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Testing report

Laverty and Sofuoglu on top in first day of official testing

Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) and Michel Fabrizio (Iron Brain Kawasaki SBK) both crashed.

Eugene Laverty

Phillip Island (Australia) - Sunny conditions were the order of the day as the World Superbike riders got on track at Phillip Island for the first official test of the season. After the morning's close results the times were even closer as eight of the top ten riders narrowed the gap to pacesetter Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who, along with Kawasaki Racing Team's Loris Baz, failed to improve their lap times.

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty

Photo by: James Holland

Eugene Laverty: “We surprised ourselves with the lap time today. We were a lot faster than where I’d set my goal and the fact that the bike works so well around here is nice too! Today is probably the best conditions I’ve ever had at Phillip Island, usually you have a strong head wind, strong tail wind, or it’s too hot and slippery. Today was optimum temperature with very little wind so that’s why the lap times were so quick. In terms of feedback the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is better than any Superbike I’ve ridden here, I can really attack the course more than I ever have done, and that gives me a lot of confidence. The rear tyres are working well too, even after 24 laps we are still under my lap record so that’s definitely positive!”

The biggest step forward was made by Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), reigning champ Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who dropped 0.8s from his morning time to end the session 5th. Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team) remained the fastest of the EVO competitors, also improving his time, whilst fellow EVO riders Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) and Michel Fabrizio (Iron Brain Kawasaki SBK) both crashed. The two riders were transported to the hospital for further evaluations, both undergoing x-rays for suspected pelvis injuries.

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