WorldSBK Pre Season Test Wrap, Phillip Island, Rea #1
Pre-season testing for the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has come to an end at Phillip Island with a familiar name at the top – Kawasaki supremo Jonathan Rea – IRPR.
The production title’s greatest ever exponent was fastest in the two sessions today, and this afternoon his presence at the top came on the strength of a 1min30.523sec lap on his ZX-10RR.
Just like he did this morning, Frenchman Loris Baz (Yamaha, 1:30.758) kept the pressure on Rea, with British riders then filling the next two spots – Leon Haslam (Honda, 1:30.882) and Scott Redding (Ducati, 1:30.885).
Redding’s afternoon session was also tarnished by a fall, but the former MotoGP rider and reigning British Superbike champion dusted himself off to complete the final pre-season shakedown.
The top eight this afternoon were all within a second of Rea, with Tom Sykes (BMW) fifth from Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Michael Rinaldi (Ducati).
World No. 2 Alvaro Bautista (Honda) was back in 17th, but yet again had the fastest bike down the main chute.
On combined times in the four session, two day test, the order saw Rea at the top, followed by Yamaha’s Baz, BMW’s Sykes, and young gun Turk Razgatlioglu. Then came Haslam on the Honda (overall 5th) followed by Ducati’s new recruit Redding, Dutchman Michael van der Mark , Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Eugene Laverty who is new to BMW and rounding at the top ten last year’s winner at Phillip Island, Alvaro Bautista on the all-new Honda.
The scene is now set for the most eagerly anticipated WorldSBK title in recent memory starting this Friday to Sunday (February 28-March 1) with the Yamaha Finance round at the Island.
Bautista, Rea and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) scored the trifecta in all three races in 2019, but the arrival of hot new talent like Redding and Honda’s return to the series in an official capacity have only added to the intrigue ahead of WorldSBK’s 33rd season.
As well as WorldSBK, Phillip Island will also host World Supersport action with Australia’s 16-year-old wild card Oli Bayliss. Bayliss, son of motorcycle legend Troy, finished 20th overall after the four session WorldSSP test aboard his Yamaha YZF R6.
Also on the 15 race agenda for this weekend, the opening round of the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul with races from Australian Superbike, Supersport, Supersport 300 and the Oceania Junior Cup.
On-track action from 8:30am until 5:30pm from Friday to Sunday, with tickets available at Ticketek or at the gate. Click on the ad below to book!