The opening round of the Superbike World Championship concluded today at Phillip Island in Australia. Yesterday saw Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Tom Sykes qualifying nineteenth in Superpole (1’30”914) before being forced to retire due to a technical issue in what was a wet Race 1.
Clouds early on this morning soon made way for the sunshine and the Superpole Race, which runs over a distance of just ten laps, took place on a dry track. Like yesterday Sykes started from the seventh row based on his qualifying result. Tom made a good start and started to make up positions, but an electrical problem meant he then had to reutn o the garage. The Englishman later rejoined the race but only with the intention of collecting data for the subsequent race.
The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing returned to the track in the afternoon for the final race of this Australian weekend. Unfortunately, another electrical problem emerged and Sykes again had to seek the help of his technicians. He again rejoined the race, but an innocuous crash then ruled him out.
A difficult round, but also an extremely useful one for the team and rider as they work to resolve problems relating to the development of new devices and components of the ZX-10RR.
The next Superbike World Championship round will take place at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia over the weekend of 3-5 March.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Superbike World Championship
Superpole Race: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Rinaldi (Ducati) – 3) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 4) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 6) Oettl (Ducati) …………. 20) Sykes (Kawasaki)
Race 2: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Rinaldi (Ducati) – 3) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 4) Bassani (Ducati) – 5) Oettl (Ducati) – 6) Lecuona (Honda) ………. DNF) Sykes (Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: “A complicated day, in which we had to deal with some electrical problems. On the one hand, these prevented us from scoring good race results but, on the flip side, they helped us to understand the nature of the problems and how we can resolve them. The team has worked hard and I think that, together, we will soon be able to be competitive.”