Round One – Phillip Island
Free Practice Two
With Chris Plumridge
Scott Redding (Aruba.IT Ducati) has showed just how quickly he can adapt to World Superbike, topping the time-sheets in Free Practice 2 for the Yamaha Finance Round of the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship.
In conditions that couldn’t have been more different from what the riders experienced this morning, the World Superbike stars enjoying a near-perfect Phillip Island in blazing sunshine this afternoon.
Redding put in a late 1:30.436 to show his rivals that he intends to run at the front this season.
As the session opened it was a Kawasaki setting the early pace but not the green bike you expect. Alex Lowes was the first rider to find the pace in the first two laps with a 1:31.336. But before too long the field was dipping into the 1:30s, Haslam (HRC) the first to bite with a 1:30.936. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha) was making amends for missing most of the morning’s session, his 1:31.145 put him into second spot. Tom Sykes (BMW) was another tenth further back at that stage.
With just under 40 minutes to go the session was red flagged to remove a piece of debris from between Turns 1 and 2. Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s bike appeared to have a problem at that time too as he was straight back in the pits.
Xavi Fores was looking good in fourth fastest with 1:31.265 after returning from British Superbike for 2020.
Jonathan Rea, down in 8th, moved himself up the standings to third with a 1:31.185 after some time in the pits while rival Alvaro Bautista (HRC), having done ten laps, was still outside the top 10.
Bautista’s best of a 1:31.840 putting him in 12th. Chaz Davies (Aruba.IT Ducati) fared even worse out of his ten laps, 1:31.967 only good enough for 14th.
With just under half-an-hour to go in the session, Haslam was fastest, Razgatlioglu two-tenths back, Rea two-and-a-half tenths behind and Tom Sykes (BMW) only an extra two-hundredths off that. Loris Baz, hero of testing for Ten Kate Yamaha had only done six-laps and was ninth (1:31.589). Not many riders appeared to be opting for super long runs at this stage, with everyone in and out of the pits looking to perfect their set-ups. Slow motion television shots showed the rear of Bautista’s bike squirming through Turn 3 – he was pushing hard.
Rinaldi was back out and circulating, his problems now sorted and he was sitting tenth quickest (1:31.620).
In terms of speed trap numbers down the front straight, the two Hondas were fastest as they had been during testing earlier in the week: Bautista clocking 319 km/h down the straight.
With 13-minutes to go Alex Lowes had his hand up as he slowed through Honda corner, looking down near the rear swingarm. Clearly all was not well with the Kawasaki.
The times at the top had still not changed – Haslam was quickest, from Razgatlioglu, Rea, Sykes and Fores.
Baz injected some spice into the session with just over 10-minutes to go, clocking a 1:30.973 and planting himself in second position. Fellow Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark had a brief excursion through the gravel but returned to the track, he was still in eighth.
Razgatlioglu had a big moment through the Hayshed and lost time, but his next lap was quick – 1:30.854.
Scott Redding though had him beat – a 1:30.436.
Now the pace was really hotting up, van der Mark up to third and flying, only to fall back through the final sector and finish the lap half-a-second off of Redding.
When the chequered flag came out Redding’s marker was still good enough for P1, followed by Razgatlioglu, van der Mark, Haslam, Baz, and Rea.
Bautista was eighth (1:31.201), and Davies struggled in 13th (1:31.478).
The Yamaha Finance Round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continues until Sunday (1 March) from Phillip Island.
WorldSBK FP2 Results
|1||S. Redding||V4 R||1m30.436||311.2|
|2||T. Razgatlioglu||YZF R1||+0.418||312.1|
|3||M. Van Der Mark||YZF R1||+0.469||313.0|
|5||L. Baz||YZF R1||+0.537||304.2|
|7||T. Sykes||S1000 RR||+0.725||307.7|
|9||M. Rinaldi||Panigale V4 R||+0.777||312.1|
|13||C. Davies||V4 R||+1.042||319.5|
|14||E. Laverty||S1000 RR||+1.311||311.2|
|15||G. Gerloff||YZF R1||+1.462||313.0|
|16||F. Caricasulo||YZF R1||+1.572||309.5|
|18||L. Camier||V4 R||+2.213||312.1|