2016 Phillip Island World Superbikes Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the organizers and teams after the thrilling opening round of World Superbikes at Phillip Island:


WorldSBK: A Double And Some Trouble…

Rea takes Race 2 as Davies pushes too hard

Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea took the first double win at Phillip Island since Carlos Checa in 2011 today as key title rival and last year’s runner up Chaz Davies fought hard on the final lap, in the end losing the front into Turn 4.

It was Tom Sykes on his ZX-10R got the best launch off the line from pole, with teammate Jonny Rea taking Ducati’s Davide Giugliano by the time the WorldSBK field first launched through the Southern Loop. After briefly challenging for the lead, Rea then settled into second as Michael Van Der Mark made a move to take P3 from Giugliano. The Flying Dutchman then had a look down the inside of Rea into T2 before thinking better of it and holding position, the two Ducatis then lead by Chaz Davies close behind and ready to pounce.

Nicky Hayden, initially staring down a gap to the front group, then clawed back the time to the Ducati in front of him and tagged onto the front group. After a few laps staying with those in front, the Kentucky Kid then made a move into T1, Giugliano initially pushed back into P6 until the Italian fought back later in the lap. Hayden took him back once again, before the Ducati rider managed to cut back inside again and claim P5.

With 12 laps to go, Sykes ran wide into T4, opening the door for teammate Rea to go through for the lead. Michael Van Der Mark and Chaz Davies needed no invitation to follow the reigning Champion through, and into Turn 1, Michael Van Der Mark took the lead from Rea into T1, the young Honda rider keeping the position and leading the group of seven riders then joined by Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli.

Althea BMW rider Jordi Torres, starting from P12 after an injury in testing, was the rider leading the charge to catch up by the time Giugliano attempted a pass on Sykes and clipped the Yorkshireman’s back wheel. Pushing both the Kawasaki in front and his own Ducati wide, the move from the Italian saw Nicky Hayden and Sylvain Guintoli given the green light to take them both, the Frenchman’s opportunism to grab the position pushing the new Yamaha YZF R1 into the top 5. The battle in the final laps seemed the decisive factor in which of yesterday’s podium sitters in Race 1 would be on the top step today.

Davies then took Rea into T4, before Rea fought back into T1 and blocked the line for his rival in any attempt to repass him into the Southern Loop. Turn 4 looked set to be the scene of another attack on the final lap after that first successful rehearsal, and sure enough Ducati rider Davies tried the move again, unwilling to settle for another P2 after being beaten by big title rival Rea in Race 1. Davies, determined to at least try, found himself sliding off the track into the gravel as the ambition of the move outweighed his stopping distance, sadly seeing the chance of victory slip away.

The move left Rea out in front of Van Der Mark and the Dutchman’s American teammate Nicky Hayden hanging onto third, the Kentucky rookie having improved his management of the Pirelli tyres significantly since his first race and setting very competitive lap times. Stalked by Ducati rider Giugliano throughout the next few corners, it seemed the MotoGP Legend was set for his first podium on his first race weekend in WorldSBK, until Giugliano somehow found space to go past with a spectacular move to just pip the American to the podium.

Buriram is now the next stop for WorldSBK as the paddock heads north to Thailand, the scene of Rea’s first double of 2015, and those chasing the reigning Champion will be sure to fight hard once again as they try and stop the Northern Irishman in his bid to be the first back to back Champion of the new Millenium.

Yamaha Finance Australian Round - Race 2

1 - Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki

2 - Michael Van Der Mark (NED) Honda +0.831

3 - Davide Giugliano (ITA) Ducati +1.472


Rea Doubles Up His Win Tally On The New Ninja ZX-10R

Once again Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were well in the leading mix at the FIM Superbike World Championship round in Phillip Island. On the new Ninja ZX-10R Rea finally took his second win of the new season - and the championship lead of 14 points. Tom led for ten laps of the 22-lap race but two incidents pushed him back to sixth place, for sixth overall ranking in the championship.

rom their front row starting positions both KRT riders made good starts with Rea aiming for his second race win of the year and Superpole winner Sykes looking for his first.

Rea led more than once and confirmed his pace in the final laps, winning the race by an eventual 0.831 seconds after Chaz Davies had fallen while trying to pass Jonathan on turn four. Rea made his escape count as Davies restarted to finish tenth, and the Kawasaki rider scored a second win of the opening weekend.

