Pre-season is all done and dusted for the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field as the final day of testing concluded at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia. The Official Test came to an end and ahead of the first round of the season – the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round – and it was Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who topped the times with a 1’30.272s in FP1 and he was focused on working for the weekend and with set-up high on his agenda, Bautista was in a class of his own.
It was another positive day for Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), as he was second in the morning session, having topped the corresponding session on Day 1. Running inside the top two for the majority of FP2 on day two, Locatelli continued working like he did on day one and was doing short race simulations throughout both two-hour sessions, finishing as the top Yamaha rider.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi took third place, with the 27-year-old Italian making strides once more and sporadically topping the timesheets throughout the day. After missing “some tenths” on day one, Rinaldi set his fastest time of the test in FP1, comfortably under the 2022 pole time.
Following a day of mixed feelings on day one, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was once again top Kawasaki rider taking fourth overall with his FP1 time being his best. He had a focus on making the bike manageable, with sector three being a weak point, whilst he also had late-race tyre life to continue working on too. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) had a relatively quiet day as he continued his search for improved rear grip, despite a good final run on the opening day. With race simulation being the call of the day, Razgatlioglu was fifth in FP1 but languished in tenth at the end of FP2, placing him sixth overall and third Yamaha.