The first WorldSBK round got underway today at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing is fielding Englishman Tom Sykes, the 2013 World Superbike champion. During winter testing and in the official tests earlier this week at the same Australian track, Sykes and his technical staff worked hard to improve the setup of their ZX-10RR in preparation for the season’s start, with encouraging results.
Free practice 1 ran in sunny conditions and on a dry track this morning. Tom concluded with a time of 1’33”015 while, in the afternoon’s second session and with higher temperatures, his best was a 1’33”179 which saw him place twentieth overall in the day’s combined standings.
Tomorrow, with possible rain on the horizon, the WorldSBK schedule will see riders compete in Superpole and the first race of this Australian round.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Superbike World Championship
Combined free practice results: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 3) Lecuona (Honda) – 4) Rinaldi (Ducati) – 5) Rea (Kawasaki) – 6) Van der Mark (BMW) ………. 20) Sykes (Kawasaki)
“Lots to think about and ultimately we need to carefully consider the situation and try to understand what we can do. There are areas where I’m struggling and so I’m trying to overcompensate through certain corners. It was also so hot here today which makes it very difficult to set strong lap times. But we’ve made some set-up changes and now the guys have a lot of information from the tests and from today that we can use to make a plan ahead of tomorrow, when we’ll focus on the race. If it rains? I wouldn’t mind actually…”