Sykes pushed away up front in race two today but was unable to make a clean break, meaning Rea was right back with him by the end of the fifth lap, followed by a pack of riders. On lap 11 Sykes dropped three positions to fourth in one corner, running wide after missing a gear, with Rea taking the lead for the first time.

After a tangle with eventual third place rider Davide Giugliano Sykes was dropped back again, regrouping and pushing on to a final sixth place, 3.320 seconds from the win.

The second round of the new season will take place in Buriram, Thailand, between the 11th and 13th of March.

Jonathan Rea stated: “It is incredible. We had two really composed races this weekend. I just did my thing and was very patient in both races at the beginning. Today I knew that Chaz would make a move again, a copybook story from yesterday, but he came through when there was no space, went completely wide and, unfortunate for him, he made a mistake. The set-up changes we made between yesterday and today means the team gave me a bike that was quite easy to ride and I was more ready for attacks. Not just in T4 but in many areas. I thank my team for that. We played the strategy game here in Phillip Island and it really paid off. I feel that we are working at around 85-90% of the potential of the machine and I am really proud to give Kawasaki these two wins on the new bike.”

Tom Sykes stated: “We are definitely knocking on the door in terms of our showings at Phillip Island. I felt really comfortable in race two up until lap ten. Going into the hairpin I struggled on the downshift. I missed gear and ran off the track. Unfortunately, on that lap I lost 1.6 seconds. A couple of laps later Giugliano and I came together and I lost another 1.6 seconds. Overall, we made a couple of small changes to the bike for today and I felt much, much more comfortable. Unfortunately I was not in the correct track position in the last five laps of the race. I am happy for the progress we have made and it something we can take forward. I have never been great here, for some reason, because I love the place.”

Roman Ramos (GO Eleven Kawasaki) scored another set of points for 12th place today, with the final point from the second race of the weekend heading to 15th placed Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki). Dominic Schmitter was once again 16th and Pedercini Racing’s Saeed Al Sulaiti 17th for the second time in two days.


Althea BMW Racing Team satisfied after first WorldSBK round

Phillip Island (Australia) Sunday 28 February 2016

A truly exciting race today at the Australian track that has been hosting the Superbike series ever since 1990. The many fans spread around the sun-kissed track over the three days today witnesses what was an extremely hard-fought battle from beginning to end.

RACE 2 (22 laps, 97.790 km)

When the light went off, the two Althea BMW Racing Team riders started from the fourth row, in eleventh (Reiterberger) and twelfth (Torres) position with their BMW S 1000 RR machines.

“Reiti” made a strong start, earning two positions on the second lap, and was lying ninth until lap six, while Jordi was caught up in traffic through the first corners after a bad start, and was lapping fifteenth on lap one. Making up three position, the Spaniard from Rubì was able to reach his teammate on lap five. The pair completed six laps one in front of the other until Reiterberger decided to pass the rider ahead of him, to position eighth on lap thirteen. During the following lap he made a mistake that allowed both Torres and then Brookes to pass him. At this point, a strong Torres maintained eighth position and was able to cross the line in an excellent seventh position. Reiterberger finished behind him, eighth.

The week was characterised by two crashes during testing, one for each rider, and by a crash in Race 1 for Markus Reiterberger. The riders’ physical condition was therefore less than perfect. The BMW technicians and engineers are nevertheless satisfied with this first event and now prepare for round two, in Thailand, aware that they have identified a solid base for the bike and that the riders are well capable of exploiting the strengths of the BMW S 1000 RR.

Jordi Torres

“I had a problem at the start and realised we have more work to do. In the end I was able to find good race pace, once I got through the traffic at the start, and was able to ride as I wanted. I felt comfortable on the bike, gained confidence and tried to push ahead but I did not succeed. I’m satisfied anyway because we’ve collected a lot of information and are starting to understand how to prepare for the race. I’m pleased that the next round is in Thailand because I really enjoyed riding there last year. The people are wonderful and the show is guaranteed.”

