2019 Phillip Island Test WorldSBK Day 2 Times: Bautista Dominates Last Test

Alvaro Bautista has laid down the law in Australia, the law being that the Ducati Panigale V4R is the bike to beat at Phillip Island. After dominating the first day of testing, Bautista went on to top the second day too, putting nearly a quarter of a second over his rivals.

Tom Sykes ended the test as second fastest, the BMW S1000RR clearly a competitive motorcycle in the right hands, and a tenth faster than the Kawasaki ZX-10RR of Leon Haslam. Haslam finished just ahead of his teammate and reigning champion Jonathan Rea, while Marco Melandri was the fastest Yamaha, the GRT Yamaha rider finishing fifth quickest.

Toprak Razgatioglu impressed in sixth spot, ahead the remaining three Yamahas of Michael van der Mark, Sandro Cortese, and Alex Lowes.

The WorldSBK riders have a couple of days of now to recover, before the season gets underway in earnest. On Friday, the 2019 WorldSBK season kicks off with the first race of the year at Phillip Island.

Times from Tuesday, combined from both sessions, and each session separately:

Combined
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:30.303    
2 66 Tom Sykes BMW S1000 RR 1:30.539 0.236 0.236
3 91 Leon Haslam Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.668 0.365 0.129
4 1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.722 0.419 0.054
5 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF R1 1:30.760 0.457 0.038
6 54 Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.840 0.537 0.080
7 60 Michael van der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 1:30.911 0.608 0.071
8 11 Sandro Cortese Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.077 0.774 0.166
9 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.168 0.865 0.091
10 81 Jordi Torres Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.224 0.921 0.056
11 36 Leandro Mercado Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.328 1.025 0.104
12 28 Markus Reiterberger BMW S1000 RR 1:31.376 1.073 0.048
13 2 Leon Camier Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.443 1.140 0.067
14 7 Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:31.796 1.493 0.353
15 23 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.860 1.557 0.064
16 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:31.986 1.683 0.126
17 21 Michael Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:32.083 1.780 0.097
18 52 Alessandro Delbianco Honda CBR1000RR 1:32.979 2.676 0.896
19 17 Troy Herfoss Honda CBR1000RR 1:33.130 2.827 0.151
             
Session 1
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:30.303    
2 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF R1 1:30.760 0.457 0.457
3 1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.761 0.458 0.001
4 66 Tom Sykes BMW S1000 RR 1:30.777 0.474 0.016
5 60 Michael van der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 1:30.911 0.608 0.134
6 91 Leon Haslam Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.947 0.644 0.036
7 11 Sandro Cortese Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.077 0.774 0.130
8 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.272 0.969 0.195
9 28 Markus Reiterberger BMW S1000 RR 1:31.376 1.073 0.104
10 2 Leon Camier Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.443 1.140 0.067
11 54 Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.445 1.142 0.002
12 7 Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:31.796 1.493 0.351
13 81 Jordi Torres Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.808 1.505 0.012
14 23 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.860 1.557 0.052
15 36 Leandro Mercado Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.942 1.639 0.082
16 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:31.986 1.683 0.044
17 21 Michael Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:32.428 2.125 0.442
18 52 Alessandro Delbianco Honda CBR1000RR 1:32.979 2.676 0.551
19 17 Troy Herfoss Honda CBR1000RR 1:33.130 2.827 0.151
             
Session 2
Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:30.326    
2 66 Tom Sykes BMW S1000 RR 1:30.539 0.213 0.213
3 91 Leon Haslam Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.668 0.342 0.129
4 1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.722 0.396 0.054
5 54 Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:30.840 0.514 0.118
6 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.168 0.842 0.328
7 81 Jordi Torres Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.224 0.898 0.056
8 60 Michael van der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.293 0.967 0.069
9 36 Leandro Mercado Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.328 1.002 0.035
10 11 Sandro Cortese Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.344 1.018 0.016
11 2 Leon Camier Honda CBR1000RR 1:31.477 1.151 0.133
12 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF R1 1:31.588 1.262 0.111
13 28 Markus Reiterberger BMW S1000 RR 1:31.824 1.498 0.236
14 21 Michael Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:32.083 1.757 0.259
15 7 Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:32.089 1.763 0.006
16 23 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1:32.388 2.062 0.299
17 17 Troy Herfoss Honda CBR1000RR 1:33.953 3.627 1.565
18 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati Panigale V4 R      
19 52 Alessandro Delbianco Honda CBR1000RR      
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Total votes: 15

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Comments

Ducati is the bike to beat...if you are on a Honda.
(Beautista is the rider to beat though, indeed!)
;)
More coming from that tough to sort new Duc. Here's to it happening soon and Beautista showing Rea it's tail.

