Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 22 February 2019
The 2019 Superbike World Championship is officially underway, the Althea MIE Racing team and rider Alessandro Delbianco having completed the first free practice sessions of the new season at the Phillip Island track in Australia.
Delbianco, who is debuting in the Superbike category this year, worked hard with his technicians and made progress throughout the day’s sessions. Out on track with his Honda CBR1000RR SP2 this morning, the young Italian unfortunately suffered a crash in the opening stages. Although he was unhurt, the team spent a little time fixing the bike. Back on track for the final phase of the session, Alessandro’s best time, a 1’32.669, saw him close in eighteenth place. During the afternoon’s second free practice, the Althea MIE Racing rider completed another sixteen laps but was unable to improve on his morning’s best time; he therefore rounded out day one in eighteenth place. Getting to grips with a new category, new bike and a new track this weekend, the step by step approach adopted by Alessandro and his team can only be the right one, the rider gradually increasing his confidence and feeling with the Honda.
The team will be back on track tomorrow for the third and final free practice, followed by the Superpole and then, at 3pm local time (CET +10), by the opening race of the 2019 season.
ALESSANDRO DEL BIANCO
It’s been a difficult day but, arriving in Superbike, this was to be expected of course. To be honest, it’s not easy without references, and I hoped to find someone who could give me a tow and help me get more of an idea as to the trajectories, but it didn’t happen. I’ve improved on the time I set during testing, yes, but I’d have liked to take another step this afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible but the laps I have completed will nevertheless help me in preparation for tomorrow’s race.