World Superbike: Laverty And Suzuki Surprise At Phillip Island

Cycle News Staff | February 17, 2014

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty threw down a fast time in the morning session of testing at Phillip Island today, a time that held up for the rest of the day as testing got underway in advance of the opening round of the World Superbike Championship on Sunday in Australia.

“We surprised ourselves with the lap time today,” Laverty said via a team release. “We were a lot faster than where I’d set my goal and the fact that the bike works so well around here is nice too. Today is probably the best conditions I’ve ever had at Phillip Island; usually you have a strong head wind, strong tail wind, or it’s too hot and slippery. Today was optimum temperature with very little wind so that’s why the lap times were so quick. In terms of feedback the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is better than any Superbike I’ve ridden here, I can really attack the course more than I ever have done, and that gives me a lot of confidence. The rear tires are working well too; even after 24 laps we are still under my lap record so that’s definitely positive!”

Laverty’s best lap was a 1:30.513 and that put him a few tenths quicker than Ducati’s Davide Giugliano on the factory Ducati. Giugliano turned in a 1:30.718 to best the Kawasaki pairing of World Champion Tom Sykes and Loris Baz, the pair ending up third and fourth, respectively.

The fifth fastest time when to Laverty’s World Superbike rookie teammate Alex Lowes, the Brit turning in a 1:31 flat.

Aprilia’s Marco Melandri was next up at 1:31.146, a lap that put him sixth. Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam was seventh with Melandri’s teammate Sylvain Guintoli eighth. Haslam’s teammate Jonathan Rea and Ducati’s Chaz Davies rounded out the top 10.

The two Team Hero EBRs of Geoff May and Aaron Yates ended up 23rd and 24th on the day. Both EBRs had technical problems that kept them off track in the afternoon session May’s best was a 1:38.152 with Yates lapping at 1:39.656.

The morning session was twice interrupted by red flags with Michael Fabrizio and Sylvain Barrier both getting transported to hospital following crashes. Both reportedly suffered pelvic injuries and were being checked at the hospital.

2014 World Superbike Phillip Island Test Results
1. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 1’30.513
2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’30.718
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’30.737
4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’30.757
5. Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 1’31.000
6. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1’31.146
7. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’31.172
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’31.321
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’31.404
10. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1’31.419