Young Queensland wild card, 20 year old Aiden Wagner, looks set to impress at this weekend’s (Feb 20-22) opening round of the 2015 Supersport World Championship, clocking his best ever lap time around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit yesterday during official testing ahead of the opening championship round.
He was the best Australian in testing today at Phillip Island, against a host of international riders from the world superbike and world supersport championship teams, maximising every minute of the final pre-season two day hit-out in sunny conditions.
Wagner who is mounting a privateer effort with his team, Oz Wildcard Racing, in the world supersport class, scorched around the 4.445km circuit in 1min35.051secs on his Yamaha, only 1.3 seconds behind the pacesetting Kawasaki of three-time world champion Kenan Sofuoglu.
And the Queenslander who lives inland from the Sunshine Coast at Warmuran still has another two sessions today to try and improve on his time, before the teams catch their breath ahead of opening practice for this weekend’s round one on Friday.
Wagner, attempting to become the first Aussie world supersport winner at Phillip Island since Andrew Pitt in 2008, will compete as a wildcard at Phillip Island, alongside compatriots Alex Phillis (Honda) and Sam Lambert (Triumph). The fourth Australian rider, Glenn Scott, is kick starting his full-time world supersport campaign on a Honda.
Scott was 19th fastest yesterday, one spot ahead of Phillis and three in front of Lambert.
Meanwhile, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) was second fastest in world supersport ahead of teammate Lorenzo Zanetti and American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki).
In the premier world superbike class, the Brits dominated, with Alex Lowes fastest overall with a 1m31.332 sec lap set on his Suzuki in the second session of the day. Also at the pointy end was Kawasaki’s new recruit Jonathan Rea (1m31.6) on the Kawasaki, Aprilia rider Leon Haslam and former world champion Tom Sykes – all setting times within .1 of a second.
New recruit to the category Spaniard Jordi Torres (Aprilia) was fifth fastest while Italian Davide Giugliano continuing to impress with solid pre season times – a 1m31.9 to make his sixth fastest overall.
World champion, Sylvain Guintoli, with his new team PATA Honda focussed on testing rather than pure pace. Back on the bike for the first time since his injury in testing in Jerez in late January, it was his first full day of dry testing since moving to PATA and he used the opportunity to work on tyre grip. He managed 13th fastest, a day best of 1m32.891s..
Australian wild card, Eltham’s Jed Metcher managed 18th fastest on the Yamaha (1m34.382) ; while Cessnock’s Matt Walters was 20th on the Pedercini Kawasaki (1m34.637).
Testing continues today with another two sessions for world superbike and world supersport respectively.
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