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Phillip Island WSBK test: Rea ends pre-season on top

Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea ended the two-day Phillip Island test at the top of the timesheets but he was chased hard by former MotoGP man and series returnee Marco Melandri who was only 0.030s behind the works Kawasaki man.

Castletown’s Rea set a quickest time of 1’30.545 in the morning session to finish overall fastest but Melandri responded with his 1’30.575 in the afternoon to head off Aruba Ducati team-mate and fellow title contender Chaz Davies, who set a 1’30.893 to secure third place on the Panigale.

Former champion Tom Sykes ended his day in fourth place, setting a 1’31.044 in the morning session but walked away from a crash in the afternoon. The Huddersfield man won’t be particularly pleased with the half-second deficit to his Kawasaki team-mate but, like the two Ducati men in front of him, isn’t that far behind Rea in terms of pace over a race distance.


Yesterday’s quickest man Xavi Fores was another man who set his quickest time in the cooler temperatures of this morning while MV Agusta’s Leon Camier was sixth fastest and a little under three-quarters of a second off Rea’s best time.

Lorenzo Savadori was the quicker of the two Milwaukee Aprilias, setting a 1’31.449 this afternoon to bag seventh place, one ahead of Britain’s Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha. Lowes was a little over a second off the pace but some way ahead of team-mate Michael Van Der Mark.

Jordi Torres is the quickest of the BMWs, taking ninth place while rookie Randy Krummenacher stuck his Puccetti Kawasaki in tenth place. Alex De Angelis is 11th on a 1’31.784 while Eugene Laverty is still having problems with the works RSV-4 and is down in 12th place, one ahead of van der Mark.

Nicky Hayden ended the test in 14th overall, 1.4s off the pace with Markus Reiterberger in 15th. Roman Ramos is 16th with Josh Brookes, on the privateer, BSB-spec Yamaha R1 in 17th. The Australian is 1.851 off the pace but cut his gap to the leader by a second today.

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