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Riders reflect on Phillip Island WorldSBK Test

WorldSBK 2023

Phillip Island pre-season Test

Rider Quotes

Alvaro Bautista – P1

“I’m happy because the feeling with the bike was immediately good. We worked a lot on the set-up and on the tires that we will use this weekend. We are ready to start the new season. I think this has been the best pre-season in my career. The sensations are definitely positive and I can’t wait to get back on track on Friday for the first free practice”.

Alvaro Bautista
Andrea Locatelli – P2

“The feeling from yesterday was really good and I enjoyed this test! I enjoy riding on this track, it’s a bit special for me! When we finish the day, we go in the house and it is feeling like home, but also Phillip Island is just a really nice track – when you are riding you see the ocean and it’s something different. I’m really happy about these two days because we were really fast from the first day, and I think we were fast in every session – so this is a good point. The feeling with the bike was amazing in all the sessions. Now we need to look forward for the race weekend. To be honest, I think we are close to being ready and we have a really good package, so we need to trust and to believe! In general, I have more confidence with the bike, we work very well during the winter tests and also here in Phillip Island, so I think we are ready to fight.”

Andrea Locatelli
Michael Rinaldi – P3

“I am satisfied with what we have done in these two months. Jerez and Portimao tests went well and the objective for these two days at Phillip Island was to confirm those positive feelings. Especially today we did a good job ahead of the weekend’s races and I feel ready to start the championship.”

Michael Rinaldi
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P4

“We tried many parts and different set-up on the two days, looking for best rear grip and race set up. In the end I am not so happy today, we did not find the best solution, so maybe we go back to yesterday setting – you know, my best lap time. Now my team are working for the weekend. I am just focused on set-up, not fast lap, I just focus this and trying the new parts – not push a lot. It can be easy to try too many parts or set-up and be lost, but now we are coming back again and it’s time to race. On Friday, everybody start pushing for the new season – always we try best position, maybe in the race we are big fighting again but we will see – I will try my best!”

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu
Jonathan Rea – P5

“Today we tried a 2022 spec bike versus the 2023 spec bike in the afternoon session. There are positives and negatives with both but I preferred to stick with the 2023 bike. Unfortunately, doing a race simulation, on about lap 14, I got caught out in Turn Four. The wind was very gusty and it is coming in strongly from the sea, and I was pushing at my limit – clearly. I had very positive sensations during that long run and I was able to stay in the 1’31 laps times. That pace is where I need to be to fight for the podium. After that we tried the SC0 rear tyre because Pirelli asked me to do a longer run to evaluate how it would perform in the Superpole race. Our tyre performance was good and from an electronics point of view I am really happy with the steps we have made inside the team. I am more satisfied with the bike than yesterday. Clearly there is potential with the new bike and we have to keep working to extract that potential. We have made a step compared to last year, I feel. For race weekend, I feel we can fight for the podium.”

Jonathan Rea
Dominique Aegerter – P6

“The adaption keeps going on; we’re happy with this last test before the beginning of the season. We did one strong lap, and I’m happy with the one I did, even though we know we’re still missing something on our race pace. Anyway, we have good data to work on, all the people in my team did a great job, and we’re ready to start, so I cannot wait for Saturday and Sunday to come.”

Dominique Aegerter
Iker Lecuona – P8

“We end this two-day test with mixed feelings because we closed P8 but didn’t really understand why we couldn’t be faster. I felt good on the bike and felt it had good balance, but the reality is that we dropped tenths here and there and especially on new tyres. On used tyres we took a big step compared to last year because I now feel good on them and can ride consistently – this is important as we’ve resolved something that was critical for me and my riding style and that was causing me to struggle in the second part of the races. So we’ve made a step there, and that has us feeling that there is still more we can do with the bike setup, but our expectation were much higher going into this test to be honest, particularly here at a track I adore. We now have two days in which to analyse the electronics and data to understand what’s happening with the bike and decide how to approach the first race.”

Iker Lecuona
Remy Gardner – P9

“We’re satisfied with the progress we made. I enjoyed myself at Phillip Island. Even though we didn’t try to do a flying lap, our race pace was not too bad, and the feeling was okay. I cannot wait to begin the Championship; we’ll keep working during these days to progress further; we have good data available to us, so there’s still margin for improvement.”

Remy Gardner
Michael van der Mark – P12

“It was nice to have another two days of testing. We had a solid plan, tried a lot of things, mainly with the electronics but also with the suspension. We did not change the bike completely but it was just small things we wanted to try and re-confirm. It has been good days of testing but as always in testing you want more time, but I think we can be quite happy. We had no problems so I am starting the weekend quite confident. At the first two rounds, we for sure need to be in the top ten. It seems that the midfield in WorldSBK is really tight now and I think we can expect some really good battles but we improved the bike a lot over the winter, step by step. Maybe not in the single-lap pace but over race distance and feeling for us. So I am looking forward to start the season. To be racing at Phillip Island and in Indonesia is amazing, two really good but completely different tracks. For me, the winter has been long enough and I can’t wait to start racing.”