Markus Reiterberger

“I had a problem at the start and realised we have more work to do. In the end I was able to find good race pace, once I got through the traffic at the start, and was able to ride as I wanted. I felt comfortable on the bike, gained confidence and tried to push ahead but I did not succeed. I’m satisfied anyway because we’ve collected a lot of information and are starting to understand how to prepare for the race. I’m pleased that the next round is in Thailand because I really enjoyed riding there last year. The people are wonderful and the show is guaranteed.”

Genesio Bevilacqua

“Overall I’m very pleased with this first race weekend with our new BMW S 1000 RR bikes. We were finally able to understand where we’re at after the brief work carried out at home during testing. I’m pleased with the 7th and 8th place scored by Torres e di Reiterberger. Of course we are working to be a lot further ahead, but what penalised us to today, particularly Jordi, was a bad start, which meant there was already a 5 second gap between him and the leaders by lap two. Markus, despite having suffered a bad crash in race 1, did very well to manage the pain in his right hand and left foot that bothered him during the whole of race 2.

I have great faith in the work of the team and the German technicians, who have collated more data here so that we can react quickly with regard to the next round in Thailand.”


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team on the podium again in Phillip Island with Davide Giugliano (3rd)

After yesterday’s second-place finish with Chaz Davies, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped on the podium once again in Phillip Island with Davide Giugliano. The Italian rider took third place thanks to a late push, while his teammate Chaz Davies crashed out with a few corners left to go while fighting against Jonathan Rea, who eventually took the victory, finishing in 10th place.

The race itself was similar to the one held on Saturday, with a tight group fight in which both Giugliano and Davies showed their grit. Due to a fortuitous contact between Giugliano and Sykes with six laps to go, Davies and Rea were able to create a small gap. The Welshman took the lead with one lap to go but could not pull away, and lost the front at turn 4 while trying to pass his rival on the brakes. Giugliano, on the other hand, stormed back in the late phases, passing Sykes, Guintoli, and finally Hayden with a spectacular move in the penultimate corner. The Italian, at his first official outing in seventh months after a serious back injury, thus claimed his first podium of the season.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be on track once again in two weeks’ time in Chang (Thailand) for the second round of the season.

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) – 3rd

“Today I struggled a bit more with the heat, which made us lose some grip. I was expecting it, and therefore kept some margin for the final laps, but touching with Sykes made me lose ground. Still, I kept pushing and I’m really happy with the final outcome. This podium stems from hard teamwork, and I think the crew contributed to 60 percent of it while I did the rest. I dedicate this to my family, who supported me throughout the most difficult times. I also want to thank Ducati, which is helping me to improve professionally. Now I only want to focus on the present and future.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 10th

“Usually I’m able to brake pretty deep, but this time unfortunately I found the limit of the front tyre. I knew it was a risky move, and ideally I wouldn’t have had to try it, but unfortunately Rea erased the small gap I built on the straight. Anyway, I’m not disappointed about my race. We fought for the victory in both races and the bike showed much improvement since last year, especially with the electronics. We just need a bit more top speed.”

Ernesto Marinelli, SBK Project Director

“I’d say the final evaluation is 75 percent positive. We know we’re competitive but we need to erase the gap on the straight to give our riders more margin, so we have our work cut out for us at home. Chaz rode two great races. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish the second one. I knew he’d try to pass, but in those conditions there’s a really fine line between making the turn and crashing out. Also, I’m really happy about Davide’s performance. He showed great poise and consistency, something on which we’ve worked on throughout the winter. It was great to see him on back the podium at the very first round.”


The Honda WorldSBK Team goes one better as van der Mark is second in race two

The Honda WorldSBK Team leaves Phillip Island on a high note as Michael van der Mark delighted the Australian crowd today with a second place finish at Phillip Island in race two – his career best result so far in the series. Nicky Hayden missed out on a podium finish on the last lap after a solid race at the front, making good progress aboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in what was his debut World Superbike round.

Both riders had another great start to the race and placed themselves near the front of the field in the opening laps. Van der Mark showed once again a great pace as he comfortably followed both factory Kawasaki riders around the 4.455km fast and flowing Australian venue. After moving up to second place, the 23-year-old Dutchman made a successful overtake for the lead on lap 12, which he kept for another six laps. In the final stages of the race, van der Mark did not lose touch with the leading duo and, as Davies crashed out at Honda corner while trying to take the lead, he moved up one place and retained the position at the chequered flag.

