Tom Sykes Fastest In Mixed Conditions At Phillip Island Test

Tom Sykes Fastest In Mixed Conditions At Phillip Island Test

Tom Sykes 2016

Photo Courtesy of press

Tom Sykes fires the first shot at Phillip Island.

It was a Kawasaki Racing Team 1-2 on day one of the two-day test at Phillip Island with Tom Sykes leading his teammate Jonathan Rea in the final shakedown test prior to the start of the World Superbike season on February 26 in Australia. Even though it’s supposed to be summer Down Under, the weather was more like England as it rained on and off, making it difficult for most of the riders to get some solid testing in.

As to how he fared on day one of the test, Sykes said: “Better than the weather. It’s been hit or miss in both of our sessions, lost a lot of track time.”

In the end, the former champ wasn’t too bothered by it, leading the way with a 1:31.097. Sykes felt that the homework they did leading up to the pre-race test at Phillip Island had them in a good spot.

“The saving grace is that the Kawasaki racing team have had a good winter test schedule,” Sykes said. “We’re definitely ahead of the game and the beauty is that we’ve got a good base setting and we were able to work around the weather today. So overall I’m happy.”

Jonathan Rea 2016

Photo Courtesy of press

Jonathan Rea got a little help for the new season in time for Australia, an engine with some different characteristics to suit his riding style.

Syke’s teammate Jonathan Rea agreed that the team was at a good level, but cautioned that there he still had work to do, especially since he was coming to terms with the new machine. He has received a little help in Australia, though.

“The bike and team’s at a really good level, but we have a new bike let’s not forget,” Rea said. “I’m still learning how to get the best out of that. We arrived here with a slightly different engine character for me, which is the biggest thing for me, I’m finding the bike much more manageable, lets me do a little bit more my style, like I want to ride. That’s given me confidence.”

Also confident was the young Michael van der Mark on the Honda World Superbike Team. The Dutchman led the way in the morning session, a time that held up as third overall.

Michael van der Mark 2016

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Michael van der Mark felt that he could’ve gone faster in the afternoon but was happy with his performance overall on the first day of testing.

“I love this track, it suits the bike,” Van der Mark said about his surge in confidence. “I also think it’s the one-year experience I have from last that makes me more calm and more relaxed.”

In fourth was last year’s Rookie of the Year Jordi Torres on the Althea BMW, ahead of American Nicky Hayden on the other Honda World Superbike. Hayden was .461 of a second off of Sykes’ fast time.

Next up was the Pata Yamaha duo of Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes, finishing the day in sixth and seventh, respectively. Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavi Fores bested the factory duo in eighth, while Ducati’s Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano completed the top 10.

The weather promises to be quite hot tomorrow, so many are hoping to get some race simulations in as well as test the bikes in hot conditions.

Nicky Hayden 2016

Photo Courtesy of press

Many are curious to see how Nicky Hayden fares in his rookie season of World Superbike.

2016 World Superbike Phillip Island Test Day One Results:

  1. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team 1:31.097

  2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team 1:31.293

  3. Michael van der Mark (NED) Honda World Superbike Team 1:31.510

  4. Jordi Torres (ESP) Althea BMW Racing Team 1:31.526

  5. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda World Superbike Team 1:31.558

  6. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team 1:31.583

  7. Alex Lowes (GBR) Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team 1:31.620

  8. Xavi Fores (ESP) Barni Racing Team Ducati 1:31.661

  9. Chaz Davies (GBR) Racing Ducati 1:31.678

  10. Davide Giugliano (ITA) Racing Ducati 1:31.810

  11. Markus Reiterberger (GER) Althea BMW Racing Team 1:31.928

  12. Ramon Ramos (ESP) Team GoEleven Kawasaki 1:32.500

  13. Leon Camier (GBR) MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1:32.707

  14. Josh Brookes (GBR) Milwaukee BMW 1:32.714

  15. Lorenzo Savadori (ITA) IodaRacing Team Aprilia 1:32.892

  16. Mike Jones (AUS) Desmo Sport Ducati 1:33.051

  17. Sylvain Barrier (FRA) Pedercini Kawasaki 1:33.147

  18. Fabio Menghi (ITA) VFT Racing Ducati 1:33.251

  19. Josh Hook (AUS) Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki 1:33.792

  20. Alex de Angelis (RSM) IodaRacing Team Aprilia 1:33.979

  21. Karel Abraham (CZE) Milwaukee BMW 1:34.706

  22. Dominic Schmitter (SUI) Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki 1:35.640

  23. Saeed Al Sulaiti (QAT) Pedercini Kawasaki 1:36.121

  24. Imre Toth (HUN) Team Toth Yamaha 1:36.463

  25. Peter Sebestyen (HUN) Team Toth Yamaha 1:37.927

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