Motorcycle Racing News Phillip Island SBK Friday | Yamaha’s Guintoli on Provisional Pole (Video)

Phillip Island SBK Friday | Yamaha’s Guintoli on Provisional Pole (Video)

Phillip Island SBK Friday Results

Phillip Island SBK Friday | Yamaha’s Guintoli on Provisional Pole
Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli

Yamaha’s official return to the World Superbike Championship began in the most optimal way Friday during free practice at Phillip Island in Australia.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK YZF-R1 earned the provision pole with the 2014 WSBK Champion at the the controls. Guintoli, who also led the preseason World SBK Test in Australia, was quick throughout both hour-long free practice sessions. The Frenchman finished second in Free Practice 1 behind Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes.

But in the second free practice, Guintoli was able to post the best time of 1:30.865, which was 0.384 of a second ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark. Third fastest was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, the reigning champion.

Sylvain Guintoli says “I wasn’t expecting to be at the top of the times today but I’ll definitely take that! We have such a good base with the YZF-R1 even at the start of this project, especially the chassis and engine character, so it’s nice to know we can work up from here. We have spent a lot of the winter evaluating and assessing, and expected to be continuing this for the opening round at Phillip Island.

“This is my favorite track on the calendar so hopefully we can continue to improve as the weekend progresses and enjoy a good couple of races with the new split two-day schedule starting tomorrow.”

Ducati Davide Giugliano at Friday PI SBK Practice
Ducati’s Davide Giugliano

The top 11 riders all posted within a second of Guintoli, with all eight manufacturers represented. Sykes finished fourth fastest (- 0.498), followed by MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier (0-5.80); the sole American in the series, Honda World Superike’s Nicky Hayden (-0.610); Racing Ducati’s Davide Giugliano (-0.662); Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies (-0.728); IodaRacing Team Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savardori (-0.860); Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK’s Alex Lowes (-0.960); and Althea BMW’s Markus Reiterberger (-0.968).

As per World SBK’s new practice schedule, the top 20 fastest riders in Friday’s second free practice automatically qualify for Saturday’s two 15-minute Superpole sessions. Race one follows on Saturday at 3 p.m. local time, and race 2 on Sunday also at 3 p.m.

2016 Phillip Island SBK Friday Practice Results

Pos. Rider Time
1 Sylvain Guintoli 01’30.865
2 Michael van der Mark 01’31.249
3 Jonathan Rea 01’31.324
4 Tom Sykes 01’31.363
5 Leon Camier 01’31.445
6 Nicky Hayden 01’31.475
7 Davide Giugliano 01’31.527
8 Chaz Davies 01’31.593
9 Lorenzo Savadori 01’31.725
10 Markus Reiterberger 01’31.792
11 Alex Lowes 01’31.825
12 Román Ramos 01’32.030
13 Xavi Fores 01’32.070
14 Jordi Torres 01’32.370
15 Mike Jones 01’32.476
16 Alex De Angelis 01’32.530
17 Sylvain Barrier 01’32.553
18 Joshua Brookes 01’32.704
19 Toprak Razgatlioglu 01’33.459
20 Karel Abraham 01’33.491
21 Dominic Schmitter 01’34.243
22 Saeed Al Sulaiti 01’34.861
23 Peter Sebestyen 01’34.909
24 Imre Toth 01’35.891

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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