working. I am still learning a lot and if the conditions change maybe I cannot adapt as quickly as Kenan right now. I just need to learn a bit more, to understand the conditions and push in the right direction.”

He had to rely on his fastest time from the first day of testing to top the final times, but he has learned a lot about WSS racing in a short time, as he now faces his first WSS event on Sunday 28 February.

He knows Phillip Island well, but with new tyres, bike and suspension to get his head around, he has proved an instant asset to the category – like Cluzel before him.

Randy Krummenacher, World Supersport

Sofuoglu, as always not worrying about the fastest lap times found great improvements in tyre life with his latest suspension up dates, and is now eagerly waiting on Sunday. Krummenacher is still learning about fill race on the Pirellis, but a potential podium is his in mist people’s minds already.

Third in the rankings in testing was the still limping Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), with PJ Jacobsen fourth but 0.737 seconds down on the top Kawasaki runner.

Lorenzo Zanetti was fifth on his official MV while Kevin Wahr’s move to the Gemar Ballons Lorini Honda team saw him sixth overall from 27 riders.

In a field full of MV Agusta machines in 2016, Alex Baldolini’s Race Department ATK MV scored seventh, and the GRT MV of Gino Rea was eighth, despite two big crashes for Rea on day one.

Ondrej Jezek (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) and another Moto2 refugee Nico Terol (Schmidt Racing MV) finished off the top ten.

Jacobsen Eases Back Into The Groove

PJ Jacobsen, who was in-out-in again with his official Honda World Supersport team over the winter months, due to the withdrawal of a key sponsor, finally got to test his CBR600RR again shortly before he starts off on another season of WSS action.

“I have not been on a bike since November,” said the American rider in Australia. “It was good to get back into the swing of things and I put a little bit of pressure on myself on day one, halfway through the session. The bike feels like new again, because I have only been riding motocross – which is not really the same thing!”


Jacobsen became a race winner in 2015, but only the last minute intervention from Honda, Ten Kate and others allowed him to ride in 2016. He ended up the tests fourth fastest.

Contender Davies Hits Hard

After his big first day crash exiting turn 12 at Phillip Island Chaz Davies ( Racing Ducati WSB) was back into the thick of the action on day two’s morning session.

He said of his first day off, “I am mostly all right, just a bit bruised and stiff. I banged my head a bit, and that was probably the worst of it, even though I was not knocked out or anything. Turn 12- never a great place to highside!”

Davies was unsure of why the crash happened. “Exactly why I am not sure but it was my first lap on a tyre I had not tried. I had one moment earlier in the lap. It was OK until it was not OK, and it was quite aggressive to snap. Normally with a Pirelli you get a lot of feel with them. I tried exactly the same tyre today and did not have the same problem.”


After lapping at Portimao and Jerez, two very different and lower speed circuits than Phillip Island, Davies was formatting his machine set-up to suit the high speed challenge of PI.

“We have some changes because it is a very different track, so we are working on race distance, and trying to fix a few little problems really before we go too mad at it. With the big one yesterday I am erring on the side of not doing that again!”

Gino Rea Falls Twice On Day One

Back in WSS again for 2016, and in his own named team, Gino Rea rides MV Agustas now, and had a hard into to his new machine with two big highsides on the first day.

And hard to explain ones too.

“I had two ‘alien’ crashes,” said Rea. “I cannot remember the last time I high sided. All the first morning we used the harder tyre, which has less grip. I have had really good control over the rear all day, a really good feeling with it, then we put the 190 tyre on.

The first time I was building up, it felt good in places, then all of a sudden it let go, as if I had ridden over oil. Instead of sliding and coming back in line, or being able to control it, it came round completely and flicked me over the top.”
Rea was about to repeat his experience shortly afterwards. “The first time I thought it was just my mistake, maybe not up to temperature, whatever, but then they guys did a good job and got me back out on track.

The tyre was basically new so I used the same tyre. Then – same thing again. I did three laps, then same thing. One corner had really good grip, one had good grip then the second one completely let go. It wasn’t as if I was even as if I was 100% throttle, I was about 60% throttle. At the moment we are a bit baffled as to what it could have been.

It is frustrating because I did not want to give the guys more work to do, but apart from that we are really happy. Far from being banged up I am happy with the team and bike and just been chipping away at it and we have a lot of work to do electronically. As a start we already have a good base.”