Triple world superbike champion Jonathan Rea ended up top of the pile at the two day official world superbike test at a windy Phillip Island circuit in Australia, despite a big crash on the opening morning that saw him sit out yesterday’s afternoon session.
The defending champ was back in the saddle for today’s track action, where he bested Ducati rider Marco Melandri’s 1:30.726 lap from the opening session despite a slow speed crash at the low speed MG chicane. Italian Melandri ended the two day test in second, ahead of Rea’s Kawasaki team mate Tom Sykes in third and a resurgent Eugene Laverty fourth on his Aprilia. Brit favourites Alex Lowes and Leon Camier were seventh and eighth respectively, although 2017 runner-up Chaz Davies found himself down in a lowly 11th on ultimate lap times, although the Welshman’s consistency over long runs suggests that he will remain a podium contender when the racing starts at the same venue this coming weekend.
“Even though the track was not in perfect condition this afternoon we managed to put together a full race simulation and we are better equipped with that information to improve the base of the bike for the race,” said Rea. “Unfortunately yesterday I had a big crash at T11 and gave my mechanics a lot of work. They have been working super late and hard during this test and I’m so grateful for their efforts. Also a special mention should go to Arai, Alpinestars and the physio Albert, because I woke up this morning feeling relatively ok! Now we can enjoy the build up to the weekend and keep our eye on the conditions.”
Qualifying and race one of the 2018 season takes place this Saturday, with live coverage in the early hours broadcast on British Eurosport, with race two and the supporting world supersport event taking place on Sunday morning UK time.
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