Press releases from Suzuki and Althea Ducati ahead of the World Superbike test on Monday and Tuesday at Phillip Island:
Final pre-season test beckons for Crescent Suzuki WSBK
Crescent Suzuki has completed its final technical preparations at its base ahead of the Superbike World Championship pre-season tests at Phillip Island in Australia next week.
21 freight cases, two flights and 17,000kms are all that stand between the UK-based team and the start of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season, and racers Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet are eager to get down to business aboard their Yoshimura-powered GSX-Rs.
Located 130kms south of Victoria's capital city Melbourne, the 4,445m Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit has held both the official pre-season test and the opening round of WSBK competition for the past seven years, remaining a favourite for most championship participants. The circuit's 12 iconic corners, and cliff-top vistas over the Bass Strait, provide breath-taking racing and views for the avid fans while the combination of high-speed turns, long straights, elevation changes and its fast and flowing nature create perfect testing conditions for the GSX-R1000.
With the last two days of pre-season testing due to commence at the Victoria circuit on Monday 16th February, Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet will be on track for two, two-hour sessions at 11:00 hrs local time (00:00GMT) and 15:30hrs local time (04:30GMT) to put their Suzuki challengers through their paces ahead of the opening contest of 2015 on Sunday 22nd February.
"I'm really looking forward to getting the 2015 World Superbike season started with the official tests at Phillip Island. It's a track and event that I really enjoyed last year so I can't wait to get out there and continue the progress we have been making with the GSX-R and the Crescent Suzuki team over the winter. I'm feeling really calm and positive after the European tests last month and hope to transfer that to the track when we get to Australia."
Randy de Puniet:
"The test at Phillip Island is still very important for me as it will be two more days on the GSX-R1000, and the first time riding the bike at the track knowing we will race there at the end of that week. My aim for the two days is to feel more confident with the front of the bike and to run race simulation to get a feel for the tyres under this distance. It is the last chance for us to work together to take further steps to be competitive but I'm confident, I like the track and the bike has proved to be consistently fast there before."
TEAM ALTHEA RACING - PHILLIP ISLAND SUPERBIKE PREVIEW
The Althea Racing Team is preparing to face the start of the 2015 season with a significant and renewed formation. After a winter of hard work, the team from Lazio is ready to begin the Superbike World Championship.
The first round is scheduled to take place on 22 February at Phillip Island, and will be preceded by two days of testing, where the Althea Racing riders, Nico Terol and Matteo Baiocco, will have the chance to continue the positive work already carried out during January’s test sessions at Portimao and Jerez de la Frontera. Tests that, as confirmed by Team Owner Genesio Bevilacqua, concluded positively, in the knowledge that there is still great room for improvement in terms of the performance of the Ducati Panigale R and the feeling the riders have with their bikes.
Nico and Matteo are pleased with work completed thus far and arrive in Australia in great physical and mental condition, ready to line up with the best come race day.
Nico Terol: “I’m very pleased and confident and cannot wait to start this championship. In Australia we’ll have two test days and this is very important for us. We’ll make the most of this time to make further modifications and improvements, in order to be ready to fight for the positions that count. Phillip Island is a fast and exciting track that I think can suit our Ducati, as well as being a track that I really love.”
Matteo Baiocco: “Phillip Island is a fantastic track. It’s been a few years since I last raced there but this year I head there with the right physical and technical preparation, so I’ll be doing all I can to make the most of this. Our bike seems suited to the Australian track and my aim will be to confirm all of the good work we’ve completed during the winter tests, improving session after session.”
Genesio Bevilacqua: “We’re at the start of a championship in which we have a real Superbike after a difficult, uncertain year that left us with doubts as to our participation this season. Finally, with the new regulations, which are more clear and bring private and factory Teams almost into line, we can fight for the kind of results that have always characterised Team Althea Racing. In fact, over 3 years, we have collected four victories with the Ducati: one in 2010, one in 2011, and two in 2012. I am sure that Nico Terol and Matteo Baiocco, the two riders in whom we trust, can achieve important results for our Team”.
The Phillip Island circuit, located in the state of Victoria in Australia, was built in 1956 and has hosted the Superbike World Championship since 1992, adding also Supersport at a later date. It is a spectacular track, positioned on undulating land on the edge of a cliff, and composed of a continuous succession of fast, wide ranging corners, broken up by only two hairpins, where some exciting passes can be seen. The only straight, in front of pit lane, is on the downhill meaning that riders reach very high speeds. The various sections that have the sea as a backdrop are evocative and loved by international photographers. Also of note is the constant presence of seagulls within the circuit, often a risk to the riders.