February 2016

2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Notes: Has WSBK Turned a Corner?

We are racing at last. The first round of World Superbikes at Phillip Island means we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The long, dark winter is over, and motorcycles are circulating in earnest once again.

What to make of the first weekend of World Superbikes in the new format? Those who worried that spreading the racing over two days would hurt attendance and ruin the series have not seen their fears realized. Attendance at Phillip Island was around 75% of the MotoGP attendance there, really strong figures for the track.

Some caveats apply, of course: firstly, the Phillip Island MotoGP round is one of the most poorly attended on the calendar, though last year numbers improved. Secondly, the combination of Australian Superbikes with World Superbikes meant there was a full program of racing, and plenty for fans to see. The real test of the new format will come at tracks like Donington and Jerez, where attendance has been dismal. If they can get more people through the gate there, the Saturday-Sunday format will be more of a success.

Slick pics

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2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Race Two Results: A New Day

World Superbike race two would be like every other race so far, a close-fought battle with thrills and spills.

Tom Sykes hit the apex at turn one first, with his teammate Jonathan Rea right behind him. Davide Giugliano, Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes followed. Rea and Sykes swapped back and forth on the first lap and Lowes pushed to fourth place, before drifting off line at Lukey Heights and dropping back to fifteenth place.

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2016 Phillip Island World Supersport Race Results: Constant Affray

The World Supersport race would be 18 laps of the tyre-chewing Phillip Island circuit.

PJ Jacobsen led into turn one, followed by Jules Cluzel, charging though from eighth place on the grid, and kenan Sofuoglu. Sofuoglu quickly took second place then first. Further back, Lorenzo Zanetti had a tank slapper and clipped Anthony West, but both riders stayed upright and heading in the right direction.

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2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Race One Results: How Close Do You Like It?

The first ever World Superbike race held on a Saturday would be twenty two one-and-a-half minute laps of Phillip Island in Australia, the fiftieth race held on this track.

The Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes took to the front ahead of Chaz Davies, Michael van der Mark and Davide Giugliano. Alex Lowes, Nicky Hayden and Sylvain Guintoli were on the back of them, becoming an eight bike group after dropping Lorenzo Savadori off the back.

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2016 Phillip Island World Supersport Superpole Results: The More It Changes …

World Supersport gets its first Superpole qualifying, with seventeen riders taking part in the first session.

Australian Anthony West, usually known for his wet weather skill, was the first rider to take the top spot, with a 1'34.526. Federico Caricasulo knocked him down a place the lap after. Much like the Superbike sessions, everyone pitted in midway to change tyres, but unlike the big bikes, riders still huddled together for warmth on track, tripping each other up looking for a tow.

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