Posted: 17 Feb 2014
2013 World Superbike Championship runner-up, Eugene Laverty laid down the gauntlet in the first official on-track action of 2014 by securing top spot at Philip Island.
Campaigning his Voltcom Suzuki, the Irish man’s fastest lap came in the morning session, with his time placing him two tenths ahead of Ducati’s Davide Giugliano in second place.
Reigning World Superbike Champion, Tom Sykes set the third fastest time with his Kawasaki team mate, Loris Baz in tow.
British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes got off to an impressive start despite his first ever laps at Phillip Island. The Lincolnshire lad took to watching online videos of Philip Island master Casey Stoner before he hit the track.
It obvioulsy worked with Lowes setting the fifth fastest time ahead of former MotoGP runner-up, Marco Melandri on the Aprilia. And all that on a new bike with a new team, too.
Leon Haslam was the fastest Honda posting the seventh fastest time followed by Sylvain Guintoli and Jonathan Rea. Chaz Davies rounded out the top ten on the second Ducati Panigale.
The fastest rider in the new EVO class was Niccolo Canepa, who set the eleventh fastest time ahead of Toni Elias on a full-blown Superbike.
EVO contenders Sylvain Barrier and Michel Fabrizio both suffered heavy crashes; they were later transported to hospital to undergo X-rays for suspected pelvis injuries.
Of the new manufacturers it was MV Agusta on top with Claudio Corti setting the fourteenth fastest time. Hero EBR has a lot of work to do after neither of their riders set a time fast enough to be classified.
Testing resumes tomorrow.
Phillip Island Testing Day 1
NC. G. MAY – Hero Racing EBR – 1’38.152
NC. A. YATES – Hero Racing EBR – 1’39.656
NC. SEBESTYEN – Team Toth BMW EVO – 1’42.242.
Photo: Voltcom Crescent Suzuki