Phillip Island (Australia), Wednesday 20 February 2019
With testing having concluded only yesterday, the Althea MIE Racing Team is ready to begin the 2019 Superbike World Championship, the first races of which are set to take place this weekend at the Phillip Island track in Australia.
Rider Alessandro Delbianco prepares to make his Superbike debut and, despite having never raced at the Australian track before, the young Italian is determined to make a good first impression on board his Honda CBR1000RR SP2 during this season’s opening round.
Officially inaugurated in 1956, the Phillip Island facility is located 140 km south of Melbourne and boasts a spectacular position, the ocean serving as a backdrop. The decision to kick off proceedings at this particular track is not surprising then, the circuit having hosted the series’ opening round for many years already.
This season, a change to the Superbike programme sees the introduction of a third sprint race, 10 laps in length, so while Race 1 will continue to take place on Saturday, Sunday will feature the new ‘Tissot Superpole race’ followed, later in the afternoon, by Race 2.
ALESSANDRO DEL BIANCO
Overall the test went well, apart from the crash that set us back in terms of the work schedule. The sessions gave me a chance to build confidence around a track I’d never seen before now anyway. As for the opening race weekend, my only goal is to continue to improve. Considering I am debuting in Superbike and with the Honda CBR, I cannot know what to expect of course but I am determined to give 100%.
Name: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Length: 4.445 km
Pole position: left
Corners: 7 left-hand, 5 right-hand
SBK RECORDS: Best lap – Melandri (Ducati) 1’30.848 (2018). Superpole – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’29.573 (2017).
2018 SBK RESULTS:
Race 1 – 1. Melandri (Ducati); 2. Sykes (Kawasaki); 3. Davies (Ducati)
Race 2 – 1. Melandri (Ducati); 2. Rea (Kawasaki); 3. Forés (Ducati)
Weekend schedule (CET+10):
10.30 – 11.20 – SBK Timed Practice 1
15.00 – 15.50 – SBK Timed Practice 2
10.00 – 10.20 – SBK Free Practice
12.15 – 12.40 – Superpole
15.00 – SBK Race 1
9.30 – 9.45 – SBK Warm-up
12.00 – SBK Superpole race
15.00 – SBK Race 2