WSBK riders reflect on P.I. test and look towards weekend

WorldSBK 2020

Jonathan Rea – P1

“It has been a positive test all-in-all. Even though some sessions were hindered a bit by the weather, we have been able to confirm a lot of items from the balance side, to try to get the bike to turn more naturally. That was out focus coming here, knowing what we knew from last year. I felt good with the bike and tested two different front tyres. Both gave good but different sensations so it is more about understanding which one we go towards the weekend with. You never really know in this race. We have done race distance on all the tyres we used and I feel fast and consistent with all. But you never really know until the race. It is clear at this track that you can go all out and be really fast but you tend to run into issues at the end of the race. So it is more about trying to make your consistent rhythm easy and I feel like we have a bike that is quite user-friendly. That is positive to go into Friday with.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Rea TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Rea TBG

Jonathan Rea – TBG Image

Loris Baz – P2

“For us the season can start, we are ready. The past two days we have done a lot of work, tried many things and we can look back on, once again, a very positive test. We have been able to test many things back-to-back with our eyes on the coming weekend. However, there are a few areas where we need to find something for the races, but I am very satisfied and I am very confident going into the season opener. I am sure that I will have a great season together with this team.”

WorldSBK Test PI Monday Baz

WorldSBK Test PI Monday Baz

Loris Baz – GeeBee Image

Tom Sykes – P3

“I’m very happy with the way things have gone. We had very successful winter tests, didn’t get too carried away with the lap times and really focused on the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RR. We really got through a strong test programme and when we came here to Phillip Island, it has paid off. As soon as I rolled out, the bike felt very good and we were able to work on the little parameters that we had in store before the race weekend. Overall, I’m happy with the outcome. We have a lot of information that we will study over next days and we will try to come back strong for the race weekend with a good base set-up. Regarding my goals for the season opener: obviously everybody is here trying to win races. I just want to be more consistent throughout the season but we always have to aim for the podium, always have to try to make that podium into a race win and obviously here it is not different.”

WorldSBK Test PI Monday Sykes

WorldSBK Test PI Monday Sykes

Tom Sykes – GeeBee Image

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P4

“We worked to have good grip and a bike that turns well and again we will try more with these things with my R1 on Friday. We are happy because for me it is very important that I could ride the R1 at this track in dry conditions. This final afternoon I rode more in a race style and it was not bad; quite good really. But on Friday we will try another new set-up for even better grip. It is important to do race simulations and our laps were consistent. I felt good. Michael was also fast in race conditions so we will see how things are in the races. Phillip Island races can start slow, slow and then fast – I remember last year we started with 1’32 laps times then after some laps we went into the 1’31s. But we will have to see, because this is 2020, not 2019!”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Toprak Razgatlioglu TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Toprak Razgatlioglu TBG

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – TBG Image

Leon Haslam – P5

“We’ve made some steps forward today, despite the windy conditions being a bit of a problem this afternoon. Unfortunately, there is never enough time, especially considering how many elements we have to test but we’ve got a lot done here. Our lap times are not bad and I’m quite happy with our consistency in terms of the tyres. Overall, I feel we’re making good progress although the testing only tells us so much of course. We won’t know exactly where we are until we race, so we’ll know more come the weekend – it’s going to be interesting.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Haslam Fireblade TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Haslam Fireblade TBG

Leon Haslam – TBG Image

Scott Redding – P6

“I’m very pleased with what we’ve done. They were two important days in which we worked on many aspects. We have closed the gap to front guys and the feeling with the bike is definitely positive. It’s a shame about today’s crash but the important thing is that there were no consequences. Maybe we still need to improve on the single lap but the race pace data is very positive”.

