2018 Phillip Island World Superbike Monday Test Times: Melandri Takes Charge As Rea Takes A Tumble

Marco Melandri has struck the first blow on the opening day of a two-day test for the WorldSBK class at Phillip Island. The Aruba.it Ducati rider was over a third of a second quicker than second place man Tom Sykes on the factory Kawasaki. In turn, Sykes was two tenths faster than his teammate, reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea.

The Kawasaki men both suffered crashes at Turn 11, with Rea having a very large highside which persuaded him to skip the second session on Monday afternoon. His time in the first session was good enough to keep his third place.

Leon Camier made a very solid debut on the Red Bull Honda, the Englishman ending eight tenths behind Melandri on Monday. The Red Bull Honda team are sticking with Cosworth electronics for the opening two rounds, while American PJ Jacobsen starts the development of the Magneti Marelli, which the Red Bull riders will take over once the WorldSBK paddock returns to Europe.

Michael van der Mark was the first Yamaha rider in fifth, nine tenths slower than Melandri, and Xavi Fores was the second man home on a Ducati Panigale, the Barni Racing Team rider the last man to get within a second of the test leader.

Times at the end of Monday:

Pos No Rider Bike Class Time Diff Prev
1 33 Marco Melandri Ducati Panigale R SBK 1:30.726    
2 66 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:31.067 0.341 0.341
3 1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:31.259 0.533 0.192
4 2 Leon Camier Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1:31.554 0.828 0.295
5 60 Michael van der Mark Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1:31.682 0.956 0.128
6 12 Xavi Fores Ducati Panigale R SBK 1:31.706 0.980 0.024
7 50 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 RF SBK 1:31.873 1.147 0.167
8 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1:31.914 1.188 0.041
9 81 Jordi Torres MV Agusta 1000 F4 SBK 1:31.946 1.220 0.032
10 7 Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale R SBK 1:32.054 1.328 0.108
11 76 Loris Baz BMW S 1000 RR SBK 1:32.157 1.431 0.103
12 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia RSV4 RF SBK 1:32.451 1.725 0.294
13 54 Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:32.750 2.024 0.299
14 40 Román Ramos Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:32.801 2.075 0.051
15 36 Leandro Mercado Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:33.058 2.332 0.257
16 47 Wayne Maxwell Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1:33.180 2.454 0.122
17 45 Jake Gagne Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1:33.290 2.564 0.110
18 37 Ondrej Jezek Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1:33.298 2.572 0.008
19 68 Yonny Hernandez Kawasaki ZX-10RR SBK 1:33.535 2.809 0.237
20 17 Troy Herfoss Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1:33.652 2.926 0.117
21 25 Daniel Falzon Yamaha YZF R1 SBK 1:34.069 3.343 0.417
22 99 Patrick Jacobsen Honda CBR1000RR SBK 1:34.410 3.684 0.341
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Rev limit changes aren't yet in full view. Very interesting. Very windy here, scary blustery moments.

This V4 Ducati is compelling, right there out front as an infant. Ducatisti talk is rather focused on the loss of their twin cylinder identity and "soul." Then tech discussions of particular advancements. I see a menacing potential game changer. With two big guns drawn and pointing right at you while you are behind. What a beautiful machine this blazing bandit! And it may do the business.

Stapleford teases with Triumph triple potential again. He looks great, and the BSB outfit impresses when they have their moment. Without a bit more top end horsepower that bike just can't quite do the business. Holding hope for the tighter twisty tracks.

Viva 2018, licking the chops.

Not running the V4 this year at WSBK, so what you see is the final fling of the old girl.