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2024 WorldSBK Official Pre-Season Test | Bulega smokes rivals with Phillip Island record in first session

Gold & Goose

Nicolo Bulega picked up from where he left off as he lit up the timesheets on the first morning of official pre-season testing for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship as he showcased some searing record-breaking pace at Phillip Island.

In the first of two four-hour session taking place over the course of the day, Bulega belied his rookie status to become the first rider to dip below 1m 29secs around the Melbourne circuit aboard a WorldSBK machine.

Headlines at a glance...

  • 🚀 Rookie Nicolo Bulega becomes first rider to go under 1m 29secs at Phillip Island on a WorldSBK machine
  • 🌟 Four years out of action but Andrea Iannone is just 0.001s shy of joining him in the 1m 28s bracket
  • 🔴 Four red flags over the course of the session, including one for a crash involving Jonathan Rea
  • 💥 Crashes for: Iker Lecuona, Jonathan Rea, Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Iannone, Michael van der Mark and Andrea Locatelli
  • 🤕 Iker Lecuona out for the remainder of the test after picking up a shoulder injury in his fall


On a morning littered with red flags - both as a result of crashes and technical issues - Bulega blew the competition out of the water with a 1m 28.890secs benchmark that goes 0.2secs below the erstwhile best lap achieved by Tom Sykes on the BMW S 1000 RR back in 2020.

Though benefiting from grippier new asphalt around the Aussie venue, Bulega was in control just a couple of hours into the session, the Aruba.it Racing rider leading a Ducati 1-2 from the impressive Andrea Iannone, who shrugged off the cobwebs from four years of competition to get to within one thousandths of a second of joining his fellow Italian in the 1m 28s bracket.

With two unfamiliar names making the pace at the lunch-time hiatus, it was left to Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli to fly the flag for the more experienced contenders.

2021 WorldSBK Champion Razgatlioglu - making his first race appearance in ROKiT BMW colours this week - popping up the order in the closing stages of the morning session with a 1m 29.110secs, the Turk joined by his former Pata PROMETEON Yamaha team-mate as the only rider to get close to the leading Ducatis but still find himself 0.3s adrift of the ultimate pace.

Indeed, with the one-day test acting as a prelude to this weekend’s 2024 WorldSBK opening round at Phillip Island this weekend, Yamaha was enduring an otherwise tough start to proceedings with Locatelli’s new team-mate - six-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea - down in 12th after bringing out one of four red flags for a tip-off at Turn 11 that curtailed his morning.

Back at the front, defending champion Alvaro Bautista showed a more convincing turn of pace than during earlier tests as he ended his morning fifth, even if he will be humbled to see the plus-half second margin to his rookie team-mate out front.

In sixth, Sam Lowes joined Iannone in getting in the front mix ahead of his WorldSBK debut with a strong sixth place showing on the Marc VDS Racing Ducati. He led two more Brits in Scott Redding - who together with Michael van der Mark in ninth - appeared to consolidate Razgatlioglu’s efforts with a strong morning for the BMW contingent, while Alex Lowes flew the flag for Kawasaki as the fastest of its three machines in the field in eighth.

Motocorsa Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi completed the top ten, just edging out fellow Italian Danilo Petrucci on the sister privateer Barni Spark Ducati, while Rea was trailed by his successor at Kawasaki, Axel Bassani, in 13th.

Elsewhere, Tarran Mackenzie made a solid start on his new Honda CBR1000RR-R package in 21st but more competitive than he proved in Portimao, while Brad Ray found the going tough in 22nd as the only rider in the field never to have sampled Philip Island prior to today.


In addition to the red flag prompted by Rea's crash, there were also three other stoppages following technical issues for Bonovo Action BMW's Garrett Gerloff and GMT94 Yamaha's Philipp Oettl. There was also a red flag due to a crash for Ikea Lecuona on the Honda .

2024 WorldSBK Pre-Season Testing | Official Testing Results, Phillip Island

Tuesday AM | Conditions - Dry, Sunny

🇦🇺 ⏱️ 2024 WorldSBK Pre-Season Testing Results | Phillip Island, Australia | Tuesday AM
PosRiderNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 28.890
2Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.001
3Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 29.110
4Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 29.190
5Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.470
6Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.594
7Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 29.752
8Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.789
9Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 29.833
10Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.931
11Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.950
12Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 29.988
13Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.026
14Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 30.100
15Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 30.126
16Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 30.370
17Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.381
18Iker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 30.468
19Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R11m 30.949
20Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 31.089
21Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.619
22Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R11m 31.675
23Adam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 32.592

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit | Lap Records - WorldSBK

🇦🇺 ⏱️ 🏁 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit | Lap Records - WorldSBK
-RiderNatTeamBikeLap TImeYearClassification
-Tom Sykes🇬🇧BMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW S 1000 RR1m 29.2302020All-Time Lap Record
-Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.0752019Best Race Lap
-Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷Pata Crescent RacingYamaha R11m 29.40020232023 Superpole

2024 WorldSBK Pre-Season Testing Schedule & Programme

🇦🇺 ⏱️ 2024 WorldSBK Pre-Season Testing Schedule
-DayClassLocal TimeUK Time [+11hrs]
-19 Feb - MondayWorldSSP P19.10 - 13.1022.10 (Sunday) - 2.10
-19 Feb - MondayWorldSSP P213.40 - 17.402.40 - 6.40
-20 Feb - TuesdayWorldSBK P19.10 - 13.1022.10 (Sunday) - 2.10
-20 Feb - TuesdayWorldSBK P213.40 - 17.402.40 - 6.40

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