Friday, February 21


 IRISHMAN Jonathan Rea topped the first practice session for the opening round of the eni Superbike World Championship at Australia’s Phillip Island circuit this morning.

Using all his wet-weather riding skills on the Pata Honda CBR1000RR, Rea slithered his way to a best lap of 1m 37.033s , almost a second clear of another wet-weather specialist, Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli on the only factory Aprilia to go out on the wet track.

Just nine riders bothered to go out in the wet and cool first practice, with Australian Glenn Allerton, drafted into the BMW Motorad Italia team to replace the injured Frenchman Sylvain Barrier, third fastest on one of the less powerful EVO class bikes.  Horsepower is no advantage on a streaming wet track.

Irishman Eugene Laverty, second fastest in testing earlier in the week, was sixth fastest, five seconds slower than Rea, and the Suzuki GSX-R1000 was 12 km/h slower through the speed trap than the Pata Honda.

However, little can be read into that and we await the promised drier conditions to follow.  But this is Phillip Island…

Results, First Free Practice, eni Superbike World Championship, Phillip Island

1.  J. REA          GBR      (PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR)           1:37.033 3 164,913 km/h
2. S. GUINTOLI  FRA      (Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory) 1:38.005
3.  G. ALLERTON            AUS      (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK BMW S1000 RR EVO) 1:38.924 1.
4. I. TOTH         HUN      (BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR) 1:40.449 
5. A. ANDREOZZI           ITA       (Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO) 1:40.553
6. E. LAVERTY    IRL       (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:42.118
7. T. ELIAS        ESP       (Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 Factory) 1:47.166
8. S. MORAIS     RSA      (IRON BRAIN Kawasaki SBK Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO)  1:47.547

9. P. SEBESTYEN            HUN      (BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR EVO) 1:50.076