Riders reflect on WSBK Testing at Phillip Island

WorldSBK 2019 Phillip Island Test

Álvaro Bautista
Aruba.it Racing Ducati – P1 – 1’30.303

“Today was another very positive day. This morning we made a change to the bike’s geometry but we didn’t find what we were looking for so we went back to yesterday’s setting. In the afternoon the aim was to do a long-run, to see how the tyres behaved after a number of laps in race trim. I’m pleased because I kept a very good pace throughout the entire long-run. These have been two very positive days, and I’d like to thank the whole team, which did a perfect job. We’re ready to tackle the first race, and I can’t wait to start!”

WSBK Test PI Final GB Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Tom Sykes
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team – P2 – 1’30.539

“Testing has gone really well and after these two test days here at Phillip Island, I want to thank the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team because we worked very well, we worked through a comprehensive list of items and possibilities and certainly boxed off a lot of things. So I am very happy and I really feel that given the limited time on the project everyone has been doing an incredible job. I don’t think that we could have asked for anything more during this testing period. Going into the race weekend now we know that it’s not going to be easy, obviously we need to work a little bit more in some areas, but I really do feel that we are heading in the right direction. We will go out on track, work on further improving the package on our BMW S 1000 RR and enjoy the racing. I feel that the potential is higher than we could have expected when starting the project.”

WSBK Test PI Final Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes

Leon Haslam
Kawasaki Racing Team – P3 – 1’30.668

“Up until today we probably used the least amount of tyres compared to anyone else. We were just looking at race set-up and looking at a real specific plan of what we wanted to do, hence we were not posting really good one-off lap times and putting new tyres in. Our race times have been pretty competitive over both days. I had a bit of a go for a lap time at the end there but I got traffic on my first two laps and I think it was my fourth flying lap I did the 1’30.6. I think if we could have maximised the early laps, like everyone else seemed to be doing, we could have been a little closer. The biggest thing about this test for me was the average of the base pace, looking after the tyres, and managing that side of things. We are in a good place, I think. I am not looking to the races just yet; I am looking to the practice session on Friday, because there are still a few things we want to try. I feel good and we are making the steps.”

WSBK Test PI Final GB Haslam
Leon Haslam

Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki Racing Team – P4 – 1’30.722

“This has been a really positive test and we have been able to analyse a lot of items and changing things in the bike to see exactly what the track requests. This track is so unique because of the energy and load we put into the rear tyre, because of those fourth and fifth gear corners. Now we have a lot of data but unfortunately today there were a lot of red flags and we were not able to complete a long run or maximise a time attack. So this has been a huge data gathering two day test and it will prove very valuable for race weekend. With three races this year we need to be clever with the timetable and Sunday will be very a tight day for many reasons. The racing itself, trying to take on board food and – being in a factory team – the media commitments. So Sunday will be busy. From a racing point of view, I am quite happy.”

WSBK Test PI Final GB Rea
Jonathan Rea

Markus Reiterberger
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team – P12 – 1’31.376

“I am pretty satisfied with the two test days in Australia. I immediately had a good feeling on the bike, and we worked well through our testing programme, so we can soon focus on fine-tuning the performance. The anticipation for the first race weekend is of course huge, because racing is always something special. On the other hand, I would not mind having a few more test laps to really get the maximum out of myself and the BMW S 1000 RR. We just need a little bit of time to understand the whole package, but I’m pretty happy so far, and I feel great in the team. The guys really give everything and work extremely hard. We also continuously get new options and things from Munich that we can test. You can really see how things are progressing well. Personally, I worked intensively on my fitness during the winter, and I am ready to kick off the season.”

WSBK Test PI Final Markus Reiterberger
Markus Reiterberger

Leon Camier
Moriwaki Althea Honda Team – P13 – 1’31.443

“We are working really hard on different aspects of the bike, from the electronics to the chassis’ setup. The feeling on the bike is not at all bad but we need to keep working hard on the setup. It’s important to work methodically because we want to be sure that every change we make is taking us in the right direction. The bike has a lot of strong points and is very nice to ride, very stable. The team is working really hard and I’m sure things will improve though it may take a little time.”

Leon Camier – TBG Image

Chaz Davies
Aruba.it Racing Ducati – P14 – 1’31.796

“We’re not quite there yet to be honest. We made some strides this morning and I was quite happy with that. In the afternoon we wanted to change a few things but we ended up going back to this morning’s setting because everything we tried didn’t give me the right feeling. We have to put all the data together in the next two days and hopefully on Friday we’ll turn up with a better setting. The good news is that last year we also had a difficult test, but then I raced a lot better than I did at the tests. We’ll take the weekend as it comes and prepare for the race in the best possible way.”