With one race under his belt and some adjustments made to his Fireblade machine settings after the warm up, Nicky Hayden was able to ride a more consistent race and, unlike yesterday, he stayed with the front pack for almost the whole length of the encounter. He entered the final lap in third place and did all he could to defend his position, but eventually he was overtaken by Davide Giugliano at Lukey Heights and had to settle for fourth.

As the first round draws to a close, Michael van der Mark lies second in the championship standings with 36 points, while Nicky Hayden is seventh – 16 points behind his team mate. The second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place in a fortnight’s time at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

Michael van der Mark 60

2nd

I got a great start and found myself behind Tom and Johnny. All I wanted in the first part was to save the tyres, so I let them stay ahead. When Tom made a mistake I got up to second place and the pace improved a lot straight away. I didn’t want to lead but I got a good slipstream out of the last corner and passed Rea on the straight. I just tried to do my race at the front but then I saw on the big screen at turn 10 that the group was really big, so I tried to break it a little bit by pushing harder. It did work out, but I knew the last two laps would have been difficult for me. When Johnny and Chaz passed me I could hold on quite OK, I wasn’t really scared of them pulling away. Chaz tried a couple of moves for the lead and the last one didn’t work well; I tried to stay as close as possible to Jonathan but I made a small mistake, he didn’t so that was it. To finish second today is an amazing result, it’s been a great weekend and the team did an incredible job to improve the bike. We couldn’t have had a better start to the season.

- Honda WorldSBK

Nicky Hayden 69

4th

I have to say thanks to the team because the bike today was so much better. Yesterday was very useful for us because we learned a lot about the bike set up, in order to make our pace last a bit longer. We were even faster than yesterday and that was a great sign. I enjoyed the race, although I was not quite quick enough to get to the front. On the last lap I knew Giugliano was there and I tried to protect my position a little bit going into Lukey Heights, then I kind of missed the line between turn 10 and 11. He squared it up and drove past me; I was trying to open the gas but all I was getting was traction control cutting in. I should have taken off more traction control in the last two laps. I’m definitely a bit disappointed for not getting onto the podium this time, it would have been great to celebrate my first round with a top 3 finish. Nonetheless, I’m happy to see the bike how competitive the bike is. We have learned a lot here at Phillip Island and now I’m looking forward to going to Thailand.

- Honda WorldSBK

Pieter Breddels

Technical Manager

What a good finish to the weekend! Michael rode a great race. We tried something in the warm up, but in the end we went back to yesterday’s settings. We made some adjustments to the electronics to find even more tyre durability and he was able to get another fantastic start. He stayed with the front group for the whole race and even led for a good number of laps. In the end, he was second and that was an amazing result, definitely the icing on the cake of a great opening weekend. Well done to him and his crew. With Nicky we tried some different front settings this morning and they worked quite well. He also managed to stay with the front group and in the end, he had a chance to go for third place but lost a little bit of drive out of the last corner and narrowly missed on it. It was a good result for him anyway, it showed how much we were able to improve from yesterday. Let’s not forget it was his first race weekend with the bike and on Pirelli tyres.


Race 2 Report – 2016 World Superbikes Australian Round

Phillip Island, Sunday, February 28th

Josh Brookes:

Grid: 13th

Finish: 9th

“It’s good to get more points today at home, and I’m pleased that I could push for longer and more consistently. We made a lot of changes to the bike overnight; they weren’t big changes but they definitely improved the bike. I managed to find ten seconds over the race distance from yesterday, which is a great job by the team, and they recognised some of the areas I was struggling with.

It’s always a risk to make bike changes between races, and it’s just as easy to make a positive change as a negative change, but real credit to the Milwaukee BMW team for giving me that bit more confidence to push.

There’s still some things I want to try with the throttle and the electronics, but we’ve got a good base to build on now to improve things like grip and power. There’s a bit of work to do before we get to Thailand, but I think we’re in a position now to bring all our data together and close the gap to the leaders.”

Karel Abraham:

Grid: 15th

Finish: 11th

“I’m really happy that we could bring home points in both races this weekend. The team did some great work on the bike, so I’m really proud of them. When I think that I haven’t raced for so many months, I’m happy to have finished both races and run consistently.

Because we had limited running in the winter we treated this weekend a bit like a test, but even so I think it went really well. We made changes to the bike every session and I could try new things with my riding each time, so it does seem to be getting better and better.