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Redding Ducati TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Redding Ducati TBG

Scott Redding – TBG Image

Michael van der Mark – P7

“I am quite happy with our test and the 2020 R1. Our main goal was to improve our race pace and save our tyres. Yesterday we did a long run, which was really positive, and today we tried some different things with the rear suspension and the pace was there again, especially in a race simulation. So, I am really happy with how the test went but unfortunately this morning when I was on my way to my fastest lap I crashed, so that was a shame. But if you look back at the race simulations they were pretty good. Today I did 20 laps and the tyres were still fine. You have to start the race with a different approach than normal here but this is not my first time in Phillip Island, so we know this. At the beginning I think everyone will be a little bit conservative but at the end we will see who is the strongest. It is always going to be a surprise in this race!”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Michael VanDerMark TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Michael VanDerMark TBG

Michael van der Mark – TBG Image

Eugene Laverty – P9

“I’m a typical rider, I always want more time, an extra day to be ready but it has been a good couple of test days. We’ve worked a lot towards race preparation because you have concentrate on 20 laps not just on one lap and that has been our focus. We still have some work to do to do that fast lap time as for example Tom has been able to do but I’m confident that we will get there. We need to be fighting up there for the podium because this bike’s capable of it at this track. We’re feeling prepared. We need some more dry time on Friday to find our one lap pace but I’m confident that for the long distance, we will be there.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Laverty TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Laverty TBG

Eugene Laverty – TBG Image

Alvaro Bautista – P10

“This test has been very important for us of course and I think we’ve made progress. With respect to yesterday, my feeling with the Fireblade was a little better this morning, while this afternoon was a little trickier in the wind and on a more slippery track. We’ve also tested tyres today, finding positives and negatives as is always the case, and we also attempted a long run in order to collect as much data as possible ahead of the first races. All this information is really important as we move forward and I’m confident we can take another step forward this coming weekend. The potential, power and speed are all there, now we just need to work to be able to effectively harness it all.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Bautista TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Bautista TBG

Alvaro Bautista was the busiest rider over the two days, putting in 126 laps – TBG Image

Chaz Davies – P11

“It’s been a busy couple of days. If I’m honest, I think I found a good feeling, maybe not great but still positive even if we still have to perfect the set up for the race. Compared to the first day of testing, however, today the feeling was better. It is clear that we still have a lot of work to do but there is a lot of confidence and above all a lot of desire to start the season in the best possible way.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Davies TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Davies TBG

Chaz Davies – TBG Image

Alex Lowes – P12

“Obviously it has not been as easy to find the right feeling and set-up on the bike as I would have liked coming here but also it is the first time on the bike on such a strange track layout. It is so fast here, with lots of changes of direction. How I felt on the bike earlier in the winter tests was not quite the same here, so we worked a bit on the set-up. I got a little bit frustrated a couple of times, made a couple of mistakes, but the last session it was a bit better and we have found a base set-up that I can go into the weekend with. I am looking forward to getting my first race weekend in green started in a few days from now.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Alex Lowes TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Alex Lowes TBG

Alex Lowes – TBG Image

Garrett Gerloff – P16

“This is my first time here in Phillip Island and I am really enjoying the track. The only thing is that it has been a bit more difficult than I had originally imagined because of how fast the track is. For example, if I make one small mistake it becomes a huge mistake by the time I get to the corner. It’s been hard to be precise and I am working on it. Also we are making a big step in the bike set up because this track is pretty different than the other tracks where we have been testing in the last few months, so I think it requires a different set up. I think today in the second session we made a big step in the right direction. I am definitely looking forward to the weekend, I think it was nice that we had two days of testing but yesterday we only tested about 2 hours of the 4 hours because of weather and other track conditions. Luckily today we had more time, but I still feel like more laps would be beneficial. I am looking forward to getting back on track on Friday and I have a game plan!”

Federico Caricasulo – P17

“The feeling is getting better and better. We have tried out several strategies and by the last session we have determined which direction to take. This will be a good base for Friday. For the rest of the race weekend we will try to get closer to the front. As my personal objective, TOP10 would be a very good result for myself.”

Takumi Takahashi – P19

“I’m glad I was able to get back out for some additional track time this afternoon and that the weather conditions allowed us to work without interruption. It was a bit windy but that was not a problem for me. I must say thanks to my technicians who all worked very hard yesterday and this morning to get me back out on track, as it was important to try and complete as many laps as possible. We still have a lot to do, in terms of both bike set-up and me learning the track, but I’m looking forward to Friday when my first WorldSBK race weekend will begin.”

