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Phillip Island WorldSBK, Free Practice 1 | Locatelli times it right to beat Lowes twins, lap record

Gold & Goose

Andrea Locatelli had the honour of topping the first competitive session for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship season as he powered to an official new lap record during free practice for the Phillip Island opener.

The Italian left it late to shoot to the top of the timesheets with a benchmark 1m 29.197secs, which was enough to put just over a tenth between himself and second place Alex Lowes, who in turn had his brother - rookie Sam Lowes - for company in a fine third.

Locatelli's lap time was also enough to officially break Tom Sykes' four-year old record around Phillip Island and came despite the majority of the session being hindered by rainy and damp conditions.


Indeed, it appeared any hopes of a quick - or even representative - lap time from the 23-strong WorldSBK field was out of the question when the heavens opened just moments into the FP1 session kicking off.

With the usual high winds from the nearby coastline pushing a wet weather front across the venue, it was enough to deter any rider from venturing for more than half of the session. However, with the blustery conditions pushing the clouds adrift and a couple of riders putting in some exploratory lap times with 20-15mins remaining, the field would eventually flood onto circuit for the final ten minutes.

As the newly-asphalted track dried, the grip soon began to come back to the riders and final portion of the session would see a flurry of action as the leaderboard relentlessly altered with every competitor coming across the line to set a new personal best.

For a time though it looked as though the outcome would be one for the Lowes' family album as Sam - making his debut this weekend with Marc VDS Racing - sprung to the top of the timesheets, only to be nudged down to second by Alex on the Kawasaki.

Indeed, Alex's 1m 29.303secs had all the makings of being enough to see off rivals as he put a full 0.4s over his brother on the ZX-10RR. However, the sibling celebrations would be put on ice by Locatelli, whose final lap was enough to put his Pata PROMETEON Yamaha atop of the pile.

Though his effort was still some 0.9s short of former team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu's leading effort in testing earlier this week, it's notable that Locatelli was one of only three riders to break into the 1m 28secs bracket during the same session on Tuesday.

Behind the Lowes' twins, Remy Gardner made good on his local knowledge to make it two Yamahas inside the top four positions, seeing off another Ducati rookie in Andrea Iannone, the Italian-returning to action after four years out, showing confidence despite the dicey conditions.

He headed up Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who in sixth joined Lowes and Iannone in humbling the factory Ducati contingent, Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista having to contend with seventh and eighth.

Dominique Aegerter was ninth quickest, the Swiss rider making up time on track having missed two of the pre-season tests, while Razgatlioglu - after leaving it late to head out on track - played it safe with the tenth fastest time as the best of the BMW contingent.


Elsewhere, Jonathan Rea - nursing a painful leg after a crash in testing - was 12th fastest, with fellow Britons Scott Redding in 15th, Bradley Ray 19th and Tarran Mackenzie in 22nd.

2024 WorldSBK Phillip Island | Free Practice 1 Results

Friday | Conditions - Wet-to-dry

🇦🇺 ⏱️ 2024 WorldSBK Results | Phillip Island, Australia | Free Practice 1 Results | Round 1 of 12
PosRiderNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 29.197
2Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.303
3Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.717
4Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 29.755
5Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.885
6Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.924
7Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.949
8Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.034
9Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 30.350
10Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.354
11Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.455
12Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 30.495
13Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R11m 30.752
14Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.808
15Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.896
16Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.004
17Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 31.030
18Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 31.437
19Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R11m 31.443
20Iker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.682
21Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 32.404
22Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 32.416
23Adam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 33.862

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 Phillip Island Schedule & Programme

🇦🇺 ⏱️ 🏁 2024 WorldSBK & WorldSSP Phillip Island Schedule
-DateChampionshipSessionTime [Local]Time [UK +11h]
-23 Feb - FRIWorldSSPFP110.25 - 11.0523.25 (THUR) - 00.05
-23 Feb - FRIWorldSBKFP111.20 - 12.0500.20 - 01.05
-23 Feb - FRIWorldSSPSuperpole14.55 - 15.3503.55 - 04.35
-23 Feb - FRIWorldSBKFP216.00 - 16.4505.00 - 05.45
-24 Feb - SATWorldSBKFP310.00 - 10.2023.00 (FRI) - 23.20
-24 Feb - SATWorldSSPWarm-Up10.30 - 10.4023.30 (FRI) - 23.40
-24 Feb - SATWorldSBKSuperpole13.00 - 13.1502.00 - 02.15
-24 Feb - SATWorldSSPRACE 114.3003.30
-24 Feb - SATWorldSBKRACE 116.0005.00
-25 Feb - SUNWorldSBKWarm-Up10.30 - 10.4023.30 (SAT) - 23.40
-25 Feb - SUNWorldSSPWarm-Up10.50 - 11.0023.50 - 00.00
-25 Feb - SUNWorldSBKSUPERPOLE RACE13.0002.00
-25 Feb - SUNWorldSSPRACE 214.3003.30
-25 Feb - SUNWorldSBKRACE 216.0005.00

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