I know that I can push harder on the bike and get more from it, because I had a few small problems getting the tyres to work for me. But overall, it’s great to get some more points and I’m really looking forward to racing again in Thailand.”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal:

“Considering where we started on Monday and where we are today, there’s a happy atmosphere in both sides of the garage. We’ve made a considerable number of changes, and made giant steps forward as a result. Overall we got two solid finishes, with both riders in the points. The most important development is our race pace, where Josh took around eight seconds off his race distance and Karel ten, which shows what a big step forward we’ve taken.

We can leave here with our heads held high, and now focus on starting afresh in Thailand in two weeks’ time.”


Guintoli Close to Podium for Pata Yamaha in Phillip Island Race Two

Race

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Sylvain Guintoli finished his opening weekend in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship less than three seconds from the win with a fifth place finish in Sunday's race at Australia's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Teammate Alex Lowes concluded a tough debut weekend to bring his YZF-R1 home in the points despite very challenging circumstances.

A solid start saw Guintoli circulating with consistent pace, holding seventh and maintaining contact behind the front group for the race's first half. His ability to preserve the tyre life on his YZF-R1 allowed the Frenchman to pick up the pace with eight laps to go, diving up the inside of Davide Giugliano and Tom Sykes to take fifth on the 15th lap. Holding firm on the rear wheel of Nicky Hayden for the ensuing laps he consolidated the position at the line, collecting a further eleven points to place him fifth in the standings after the opening round of the 2016 championship.

Due to a crash in morning warm up, Lowes was forced to use his spare YZF-R1 for the main event. A strong start placed the British rider in fourth place during the first lap. However, a small technical issue with the untested machine prevented him from realising the potential shown throughout the latter part of the weekend. Running wide at the approach to Lukey Heights, Lowes dropped back to 21st by the close of the first lap but immediately began his fight back. A professional performance saw him regain seven places by quarter distance but with the gap too great to dent further he concluded the weekend with a 14th place finish, collecting two championship points.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will now evaluate the data and experience gained from its debut race weekend as it prepares for the second round, at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand in just two weeks' time.

Sylvain Guintoli

"A really solid weekend for us and a strong start to the season here at Phillip Island. Obviously after the hype of the return of Yamaha and the new YZF-R1 in the Superbike World Championship there was a lot of expectation, but the reality is that we are still at the very beginning of the project. Like we said at the team launch a month ago, it is going to take some time to be able to win races but saying that, we've been a lot more competitive here that I thought we would be! We've been able to show some really good strengths, and also highlight where we need to keep improving, so this is very valuable data and experience for us as riders, for the team and for Yamaha. Because we have been so close to the podium and to the victory - with three seconds in race one and two seconds in race two - we are going to take this on board and continue to improve the whole package without taking away from the DNA of the bike. It is clearly a very good base for our first race, and the start of our championship campaign, so we will just continue to work from here and move on to Thailand in two weeks."

Alex Lowes

"It's been a difficult and disappointing weekend in terms of results for me, but overall there are a lot of positives to take. My knowledge and understanding of the YZF-R1 and how best to ride it have developed a lot throughout the week, as we have shown in the improvement from Friday practice through Saturday. I had good pace in yesterday's race and a great start today, but unfortunately my crash this morning meant I had to roll out the spare bike for this afternoon and as it had only done two or three laps before this, there was a small technical issue that meant I couldn't push as I would have wanted. That's racing, and sometimes you just have to take the positives where you can, but I think we have many strengths to develop at such an early stage in the project and as the season progresses I will be pushing to achieve the best result I can for each and every race."

Paul Denning – Team Principal

"The first two-day race format for the Championship, and the comeback event for Yamaha, is done! We can be satisfied with the results for Sylvain. Always in professional racing we want 'more', but considering how early in the project we are and that the YZF-R1 has so much more potential still to be released a fifth place today - with a gap to the winner of only 2.4 seconds after 100km of racing - can only be viewed as a positive result.

"Alex and Phillip Island seem to have a love/hate relationship! He loves riding the track and is very fast, but somehow race day here always seems to go wrong. The problems today started with a crash in warm up, meaning we had to use the back-up machine for the race. After a strong start, Alex suffered technical difficulties on lap one and could have pulled in. The whole team appreciates his effort and professionalism to stay out and score points in very difficult circumstances.

