WorldSBK newcomer Alvaro Bautista has set the fastest time of session one at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as the final pre-season test officially got underway today, prior to the opening round of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicking off this Friday to Sunday (Feb 22-24).
Aboard the all-new Ducati Panigale V4 R, the Spaniard – fresh from a fourth place finish in last year’s MotoGP race at Phillip Island – set some blistering times in the opening two-hour session on his way to a best lap of 1min.30.743secs.
Yamaha’s Alex Lowes continued his strong pre-season form in second, ahead of world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), 2018 Phillip Island double race winner Marco Melandri (Yamaha), Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), rookie Sandro Cortese (Yamaha) and Tom Sykes on the updated BMW – the top seven riders separated by less than one second.
World No. 2 Chaz Davies (Ducati) was well back in 14th, while Australia’s Troy Herfoss was 19th on his Honda.
There are further three sessions left for the WorldSBK riders over the next day-and-a-half, with the Yamaha Finance backed round one to commence at Phillip Island from February 22-24 – complete with a new three-race program for the world’s top production racers.
In WorldSSP testing this morning, Yamaha teammates Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher took the top two spots, while Aussie 18-year-old Tom Toparis was an excellent ninth on his Yamaha.
See you Trackside at the Island for a Triple-Treat
A three-day General Admission is $120* secured in advance, or $230* when you add camping to your purchase.
If you feel like splashing out, step up to a Bar SBK ticket at $265* (with camping $375*) and enjoy undercover facilities at Doohan Corner, Siberia and Lukey Heights.
World superbikes is FREE** for kids 15 and under, and so is your bike.
As an extra bonus at WorldSBK, all three-day ticket holders are gifted FREE paddock access.
For more information go to www.worldsbk.com.au or call the toll free WorldSBK Hotline 1300 728 007
*All ticket prices quoted purchased in advance and subject to Ticketek service and handling fees.
**Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult.