CLICK HERE for WSBK free practice (2) results from Phillip Island.

Sylvain Guintoli underlined the potential of the Crescent Yamaha R1 by comfortably topping the first day of free practice at Phillip Island.

Aboard his third different machine in as many years, Guintoli became the first rider this week to break the 1m 31s barrier, his final time of 1m 30.86s good enough to place 0.38s ahead of Honda's Michael van der Mark.

The Frenchman's final time was out of keeping in a frenetic opening day of the 2016 season, in which ten riders lapped within four tenths of a second in FP1. Indeed, the top four were separated by similarly fine margins in the afternoon before Guintoli stole a march with two thirds of the session gone.

While the 2014 world champion had the speed, second placed van der Mark and third fastest Jonathan Rea (+0.459s) displayed the consistency. The Dutchman's first run, which consisted of 16 laps was as spectacular as it was constant, his Honda CBR1000RR's two wheels rarely in line around the track's succession of high-speed curves.

Reigning world champion Rea's own 18-lap run was equally impressive (if a little more steady), with just a variation of nine tenths of a second between his fastest and slowest times.

Tom Sykes ended the day in fourth, 0.03s slower than his team-mate with the continually impressive Leon Camier backing up his strong morning showing in fifth.

Two days ahead of his full-time World Superbike debut, Nicky Hayden placed sixth, ahead of the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano (seventh, +0.662s) and Chaz Davies (eighth, +0.728s). Indeed it was the Italian's times that appear to be more consistent than those of his Welsh team-mate.

There was a big improvement for reigning FIM Superstock 1000 champion Lorenzo Savadori, who knocked a full 0.4s off his morning time to finish Friday ninth fastest. Markus Reiterberger was the only rider inside the top ten that didn't improve from FP1 to FP2.

The new format for 2016 dictates the first ten riders from Friday's combined sessions automatically qualify for SP2 on Saturday afternoon. Thus Alex Lowes was the first to miss out as the Englishman's late efforts were only good enough for eleventh.

The 25-year old will go into the SP1 session that precedes SP2, where he will be joined by turn twelve faller Xavi Fores (twelfth), Jordi Torres (14th) and Josh Brookes (18th).

Toprak Razgatioglu fell during the session with his subsequent injuries meaning he is unfit to race.



Loading Comments...