"Thanks to our Yamaha colleagues for all their support - this first race has given us so much information. We know the strong and less strong points of the bike far more clearly now at WorldSBK level and we believe further improvements will result in the YZF-R1 becoming a formidable competitor."


WorldSSP: The Rookie Wins As The Champion Falls

Randy Krummenacher takes top honours first time out as teammate Sofuoglu crashes

Swiss rookie Randy Krummenacher has taken victory in the WorldSSP race at Phillip Island, beating STK600 graduate Federico Caricasulo and wildcard Anthony West to the top step of the podium.

Honda’s PJ Jacobsen got the best start from P2 on the front row of the grid and MV Agusta rider Jules Cluzel, who has suffered a difficult weekend on his return to the WorldSSP grid after being ruled out of the end of 2015 due to injury, got an incredible start from P8. The Frenchman hit the front only a couple of laps later as the real battle began and the breakaway group started to pull away.

Wildcard Anthony West was another rider who gained a lot off the start, joining the lead group after just missing out on entry to the first ever Tissot-Superpole 2 yesterday. The Australian managed to keep the lead pace of the front group, battling for podium positions, before taking the lead of the race just after being informed that he had to drop two positions for an earlier infringement. Luckily seeing the sign and obeying the ruling, the Aussie rider dropped back from the lead and back into the battle behind.

On lap 9, Jules Cluzel ran into the gravel and opened the door for a duel between reigning Champion Sofuoglu and wildcard West. Not wanting to let the Turkish rider escape, West fought hard before eventually having to concede the pace advantage of the Puccetti rider, who began to pull away and create a gap to the group behind.

Rain began to fall lightly in the first two sectors, but Sofuoglu continued to make a gap to those behind, the Turkish rider dropping his times even as conditions worsened. Krummenacher then began to respond, until reigning Champion Sofuoglu suffered a tyre problem on Lap 15, lowsiding into the gravel at Turn 6. That left teammate Krummenacher to inherit a well-deserved lead after managing the conditions perfectly and still staying ahead of the chasing pack.

Wildcard Anthony West, who has previously won in races in both WorldSSP and Moto2, was left in a battle over the last few laps with Caricasulo, positions switching and both riders fighting hard over what had become a chance at P2 in the race. On the final lap, as Krummenacher crossed the line more than two seconds clear of the rest of the field, the Australian and the Italian went head to head, with West riding as defensively as possible and maintaining his grip on P2 for the majority of the lap. West, with track position as they straightened up for the final push to the finish, tucked in for the dash to the line as Caricasulo took the slipstream. Almost side-by-side down the first part of the straight, it was the Italian rookie who made it over the line in front, his bike crossing the line only 0.014seconds ahead of that of his wildcard rival.

Krummenacher now leads the Championship after his first race in WorldSSP, but teammate and reigning Champion Sofuoglu is sure to hit back soon, looking to turn his incredible pace in practice into a win next time out in Thailand.

Yamaha Finance Australian Round - WorldSSP Race

1 - Randy Krummenacher (SUI) Kawasaki

2 - Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Honda +2.747

3 - Anthony West (AUS) Yamaha +2.761


Krummenacher Takes Sensational ‘Rookie’ Race Win

Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured a remarkable race win in his first ever FIM Supersport World Championship contest, after his team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out after experiencing a tyre issue.

In an astoundingly tough and combative WSS race, with 11-changes of the lead across the start/finish line in 18 race laps, occasional drops of rain complicated matters at times.

With a vast group of leading riders in fighting mood both Sofuoglu and Krummenacher had to work hard to stay in front, with Kenan having to overcome traction issues compared to his practice experiences.

After the race had reached just past the mid point, first Sofuoglu and then Krummenacher eased ahead on their Ninja ZX-6Rs, to sit 1-2 out front. When Kenan fell at Turn 6, after experiencing a rear tyre issue, Krummenacher just had to keep his pace and his cool head to win his first WSS race by 2.747 seconds from Federico Caricasulo and wildcard rider Anthony West.

Both Randy and Kawasaki now lead their respective championships after one round with the next WSS round taking place in Thailand on March 13th.