Michael van der Mark
Garrett Gerloff – P13

“It has been the final test before 2023 officially starts. It was a good three out of four sessions. I feel like we made a lot of progress and we have a lot of information from the last two days. Only in the final session, we had some issues. In general, I think we know what we need to do for the weekend coming up. The bike feels good and I know that we can make more progress. There were more positives than negatives and that’s all that matters. At the first two rounds, I just want to have everything working well and I think at this point being in the top ten would be a really good result. I either want to be close to the best BMW or the best BMW. I think that’s the main goal. Overall, I want to be in the top ten for sure, and hopefully we can prepare the bike for these first two rounds in a way that we can make it happen.”

Garrett Gerloff
Scott Redding – P14

“At the test, we have worked on getting some more feeling with the bike and as the track started to have more grip I started to feel better. We tried a few things to help with the rear grip again and we worked on electronics to get me more feeling in that area of the bike. We still have some work to do. Now we start the season with a double-header. I am not feeling super confident yet but it is coming slowly the more I ride the bike. The field is super close at the moment. When you look at the lap times, it is super close with everybody. So it will be difficult to say what the targets for the first two rounds are and the race is obviously different to testing. I would be happy to get some top-six finishes in the first races. Overall, we just need to play it by ear and see where we are after the first race to improve on that.”

Scott Redding
Alex Lowes – P15

I feel like we are struggling a bit. The updates we had in the winter don’t seem to be working as well here. We made some positive steps in the last session today, but we have some work to do. What we found in Europe, in cooler test conditions, has not been the same here. I did not do a time attack but the position on the timesheets is still a lot lower than I would want it to be. I just used race tyres but we still have work to do. We raced here at the end of last year and right now I don’t feel as comfortable as I did then. I was faster in the morning than the afternoon, when it was a bit gripper, and I have been wary to not make too many mistakes. We saw a lot of crashes in WorldSBK and WorldSSP. So I just wanted to keep my powder dry in some ways, but I have not been ‘sandbagging’ and then feel like I am going to win the race. That said I was 15th in testing in 2020 and then went on to win a race, so that might be a good sign!”

Alex Lowes
Loris Baz – P16

“We were struggling a little bit throughout these two days, but had a good session on Monday morning, where I felt good straight away. After that we couldn’t really improve and had some problems with the bike. Luckily, it was a test. I would rather have these issues on Monday and Tuesday than Friday to Sunday. I want to say a huge thank you to all the guys, because it was two very long days for them now. They put in a lot of effort, we all did. We just have to continue like this. It is difficult to say what I expect from the first two rounds. If I manage to reach the team’s target, the top ten, in these two first rounds, I will be happy.”

Loris Baz
Xavi Vierge – P17

“Firstly, I want to say sorry and a huge thank you to the team because I had two crashes which meant the guys had to work so hard to make the repairs. They did an amazing job, as always, and provided me with a perfect bike for the final afternoon session. And, luckily, I suffered no physical consequences at all. The less positive aspect is that we struggled a lot more than expected, despite improving a little overall. Generally speaking, we’ve improved in terms of our race pace during the pre-season but are not yet able to exploit the fresh tyres. Nevertheless, we start the season fully fit and ready to give it our all – we will keep working hard just as we are used to doing.”

Xavi Vierge
Hafizh Syahrin – P21

“These two days have been very useful for us, as this was basically our only full pre-season test for which we had time to prepare. So we took time to get back up to speed with everything and understand the new bike, which has quite a different character compared to last season. I also have a new crew chief and he works in a slightly different way, so it’s been good to get to know each other better. A big thanks to my team as they’ve been working so hard on very little sleep since getting here. I tried to do my best throughout the sessions, and I hope that we can make pick up the pace and make better inroads during the first race weekend.”

Eric Granado – P22

“The test’s been positive in that this was the first time we were able to use the full day and complete many laps. We’re still far from where we can be of course, but right now we need to focus on better understanding the bike and particularly the electronics, which are new to me. I’m still looking for the right confidence with the throttle and power delivery, but we’ve clocked up some miles and have improved little by little. The target for this test was of course to prepare for the first rounds rather than attempting a time attack or anything, and so that’s what we did. Unfortunately, I suffered a crash yesterday and so was riding with painful feet today but luckily nothing is broken and I’ll be ready for the weekend. It’s going to be a challenging first round for me, with three races and windy conditions, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to make progress and find a good setup for the races.”

