Kawasaki’s Sykes Tops Phillip Island World Superbike Test

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes, who led the Phillip Island World SBK test
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes, who led the Phillip Island World SBK test
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who led the Phillip Island World SBK test

2014 Phillip Island World SBK Test Final Results

When the 2014 World Superbike Championship gets underway this weekend at Phillip Island in Australia, all eyes will be on the reigning Champion Tom Sykes.

The British rider, who took nine race wins and eight Tissot Superpoles in 2013 World SBK, led the way in the traditional preseason tests at Phillip Island.

Sykes didn’t take the top time on Monday, but during the morning session on the final day of testing Tuesday, Sykes stormed to the top, posting a 1:30.239 at Phillip Island. This time was just 0.005 shy of the outright track record (Carlos Checa, Ducati).

Sykes had some technical issues on his ZX-10R Ninja in the afternoon session, but his morning time remained fastest overall. The next nine riders, representing five manufacturers, were within a second of Sykes.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Ninja World Superbike) says: “I am happy with the results of these two days of testing at Phillip Island. In the last couple of days we have done a lot of laps to confirm the remaining test items, so to be fastest and be one of the most consistent riders as well, I have to be very happy with that. Phillip Island has never been our main event, so to speak, so to be up there for pace already is very good.

“I know the conditions have caught a lot of people out already but I know we can now go to the race weekend with more of a clear understanding of what to do. Now we will turn our focus more on performance, pure performance, over the race weekend. I will go away and have a couple of days winding down and relaxing and come back on Friday morning ready to go again.”

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty was second quickest, trailing Sykes by 0.274 of a second. Laverty finished just ahead of his teammate Alex Lowes, who dropped 1.1 seconds from his Monday time.

Two Italians filled the fourth and fifth spots – Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri and Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano, respectively. Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz was next, though the Frenchman suffered to light crashes during the testing.

Last year’s race-one winner, Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli, showed no signs of discomfort from the injured shoulder that was surgically repaired twice during the off-season finishing seventh and completing 92 laps during the two days. Pata Honda duo Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea both suffered a late test crash leaving them eighth and ninth, but they are taking to the first round some positives after closing to within half a second of the fastest time, World SBK reports.

The EVO category saw Althea Racing’s Niccolò Canepa riding his Ducati 1199 Panigale to an encouraging 11th overall. The former STK1000 Champion mixed it with some of the WSBK-spec machines to end the test on a high note, World SBK reports.

Michel Fabrizio (Iron Brain Kawasaki SBK), who fell yesterday, is currently stayling at the hospital as a precaution despite x-rays revealing no signs of injury. Reigning STK1000 Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) was diagnosed with a micro fracture in his pelvis and he unlikely to take part in the opening round of the season, World SBK reports.

Young Frenchman and WSBK rookie Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) ended the combined tests in 17th but suffered a fall at Turn 2 in the first 20 minutes of the final session, resulting in a AC joint subluxation. No good news for Luca Scassa (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) as x-rays revealed a fractured pelvis, World SBK reports.

The first practice of 2013 World Superbike gets underway Friday for the opening round at Phillip Island.

2014 Phillip Island World Superbike Test (Combined Times):

1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’30.239 average 177.329 kph; 2. Laverty (Suzuki) 1’30.513; 3. Lowes (Suzuki) 1’30.528; 4. Melandri (Aprilia) 1’30.579; 5. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’30.644; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’30.757; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’30.766; 8. Haslam (Honda) 1’30.798; 9. Rea (Honda) 1’30.813; 10. Davies (Ducati) 1’31.087; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 1’31.373; 12. Elias (Aprilia) 1’31.441; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 1’32.008; 14. Foret (Kawasaki) 1’32.780; 15. Corti (MV Agusta) 1’32.858; 16. Morais (Kawasaki) 1’32.895; 17. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1’32.897; 18. Barrier (BMW) 1’32.997; 19. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1’33.205; 20. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1’33.960; 21. Fabrizio (Kawasaki) 1’34.314; 22. Toth (BMW) 1’34.750; 23. May (EBR) 1’34.807; 24. Yates (EBR) 1’36.662; 25. Sebestyen (BMW) 1’42.242.


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