Reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu posted second best time in the final day of official pre-race tests, after setting 116 laps in total. His fastest lap of 1’33.384 seconds was well under the existing lap record, which bodes well for the race on Sunday 24th February.
Third fastest rider on show, in a field of 35 competitors, was Fabien Foret, Kenan’s team-mate, who found a strong set-up late in the tests and made good use of it. The resurfaced Phillip Island race circuit took some getting used to for all riders, as it is much smoother than the previous surface.
A positive performance from Kawasaki riders in general put the Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres riders into the top ten in the combined two-day times, with David Salom securing fifth spot and his team-mate Luca Scassa going tenth.
Vladimir Ivanov, from the DMC–Lorenzini team, was impressed by the speed and usability of his new bike on his return to Supersport racing, and he was 13th.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “Things look quite good, we have a very fast race pace and I did not see any other riders who are better than this for many laps. Every session we are improving the bike and we have had some tyre issues but we kept working and this afternoon I did a 20-lap run and I am very confident that the bike is ready. We have some small things to fix still but we have two days to improve. I am happy with this test because we have a new team and every time out we improve the bike and improve the team. I am more and more happy with the team.”
Fabien Foret: “We are two and three on the time sheets for our new team and I feel not so bad on the bike now. We took some decisions in set-up and they were the right ones. I enjoyed my bike at the end of the session and I pushed a little bit, but always under control. The race is on Sunday and I think we have a good pace to start the race weekend. It is going to be tough tyre-wise in the heat but it is the same situation for everyone.”
David Salom: “I am pleased with the job the team is doing. I am very happy with the suspension but we need a little bit more power. We have a fresh engine for Friday so it should be faster. We used a soft tyre in a long run, we did 21-laps and the times were good. I did not get the chance to put in a new soft tyre and go for a fast lap time. I think maybe I can improve by around five or six tenths.”
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