Photo: BMW

WorldSBK: Philip Island ready for season opener

The World Superbike Championship makes a return this weekend at Philip Island in the early hours of the morning for UK viewers.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of this weekend’s racing.


Toprak Razgatlioglu might be starting life out with a new team, but he has settled in well after obliterating the lap record during pre-season testing in Jerez.

The Turkish rider has joined the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team from Pata Yamaha and spent the test trading fastest laps and lap records with Nicolo Bulega on the Ducati.


It was a challenging test for the Yamaha team, who welcomed six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea to the team to partner Andrea Locatelli.

The Northern Irish rider suffered a big crash at Turn 11, a high side coming through the corner. This definitely wasn’t ideal for Rea as he was already running down the field at this point and didn’t look overly comfortable as he left the medical centre.

With Rea down in 15th place at the end of the test, things look much better at the other side of the garage as Locatelli finished the running in third place.


Andrea Iannone usually goes well at Phillip Island. Still, very few expected him to be as far up the leaderboard as he was during the test, finishing in an impressive fourth overall. He was even at the top of the times at points and remained in the top five for most of the running.


This weekend’s racing at Philip Island will also feature a mandatory pit stop and tyre change based on information gathered during testing.

For the safety of the riders, rear tyres shouldn’t be used for more than 11 laps, while the race distance for the first two races has been reduced to 20 laps and two extra sets of tyres will be allocated for each rider to use.


Dodge will also provide the official car and official safety car of the World Superbikes Championship this season after the renowned American manufacturer agreed on a deal with the series.


11:20 am is when Free Practice gets underway in Australia, which means UK viewers will need to stay up past midnight to watch the action get underway at 12.20 am before Free Practice Two begins at 5 am in the UK, 4 pm local time.  Both of these sessions take place on Friday.


On Saturday the action continues with Free Practice Three getting underway at 10 am local time, 11 pm in the UK which will still be Friday night. Superpole follows at 2 am in the UK, 1 pm local time before the opening race of the season at 4 pm local time, 5 am in the UK.


Sunday will see two further races take place but the first is the warm-up at 11.30 pm in the UK, which is still the Saturday night, but 10.30 am in Australia. The Superpole race starts at 1 pm local time, 5 am in the UK before the third and final race of the weekend gets underway at 4 pm local time, 5 am in the UK.


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