Randy Krummenacher stated: “It was really a special race because the conditions were different to anything before, any practice and any testing. At the beginning it was quite ‘hot’ because it was a big group and I think everybody tried to pass us. They were all looking for the Kawasakis. It made it really hard but when it started to rain a bit they were all a bit more scared than me and I went a bit away from the pack and behind Kenan. Then I made my best lap times. I did not expect that Kenan would crash, so I am very sorry for him. Then it was clear I had to bring it to the finish line and it was really hard because there was proper rain in some areas. I had to push or the others would have been coming but when I went over Lukey Heights I saw I had a big gap. I just had to manage the last two corners to bring it home. It feels great to win, unbelievable.”

Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “I think I got a wrong tyre but it was the same choice I made in qualifying, taking pole position and a fast pace in the warm-up. I put the same tyre in as then but the bike had little grip and vibration and mid-race it exploded, in the middle of the corner. When I exited the corner the tyre went and then I crashed. It was not overheating because I was much more aggressive on the same tyre in practice and the warm-up. It was almost impossible to ride from the first lap.”

Christian Gamarino from the GO Eleven Kawasaki team was in a strong fourth place and ended his 18-laps right behind the podium finishers. Ondrej Jezek was eighth after winning a duel with another rider. New WSS rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) earned a 13th place finish and his team-mate Nacho Calero was 18th. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Team Kawasaki) ended up 21st at his home round.


Solid fifth place for PJ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team at Phillip Island

The Honda WorldSSP Team has completed the first round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship with an encouraging race result, as Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen rode his Honda CBR600RR to a fifth place finish in what was a thrilling 18-lap encounter at Phillip Island in Australia.

The young American rider had a perfect launch from second place and took the lead at turn one. Jacobsen tried his best to pull away but the fierce on track competition resulted in a great battle at the front, which saw up to nine riders exchanging positions while dicing for the lead. With the two front-runners able to pull away in the latter stages, Jacobsen fought hard for a podium place but due to a lack of grip, he was not able to ride to get the best out of the Honda CBR600RR in the final two laps. He crossed the line in fifth place, only half a second away from second position.

The next round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship will take place at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand in a fortnight’s time.

Patrick Jacobsen 99

5th

We got a good start. I felt good in the beginning and had a great battle with Cluzel. I thought it would have come down to a fight between the two of us but then we realised there was a whole group of riders behind us. Things got a little bit messy out there with people bumping to each other and it got kind of scary on the front straightaway. Towards the end I thought I would have had a bit more grip and obviously I was a bit disappointed with the result. I couldn’t deliver a podium today but I’m looking forward to going to Thailand, where I’m sure we can improve and do a better race.

- Honda WorldSSP

Pieter Breddels

Technical Manager

PJ got a really good start and he was in the front group for the whole race. Unfortunately, he just missed a little bit of grip in the final two laps and, with all the riders involved, he simply got the wrong end of the stick. In the end he was fifth, not a bad result considering the difficulties we encountered both during testing and this weekend before the race. He rode incredibly well today. Now we need to work on the data, to understand what to do in order to improve our race pace for Thailand.


Hill happy with top 20 finish – Phillip Island

Sun, 28 Feb 2016

Despite an overall disappointing opening round of the World Supersport Championship for CIA Landlord Insurance Honda, one rider in the team achieved his objective to finish in the top 20.

Stefan Hill said after the race: “I am very happy to finish in 20th position. We have been making strong progress throughout the weekend. Every time I have ridden the bike I've gone faster and I felt we achieved the aim of the weekend.”

Hikari Okubo crashed out on only the second lap, whilst clutch failure was to blame for Kyle Smith's early retirement from the race.

Luke Stapleford finished just outside of the points in 16th position having struggled to get himself dialled in to the race.

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “A very difficult day for us. Hikari has slight concussion and bruising from his crash at turn 6 but he's ok, he should be fit for the next round. We will examine the data to diagnose the problem with the clutch on Kyle's bike and to better understand why the lap times didn't come for Luke.

Stefan achieved what he set out to this weekend and he will build from this result. We will put today down to experience and move on to Thailand.”


Round Number: 
1
2016

Back to top

Comments

The quotes from Jodi Torres & Markus Reiterberger are the same. Other than that, great coverage from what I thought was a great race.

Total votes: 63