WSBK

Guintoli eclipses lap record in Afternoon Practice

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Any reservations that Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli had about being competitive in the 2016 Motul Superbike World Championship on the new Yamaha have been blown out of the water after he eclipsed the existing lap record in the second practice session at Phillip Island this afternoon.

Guintoli, the 2014 world champion and multiple Phillip Island winner, set a best lap of 1min30.865secs in second practice, below Chaz Davies' two-year-old circuit benchmark of 1:30.949.

"I wasn't expecting to be at the top of the times today but I'll definitely take that! We have such a good base with the YZF-R1 even at the start of this project, especially the chassis and engine character, so it's nice to know we can work up from here," Guintoli said.

"We have spent a lot of the winter evaluating and assessing, and expected to be continuing this for the opening round at Phillip Island. This is my favourite track on the calendar so hopefully we can continue to improve as the weekend progresses and enjoy a good couple of races with the new split two-day schedule starting tomorrow," the Frenchman concluded.

Guintoli and teammate Alex Lowes are spearheading Yamaha's re-entry into WorldSBK after a four-year absence for the Japanese manufacturer, riding the YZF-R1M which Aussie Josh Brookes dominated the 2015 British superbike title on.

Honda's Michael van der Mark was second overall today, ahead of crack Kawasaki pair Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, Leon Camier (MV Agusta), Nicky Hayden (Honda), Ducati duo Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori and German Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad). Lowes was 11th, and the final rider within a second of Guintoli's benchmark.

Wildcard Mike Jones (Ducati) was the fastest Australian today in 15th position, three spots ahead of Brookes (BMW Motorrad).

Taree's Josh Hook (Kawasaki) was to be the third local racing, but he has withdrawn from the event with an injured left shoulder and has been replaced by Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Riders will be split into two groups, with the lower 14 competing in Superpole session 1 at 12.30pm. The fastest two riders then progress, joining the top ten from today for the second 15 minute Superpole battle to determine the final grid positions for the two 22-lap WorldSBK races at 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Superpole is divided into two sessions: the first one for riders who finished practice in positions 9-18, with the leading two from that session joining the fastest eight riders in the second Superpole hitout.

WorldSBK Superpole starts at 12:30pm tomorrow.

TIMES FROM TODAY‰ÛªS TWO QUALIFYING SESSIONS
No. Rider Nat Team Bike FP1 FP2 Time Gap Rel. Avg Laps
1 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1 1'31.640 1'30.865 1'30.865
2 60 M. VAN DER MARK NED Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP 1'31.826 1'31.249 1'31.249
3 1 J. REA GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'31.641 1'31.324 1'31.324
4 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'31.543 1'31.363 1'31.363
5 2 L. CAMIER GBR MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta 1000 F4 1'31.650 1'31.445 1'31.445
6 69 N. HAYDEN USA Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP 1'31.789 1'31.475 1'31.475
7 34 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'31.844 1'31.527 1'31.527
8 7 C. DAVIES GBR Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'31.718 1'31.593 1'31.593
9 32 L. SAVADORI ITA IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF 1'32.121 1'31.725 1'31.725
10 21 M. REITERBERGER GER Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000 RR 1'31.792 1'31.854 1'31.792
15 46 M. JONES AUS Desmo Sport Ducati Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'32.821 1'32.476 1'32.476
18 25 J. BROOKES AUS Milwaukee BMW BMW S1000 RR 1'33.354 1'32.704 1'32.704

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