Pere Riba – Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea

“Before coming here, and it is the same as every year, we knew this is the real first time that you can see everybody – all the teams, riders and manufacturers – and there are some new bikes and riders – so before you come here you are expecting to see where everybody is. Now we can understand where everyone is. Last year was tough for us even if Johnny finished all the races in second place; Alvaro was really strong and riding really well. We struggled with the rear tyre so before we came here I studied this aspect and we focused 100% on the most important points of this track. Phillip Island is quite unique and we have to save the tyre for race distance. But at the same time you have to be fast. We worked calmly with Johnny and he understands what this track asks of him, so step-by-step we focused and followed all the items we wanted to test – all the plans – so we are happy.”

Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Team Principal

“I don’t think any team or manufacturer finishes the Phillip Island test with all the boxes ticked and all the answers they might have been looking for put into place. However, despite a few more details still to improve, in general, we are very happy with the work completed and the raw pace of both riders and the R1. The crew have done a great job, including on Mikey’s side to get a badly damaged bike ready during the second free practice today. Now the job is to simply make a clear plan for the race weekend and find a couple of tenths where we can, but more importantly, provide the guys with an R1 that can do 22 strong and consistent laps on Saturday and Sunday – our goals are certainly higher than they were at this circuit a year ago.”

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“In general, we are well prepared for the season opener. After the tests in Jerez and Portimão we had some open points that we were able to continue and to confirm here in good conditions. Now we have to make our choice for the race weekend. Tom’s pace is strong and we now have to try to keep it over the race distance. With Eugene, we have identified a few things we will work on for the weekend to also further improve his pace. Our goal for the opening round is: we want to start from the front row and I think that we have the chance to get onto the podium.”

Shaun Muir – Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“We’ve had two good days of testing here in Australia. On Eugene’s side, we’ve had a lot of information to work through and we had satisfying results, mostly with the electronics and his feel for the delivery of the power. That has been his focus area and while we are happy so far we will take some of this work into Friday. On Tom’s side we’ve had a huge list of items for him to test over the two days. We are pretty happy with where we are. We’ve not managed to do much race simulation due to the extensive test items, so that will be Fridays focus. We know we can qualify very well and aim to be on the front row in qualifying. But it’s not about qualifying, it’s about the race and we know that to be in contention for a podium position, we need to do consistent fast lap times in the latter parts of race. To do so and to be on the podium is definitely the goal for the season opener.”

Marcel Duinker – Crew Chief for Alex Lowes

“We did not finish where we would have wanted to finish in the timesheets but we were fast and competitive over race distance, which is very positive. We did most laps during this test, which was one of our targets. This is a special track and we did not have too many laps in the previous winter tests before we got here. The overall package of Alex and the bike are still fresh and therefore I am sure we can improve our performance for the weekend.”

Phillip Island WorldSBK Testing
Final Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 J.    Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1m30.448
2 L.    Baz Yamaha YZF R1 +0.076
3 T.    Sykes BMW S1000 RR +0.120
4 T.    Razgatlioglu Yamaha YZF R1 +0.292
5 L.    Haslam Honda CBR1000RR-R +0.434
6 S.   Redding Ducati Panigale V4 R +0.437
7 M.  Van Der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 +0.629
8 M.  Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R +0.959
9 E.   Laverty BMW S1000 RR +0.988
10 A.   Bautista Honda CBR1000RR-R +1.005
11 C.   Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R +1.085
12 A.   Lowes Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.112
13 S.   Cortese Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.117
14 X.   Fores Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.205
15 M.  Scheib Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.362
16 G.   Gerloff Yamaha YZF R1 +1.493
17 F.    Caricasulo Yamaha YZF R1 +1.496
18 L.    Camier Ducati Panigale V4 R +2.228
19 T.    Takahashi Honda CBR1000RR-R +5.866