WorldSBK Test Times
World Superbike Tuesday PM
Final Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Bautista Alvaro Ducati Panigale V4R 1m30.272
2 Locatelli Andrea Yamaha YZF R1 +0.072
3 Rinaldi Michael Ruben Ducati Panigale V4R +0.229
4 Razgatlioglu Toprak Yamaha YZF R1 +0.402
5 Rea Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10RR +0.444
6 Aegerter Dominique Yamaha YZF R1 +0.467
7 Oettl Philipp Ducati Panigale V4R +0.566
8 Lecuona Iker Honda CBR1000 RR-R +0.658
9 Gardner Remy Yamaha YZF R1 +0.801
10 Bassani Axel Ducati Panigale V4R +1.051
11 Petrucci Danilo Ducati Panigale V4R +1.079
12 Van Der Mark Michael BMW M1000 RR +1.103
13 Gerloff Garrett BMW M1000 RR +1.118
14 Redding Scott BMW M1000 RR +1.213
15 Lowes Alex Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.277
16 Baz Loris BMW M1000 RR +1.340
17 Vierge Xavi Honda CBR1000 RR-R +1.671
18 Baldassarri Lorenzo Yamaha YZF R1 +1.718
19 Sykes Tom Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1.803
20 Konig Oliver Kawasaki ZX-10RR +2.289
21 Syahrin Hafizh Honda CBR1000 RR-R +2.757
22 Granado Eric Honda CBR1000 RR-R +3.354

WorldSBK Top Speeds FP4

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 X. Vierge Honda CBR1000 RR-R 316.7
2 D. Petrucci Ducati Panigale V4R 314.9
3 S. Redding BMW M1000 RR 313.0
4 J. Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 313.0
5 A. Locatelli Yamaha YZF R1 312.1
6 A. Bautista Ducati Panigale V4R 312,1
7 T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha YZF R1 312,1
8 L. Baz BMW M1000 RR 312,1
9 G. Gerloff BMW M1000 RR 312,1
10 M. Van Der Mark BMW M1000 RR 311,2
11 M. Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4R 310,3
12 A. Bassani Ducati Panigale V4R 307,7
13 A. Lowes Kawasaki ZX-10RR 306,8
14 R. Gardner Yamaha YZF R1 306,8
15 I. Lecuona Honda CBR1000 RR-R 305,9
16 P. Oettl Ducati Panigale V4R 305,9
17 H. Syahrin Honda CBR1000 RR-R 305,1
18 D. Aegerter Yamaha YZF R1 304,2
19 O. Konig Kawasaki ZX-10RR 301,7
20 T. Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10RR 301,7
21 L. Baldassarri Yamaha YZF R1 300,8
22 E. Granado Honda CBR1000 RR-R 300,0

Phillip Island WorldSBK Race Schedule

Friday 24 February 2023
Start Finish Class Session
Laps Distance
0740 0750 Timekeeping Track System Test
0810 0820 FIM Medical Inspection /// FIM Track Inspection
0850 0910 Australian Supersport 300 FP    
0915 0940 Australian Supersport FP    
0945 1015 Australian Superbike FP1    
1030 1115 WorldSSP FP1    
1130 1215 WorldSBK FP    
1225 1255 ASBK Pillion Rides
1305 1325 Australian Supersport 300 Q    
1335 1355 Australian Supersport Q    
1405 1435 Australian Superbike FP2    
1500 1545 WorldSSP FP2    
1600 1645 WorldSBK FP2    
1705 Australian Supersport 300 R1 8 35.56km
Saturday 25 February 2023
Start Finish Class Session Laps Distance
0740 0750 Timekeeping Track System Test
0810   0820 FIM Medical Inspection /// FIM Track Inspection
0900 0920 Australian Superbike Q
0940 Australian Supersport 300 R2 8 35.56km
1015 Australian Supersport R1 10 44.45km
1050 1120 WorldSBK FP3
1140 Australian SuperbikeR1 12 53.34km
1225 1245 WorldSSP  Superpole
1310 1325 WorldSBK  Superpole
1340 1410 Pit Walk 1 & Safety Car Laps
1430 WorldSSP R1 18 80.01km
1505 1535 ASBK Pillion Rides
1600 WorldSBK R1 22 97.79km
1720 Australian Supersport R2 10 44.45km
Sunday 26 February 2023
Start  Finish  Session  Session Laps Distance
0800 0810 Timekeeping Track System Test
0830  0840 FIM Medical Inspection /// FIM Track Inspection
0910 Australian Supersport 300 R3 8 35.56km
0945 Australian Superbike R2 12 53.34km
1030 1045 WorldSBK WUP
1055 1110 WorldSSP WUP
1130 Australian Supersport R3 10 44.45km
1200 1235 Pit Walk 2 & Safety Car Laps ASBK Presentations on Podium
1300 WorldSBK SPRace 10 44.45km
1340 Australian Superbike R3 12 53.34km
1430 WorldSSP R2   80.01km
1505 1535 ASBK Pillion Rides ASBK Presentations on Podium
1600 WorldSBK R3 22 97.79km

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