Chaz Davies – TBG Image

Ryuichi Kiyonari
Moriwaki Althea Honda Team – P15 – 1’31.860

“Today I feel better compared to yesterday. This morning especially, we worked well on the suspension and electronic settings and I immediately had better feeling. Of course, we are still a bit far from the front, but all in all I’m happy with the progress we’ve made. During the afternoon session, we had some grip issues to deal with but in the end, we were able to sort that out, even if we did not improve on the morning’s best time. I’m highly motivated to improve and know that I am asking a lot of my team, so I wish to thank everyone for their effort and all their hard work.”

Alessandro Delbianco
Althea MIE Racing Team – P18 – 1’32.979

“I’m pleased with the work we’ve done here, despite finishing up the test a little earlier than everyone else. I feel as if I’ve got on much better than I did during the Portimao and Jerez tests. This is one of those tracks that requires courage and I feel comfortable riding here, I find the wide turns really help me. Compared to the last tests, I’m closer to my rivals and know that I can only improve, so I’m feeling optimistic about the upcoming race weekend.”

Team Quotes

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Leon Haslam

“We had a very good winter test programme and this final test was all about preparation for race weekend. We wanted to give Leon as many laps as possible to give him more time to adjust to this bike. We made an agreement together that in every session we needed to improve our pace and that is what we did. I think we were the only riders to improve the lap time and the pace, session-by-session. To be third right now makes me very confident but I am more convinced about our consistency. We have no problems with rear tyre endurance. We are, after ten or 12 laps, at least as fast or faster than our competition so I am looking forward to the weekend. With three races the weekend will be as busy as usual, but more exciting.”

WSBK Test PI Final GB KRT Duinker
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Leon Haslam

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea

“The test has been the same as each previous year in Phillip Island. This is a unique track, completely different and we have been preparing the base bike and the starting point for 2019. In the winter tests it has been very good and then when we arrived here, as we expected from previous years, everything has been different. So we started to focus on the base setup for this track and then focus with the tyres. This is one of the main things we have to focus on here, especially the rear tyre. This has been the target to try to find a good balance for Johnny and also for durability for the rear tyre. As for race weekend we have to analyse everything, and I already have some ideas. On Friday we still want to try something to give Johnny a little bit more confidence and understanding.”

WSBK Test PI Final GB KRT Riba
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“The results of the two days of testing at Phillip Island are very positive. They confirmed the performance at the test days that we had over winter. We are very proud of the collaboration within the team, which first had to gel in this new configuration. We have all pulled together over the past few months, and we now can see the result of this good teamwork. That’s motivating! But we have to stay realistic and look ahead to the first race. That will be the first time for us to see where we really stand in race trim. We also know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but the base of the new BMW S 1000 RR offers a lot of potential. We are happy to be back and we really can’t wait to start the first race.”

WSBK Test PI Final BMW SRR Logo
BMW Motorrad Superbike Team – BMW S 1000 RR

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“We left the European tests in a very good position and a lot of hard work was carried out to make further improvements at Phillip Island. At the two days of testing here we could clearly see the benefits of the small but very significant improvements to the chassis. Tom went through all the things he wanted to test and had his best package which he ran on Tuesday afternoon in its final configuration. That is a very good base setting for him now to start the season. Markus has taken a big step forward after Portimão and is in a very strong position where we feel he can definitely compete for the top ten in the races at the coming weekend.”

WSBK Test PI Final Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes

WSBK Phillip Island Test February 2019
Final Combined Times

  1. BAUTISTA Alvaro – Ducati 1’30.303
  2. SYKES Tom – BMW 1’30.539
  3. HASLAM Leon – Kawasaki 1’30.668
  4. REA Jonathan – Kawasaki 1’30.722
  5. MELANDRI Marco – Yamaha 1’30.760
  6. RAZGATLIOGLU Toprak – Kawasaki 1’30.840
  7. VAN DER MARK Michael – Yamaha 1’30.911
  8. CORTESE Sandro – Yamaha 1’31.077
  9. LOWES Alex – Yamaha 1’31.168
  10. TORRES Jordi – Kawasaki 1’31.224
  11. MERCADO Leandro – Kawasaki 1’31.328
  12. REITERBERGER Markus – BMW 1’31.376
  13. CAMIER Leon – Honda 1’31.443
  14. DAVIES Chaz – Ducati 1’31.796
  15. KIYONARI Ryuichi – Honda 1’31.860
  16. LAVERTY Eugene – Ducati 1’31.986
  17. RINALDI Michael Ruben – Ducati 1’32.083
  18. DELBIANCO Alessandro – Honda 1’32.979
  19. HERFOSS Troy – Honda 1’33.130

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Source: MCNews.com.au

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