WSBK Fires Up

Phillip Island hosted the opening round and all the pre-season hype lived up to expectations – and then some. With Jonathan Rea’s winning margin in Race 1 a mere 0.063 seconds and a gaggle of riders all showing they are right on the pace, 2016 has started with a bang and ant thoughts of massive gaps between brands have been stoushed. With Rea’s Kawasaki taking first blood, it was Chas Davies who led into the final corner and it was Michael Van Der Mark’s Honda filling the final step of the podium.

Race two saw Nicky Hayden come tantalisingly close to a podium in his first WSBK outing but was pipped on the line by Davide Giugliano after a great battle.

Davies tried hard for the win but his late attach saw him lose the front of his Ducati and crash out, gifting Van Der Mark his best result so far and Giugliano in third. Hayden scored fourth and Silvain Guintoli put the Yamaha YZF-R1 into fifth in its first round.

All the teams are aware that Phillip Island is a different animal to many of the tracks, so even though Rea’s Kawasaki scored the double, there are several teams that showed they have closed the gap since last year. Whether they’ll be able to reel in the green machine on some less flowing circuits remains to be seen but many did think it would be hard to beat the Kawasakis in Australia. They didn’t but they came oh so close.

The season is shaping up to be the closest ever on times but what can be done about the super consistent Rea? Even when he looked defeated heading into the final turn in the first race, he showed he is no one trick wonder, surprising with the bold move around the outside to out-drive the Ducati to the line.hi_Test_Phillip Island_Krummenacher_DSC_5794

Krummenacher at pace in WSS


In the Supersports, it was a case of no fear of reputations that is for sure. Swiss rookie entrant Randy Krummenacher took the win in his first outing as his teammate Kenan Sofuoglo crashed out. Superstock graduate Frederico Caricasulo and Australian veteran, Anthony West battled hard for the minor placings after Sofuoglu’s demise and it was the youngster on the line with West again showing his class on a damp track in third. Jules Cluzel was back after injuring himself late last season but had a day to forget after his charge through the pack ended in the gravel.

2016 is ramping up to be a classic year for the couch racer, WSBK enthusiast and all-round motorcycle racing fan alike.