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|02-23-2016, 03:10 PM||#1|
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Jonathan Rea Leads The Way On Final Day Of Testing At Phillip Island
Photo Courtesy of Worldsbk.com press
Now that pre-season testing for 2016 has come to an end, Jonathan Rea can't wait to get back to racing.
World Superbike riders had one last day to prepare for 2016 before the season kicks off Friday, February 26 in Phillip Island, Australia. Once again it was Kawasaki that led the way at the Island, but, unlike yesterday, today belonged to Jonathan Rea. The reigning champ was still short of his Kawasaki Racing teammate Tom Sykes’ fastest time set yesterday in cooler temperatures, but Rea was feeling confident going into the race weekend, no matter the conditions.
“We’re prepared to have whatever condition,” Rea said. “I’m just excited to go into the race to be honest. While Qatar isn’t that long ago in the months, it feels like forever. We’ve got the bike working pretty good all around the track. We’ve ticked off all the boxes and can be relaxed going into the weekend.”
Although Rea was fastest overall on day two, Pata Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli was fastest in the hot and windy conditions of the afternoon. In its debut season in World Superbike, many are curious to see how the new R1 will stack up to the more seasoned competition. Did Guintoli expect to be moving along so quickly, so early?
“No not really,” Guintoli said. “Obviously we’re coming along. We’re working hard. We’ve done a lot in the winter. The R1 is changing a lot. It’s getting more competitive, but we’re very early in the development. So for us it was a little bit of a surprise today, and the pace since we got here was a little bit of a surprise, but we’ll take it and carry on working. Hopefully we can do well straight away in the race.”
Thankfully, the second day saw much better weather – warm and dry conditions despite some threat of rain. But there will still interruptions in both sessions, this time due to red flags. There were many fallers, some luckier than others.
Photo Courtesy of Worldsbk.com press
Sylvain Guintoli was surprised with the pace they've been able to achieve this early in the development of the Yamaha R1.
VFT Racing Ducati’s Fabio Menghi had a rough day, the Italian crashed in the first session breaking his pelvis in the process and will most likely miss the season opener. Grillini Kawasaki’s Josh Hook also brought out a red flag later in the day, crashing in turn two and leaving fluid on the track. The Australian unfortunately will miss his home round with a dislocated shoulder and a fractured greater tubercle (the top of the humerous).
The red flags got in the way of Davide Giugliano’s race simulation, but didn’t stop the Aruba.it Ducati rider from setting the second fastest time of the day, which was also an improvement from day one.
Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark was impressed with another third overall time, finishing ahead of the afternoon’s fast man Guintoli. Van der Mark’s teammate Nicky Hayden remained fifth and not far off the pace, .336 of a second adrift of Rea.
Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavi Fores was sixth, followed by Tom Sykes. The other man on the Aruba.it Ducati, Chaz Davies was eighth and rounding out the top 10 was Guintoli’s teammate Lowes and Althea BMW’s Jordi Torres.
2016 World Superbike Phillip Island Test Day Two Results:
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