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Old 02-22-2016, 05:18 AM   #1
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Phillip Island WSBK test Sykes fastest on day one

Rain and red flags interrupt the first day of testing

TOM SYKES, the 2013 World Superbike Champion, has recorded the fastest lap of the first day of testing at Phillip Island on-board his Kawasaki ZX-10R with team-mate and reigning World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea in second.

Around the 12 corners of the Australian track, Sykes completed a lap time of 1:31.097, 0.196s ahead of team-mate and reigning WSBK Champion Rea. The weather at Phillip Island hasn't improved since the MotoGP teams and riders conducted their test last week as the WSBK team and riders were interrupted by rain and also red flags.

Althea BMW’s Jordi Torres slotted into third ahead of MotoGP legend Nicky Hayden who has switched Championships on the Honda. 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli put his Yamaha YZF-R1 into the top 5 for the first time with a 1:31.583, but on combined times Honda rider Michael Van Der Mark retained third with a faster lap from the morning session - the only rider in the top ten who failed to improve in the afternoon.

With light rain a constant threat throughout most of the day, the second session saw numerous crashes and numerous red flags from the Milwaukee pair of Karel Abraham and Josh Brookes, both of which were separate incidents, but both at Turn 11. Peter Sebestyen, Dominic Schmitter and 2016 title contender Chaz Davies all suffered falls. Davies escaped unhurt from the final turn crash on his Panigale R and ended the day in ninth on the combined time-sheets with a tenth and a half second advantage over Ducati team-mate Davide Giugliano.

Sykes was also quickest at the previous preseason test in Jerez and is back with every intention to claim his 2013 crown back.

The World Superbike test at Phillip Island continues tomorrow before the season opener at this very track begins Friday 26th February.

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