Friday times now decide direct entry to the Tissot-Superpole session, and the man who leads the way after a day of track time is 2014 WorldSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli. The only man to set a lap within a 1’30 bracket all day and consequently the fastest on Friday, the Frenchman kept his YZF R1 almost 4 tenths clear of next man on the timesheets, Honda rider Michael Van Der Mark.
With much of the afternoon dedicated to longer runs, the expected dash for the line in the last stage of the session saw a lot of track action. Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea did a long and consistent run as he dueled with Michael Van Der Mark for the top spot in both long run and one lap pace, before Guintoli dropped his time significantly with a lap that proved unbeatable by the end of the session. The rhythm of the reigning Champion, however, looks set to be difficult to beat. Van Der Mark, who lead laps last year in Phillip Island, also looked impressive over a longer run.
Top Australian Josh Brookes had a difficult first day at his home round but did outpace his teammate, looking to improve upon his lap time after before the lights go out for the new era of WorldSBK.
The top ten times were very competitive, with Sykes, Hayden, Giugliano and Davies all looking solid around the Australian track and Sykes fastest in the morning session. Lorenzo Savadori put in a great lap to join them in the top ten, and the fastest BMW from the morning, Markus Reiterberger, maintained his title as just that. By virtue of the combined timesheet, the German pips Alex Lowes to a final entry into Tissot-Superpole 2.
Leon Camier remained the fastest Italian motorbike on track on his MV Agusta, with his pace of the morning proving no fluke, the Italian marque the seventh different manufacturer to find a place in the top ten in a field poised to deliver incredible racing over the season ahead.
Yamaha Finance Australian Round – Combined times Free Practice 1 and 2
1 – Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha 1’30.865
2 – Michael Van Der Mark Honda +0.384
3 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki +0.459
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