Total votes: 17

...for WSBK. Fewer Brits up the top, and quite probably a fast Spaniard or two (plus some quick Italians) will do wonders for its audience figures in the big European bike racing territories. Now they need to explore the Far East, USA and the developing nations for new talent and try to put the W back into WSBK.

It's been trundling off down its own evolutionary cul de sac for too long. Superbikes should be a brawny, accessible alternative to MotoGP rather than a second-rate series full of British bikers who couldn't make it into GPs (to be fair, often due to reasons other than talent. However, the point stands).

Total votes: 39

Unless I'm mistaken, Bautista isn't better than riding a motorbike than Chaz and Eugene by 1.5 seconds, so what's going on with the Ducati? Is it anything to do with it being heavily based on a MotoGP bike that Alvaro is used to riding?

Don't get me wrong, Bautista is a great rider, anyone that wins a 125 world championship is top-tier, but he's not that much better than the other Ducati riders, is he?

Total votes: 18

if maybe since the V4 is derived from the Desmosidici that Alvaro has come to grips quicker? 

Total votes: 14

Davies had more testing days with the V4 than Bautista and at the start was ahead or level with him, so I don't think this necessarily has something to do with getting used to the character of the bike (Chaz also had some crash and tech bug misfortunes). I think one has to take into consideration that PI is a unique track and it's especially a track that Alvaro loves and has gone very well at most years. It's also the first time he's on a track he knows with a few days of WSB testing already under his belt. Jerez - Everything new. Portimao - New Track. PI - Bingo.

And yes, I personally do believe that Alvaro is at a higher level than the other Ducati riders in WSBK (as well as quite a few riders who still have a ride in MotoGP). Some of that is natural ability, some is experience. I don't think he's necessarily outrageously faster than them (at this level the margins are slim, unless your name is Rea), but I've been watching his career closely for a long time and have gotten rather wary of the immediate "he can't be better than others, it must be the bike surely!" reactions whenever he does really well. It's not an accident.

Total votes: 11

The combined laps times above are one thing, but it is has been reported elsewhere that AB posted 16 laps in the 1:30's during a race simulation (vs 5 laps for JR) and that is remarkable pace. I think we may finally have yet another excellent race series on our hands this year. 2019 could be a great year for us fans.

Total votes: 10

Having nearly an extra 1500 revs to play with has got to help. Especially at a fast circuit like PI. 

Total votes: 8

... I've been watching long enough to know PI is not a track to determine a bike's competitiveness. If anything, it can mask problems that will rear their ugly head at more "normal" tracks. That being said, it's surprising to see Chaz and every other V4R going so slowly.

Total votes: 17

I found myself falling into the testing times trap......  Good reminder about PI too. Always a leveler. 

Total votes: 12

Yes it's PI, but if you look back at Jerez and Portimao, Davies' times weren't anywhere near Bautista's except on Day 1 at Jerez.

At Jerez, Bautista actually ended up behind Davies by .482 on Day 1, but their best times were only in the 1:41s. On Day 2 Bautista finished +1.001 ahead of Davies once the pace picked up - Bautista was in the 1:39s. At Portimao Bautista ended day 1 +1.1 on Davies, and day 2 +1.5. Here Davies was +1.9 on Day 1, and +1.4 on Day 2

For me there are a lot of maybes. Maybe Bautista is actually that fast - he did have 12 top 10s last year, and 3 of those were top 5s. Maybe Davies, Laverty and Rinaldi just haven't found a setting they like yet. Time will tell, but it's odd to see them so far off Bautista's times - I was expecting Davies and Laverty to be much closer to the top of the timesheets with how much Ducati hyped the V4, plus with all the testing Pirro has done over the last year.

Total votes: 9

You might be right and the Ducati might not be so strong at other tracks, however PI is generally considered a handling track which favours bikes which are nimble but still stable on the side of the tyre for long corners.  These are not the usual strong points of Ducatis.  If they're doing well at PI then I think it bodes well for the bike in general.

Total votes: 12

I can't help to wonder what was going wrong on Eugene Laverty

Total votes: 8

Maybe Bautista is used to roughing up a beast of a bike, to get his way around the track and his new ride is more manageable? I imagined that he would crack the top 5 in testing, but has exceeded expectations, now! Good on him! Anything to reign in the monotony of Master Rea...

Total votes: 14

May I recommend this Motomatters related pod to all racing fans - the most recent edition on the prospects for the 2019 WSBK season with Steve English and Neil Morrisonj provides helpful insights, including on why Chas and Eugene are running well behind Alvaro on the Ducati at the moment. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/paddock-pass-podcast-motorcycle-racing-motogp-world/id1041783390?mt=2&i=1000430176709

Total votes: 12