Phillip Island WorldSBK Testing
Tuesday Afternoon Top Speeds

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 A. Bautista Honda CBR1000RR-R 317.6
2 C. Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R 314.9
3 L. Haslam Honda CBR1000RR-R 312.1
4 J. Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 310.3
5 S. Redding Ducati Panigale V4 R 310.3
6 M. Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R 310.3
7 T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha YZF R1 309.5
8 E. Laverty BMW S1000 RR 309.5
9 A. Lowes Kawasaki ZX-10RR 308.6
10 G. Gerloff Yamaha YZF R1 306.8
11 F. Caricasulo Yamaha YZF R1 305.9
12 L. Camier Ducati Panigale V4 R 305.9
13 M. Scheib Kawasaki ZX-10RR 305.9
14 L. Baz Yamaha YZF R1 305.9
15 T. Sykes BMW S1000 RR 305.9
16 M. Van Der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 305.9
17 X. Fores Kawasaki ZX-10RR 305.1
18 S. Cortese Kawasaki ZX-10RR 300.8
19 T. Takahashi Honda CBR1000RR-R 290.3

WorldSBK Rev Limits

If you want the best explanation of how the WorldSBK rpm based parity system works then take some time to digest this interview with Scott Smart we published last year (Link).

2020 Starting Rev Limits WorldSBK
Ducati V4 16,100 rpm
Honda (2020 SC82) 15,600 rpm
Honda (2019 SC77) 15,050 rpm
MV Agusta 14,950 rpm
Yamaha 14,950 rpm
Suzuki 14,900 rpm
BMW (2020) 14,950 rpm
BMW (2019) 14,900 rpm
Aprilia 14,700 rpm
Kawasaki 14,600 rpm
Ducati V2 12,400 rpm

Phillip Island WorldSSP

Thursday 27th February 2020
*Thursday session not open to public*
Time Class Program
13:10 Oceania Junior Cup FP1
13:30 Australian Supersport  FP1
14:05 Australian Superbike  FP1
14:40 Australian Supersport 300  FP1
15:15 Oceania Junior Cup  FP2
Friday 28th February 2020
Time Event Program
8:25 Oceania Junior Cup Qualifying
8:45 ASBK Supersport FP2
9:05 Australian Superbike FP2
9:30 ASBK SS300 FP2
9:50 FIM Medical Inspection
10:00 FIM Track Inspection
10:30 WorldSBK FP1
11:30 WorldSSP FP1
12:25 Pit Walk 1
13:00 Australian Superbike Q1
13:25 Australian Superbike Q2
13:50 Oceania Junior Cup R1 | 6 Laps
14:15 ASBK Supersport Qualifying
15:00 WorldSBK FP2
16:00 WorldSSP FP2
16:55 ASBK SS300 Qualifying
17:15 Parade Laps
Saturday 29th February 2020
Time Class Program
8:25 ASBK Oceania Junior Cup R2 | 6 Laps 
8:50 ASBK Supersport R1 |10 Laps 
9:30 FIM Medical Inspection
9:40 FIM Track Inspection
10:00 WorldSBK FP3
10:35 WorldSSP FP3
11:05 Australian Superbike R1 | 12 Laps
11:40 ASBK SS300 R1 | 8 Laps 
12:15 WorldSBK Superpole
12:55 WorldSSP Superpole
13:40 Pit Walk 2 & Safety Car Laps
15:00 WorldSBK R1 | 22 Laps 
16:15 Australian Superbike R2 | 12 Laps
16:50 ASBK SS300 R2 | 8 Laps
17:15 ASBK Supersport R2 | 10 Laps
17:50 Hyundai N Experience (Test Drive)
Sunday 1st March 2020
Time Class Program
8:20 Oceania Junior Cup R3 | 6 Laps
8:50 FIM Medical Inspection
9:00 FIM Track Inspection
09:30 WorldSBK Warm Up
09:55 WorldSSP Warm Up
10:30 Australian Superbike R3 | 12 Laps
11:05 Pit Walk 3 & Safety Car Laps
12:00 WorldSBK SP Race | 10 Laps
13:15 WorldSSP RACE |18 Laps
15:00 WorldSBK R2 | 22 Laps
16:15 ASBK SS300 R3 | 8 Laps 
16:45 ASBK Supersport R3 |10 Laps
17:20 Hyundai N Experience (Test Drive)


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