Team by team rundown after Phillip Island.

A period of bedding in for the Paul Bird Motorsport run Kawasaki, complete with more factory involvement than ever, the team have set their sights on an improvement at Valencia when the bike will undergo a few changes. For the moment, Kawasaki have a bike that is quicker than before over a single lap, Broc Parkes qualifying relatively well in 16th, but struggling terribly in the races. Chatter was the underlying problem, both Parkes and Makoto Tamada unable to eradicate their bikes' issues over the weekend. As such, Kawasaki leave Australia with no points, but claiming to have learnt a lot for the future.

Althea Honda
Tommy Hill – 14th, 14th

After more than a year sat on the sidelines injured, Tommy Hill made his long-awaited race debut for the Althea team and didn't disappoint. Although on paper his rookie status in a single Honda team doesn't make for an guaranteed presence in the points, the British rider made good starts in both races and ran competitively with his factory rivals. A pair of 14th place finishes left him ahead of a few more experienced rookies and in the points.

Pedercini Kawasaki
Luca Scassa – 20th, 20th
David Salom – 21st, 25th

Pedercini sat between the factory outfit and fellow Kawasaki competitors PSG-1 on the 'team green' hierarchy in Australia. New riders Luca Scassa and David Salom had a tough initiation on a bike that wasn't particularly competitive last year. Scassa coped best, sneaking into the top twenty, but Supersport graduate Salom struggled on his debut, trailing last in both races, but at least finishing.

Celani Race Suzuki
Karl Muggeridge – DNF, 21st

Another team who didn't have the luxury of testing before travelling to Phillip Island, Celani Race, with local favourite Karl Muggeridge at the helm, acquitted themselves relatively well. Although he retired in the first race, Muggeridge briefly ran inside the points in race two before fading to 21st. With a decent Suzuki bike beneath him, 'Muggers' should be able to develop the bike and improve on that over the coming races.

PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki
Ayrton Badovini – DNS, DNS
Matteo Baiocco – DNF, 24th

Having been unable to test their bike before flying out to Australia, PSG-1 were always fighting an uphill battle. Their cause wasn't aided when lead rider Ayrton Badovini was ruled out of race day when he crashed and injured himself during qualifying. Instead, Matteo Baiocco flew the flag, finishing one of the races but finishing well outside the top twenty.

Sterilgarda Ducati
Shane Byrne – DNF, DNF

Having turned the title odds on their head during testing, things seem to have taken a turn for the worse for the Sterilgarda Ducati team recently. Already forced to drop Alex Polita for budgetary reasons, a double retirement for Shane Byrne made it a weekend to forget for the satellite Ducati team. Both DNFs were caused when Byrne crashed out, but even before then he was having a hard time stuck firmly in the mid-field. Being unable to test a week earlier was a deciding factor for both himself and the team, suggesting they will be on a more level playing field at Qatar. Only then will we have a greater indication of where rider and team are at.

Squadra Corse Italia Honda
Vittorio Iannuzzo – DNF, DNF

Joining Shane Byrne in failing to finish either race, Vittorio Iannuzzo was a consistent tail ender over the weekend for WSBK debutants Squadra Corse Italia. A chance to prove his poor form in 2008 with Pedercini was down to injury, Iannuzzo wasn't outclassed by his rivals, but should have been ahead of rookies Baiocco, Salom et al.

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chris - Unregistered

March 05, 2009 1:30 PM

Laterrus, I agree with your comment but I would like to add that Ben is brilliant at managing race pace, tires then pulling the pin at the right time as he did against Haga. In the AMA he and Mladin both were on pace at lap one and would maintain it the entire race and at times would turn the fastest lap at the end. As Steve Martin said during the race "Spies is like a machine" and that best describes him, nothing spectacular just "Super fast and Super intense" I would also like to congadulate Haslams outstanding effort - this guy is a fighter and will be one to watch. Don't know much about him, but from what I've read He might have been underestimated relative to his peers.

Laterrus Talley

March 05, 2009 8:07 AM

of a race. Spies learns very fast as we all have seen and because of the new R1, whatever little bit of track knowledge he lacks after free practices at tracks he's never raced at could be made up by having a little more tire life than everyone towards the end of the races and "if" he starts from pole often and stays out of trouble during races, he's gonna be a serious contender for the title this year. You can have all the power in the world on a bike but, if it eats tires up halfway through a race and you have a VERY fast rider on your tail with a strong bike and more available tire grip, you're gonna have your hands full. Like I said, looks like Yamaha got it right this year. Go Spies!

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