Andrea Locatelli tops the first practice of 2024 WorldSBK at Phillip Island

Andrea Locatelli tops the first practice of 2024 WorldSBK at Phillip Island

Andrea Locatelli topped the first competitive session of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship season after breaking the official lap record at Phillip Island.

Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli outperformed the Lowes brothers in the first free practice session of 2024 WorldSBK at Phillip Island as several riders set incredible lap times despite wet track conditions.

The Italian set a new record of 1m 29.197 seconds following a late push. This was good enough to place him a tenth of a second ahead of second-place finisher Alex Lowes, as his rookie brother Sam Lowes came in third place.

Nothing happened on the track for the first forty-five minutes as light drizzle turned into a heavy downpour. However, the sun later appeared between the clouds drying the track as the windy conditions drove the clouds away, and a few riders recorded some amazing lap times.

With 20–15 minutes left, the riders got back into the swing of things as the freshly asphalted track dried. The final stretch of the session saw a flurry of activity as every rider crossed the finish line with a new personal best, changing the timesheets perpetually.

For a while, however, it appeared as though the result would fit well on the Lowes family album as Sam, who is making his debut this weekend with Marc VDS Racing, surged to the top of the timesheets before Alex on the Kawasaki pushed him back to second.

In fact, Alex outpaced his brother by a whole 0.4 seconds on the ZX-10RR, and his time of 1m 29.303 seconds seemed more than sufficient to edge out other contenders. Locatelli, however, would put an end to the Lowes’ dominance as his final lap was sufficient to place his Pata PROMETEON Yamaha at the top of the timesheets.

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Locatelli’s performance was noteworthy because he emerged as one of only three riders to snap into the 1m 28secs bracket during the same Tuesday session, although it was still about 0.9s slower than Toprak Razgatlioglu’s best effort during testing earlier this week.

Remy Gardner leveraged his local expertise to secure fourth place for Yamaha, beating Ducati’s Andrea Iannone who is making a return to racing after four years.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi joined Lowes and Iannone after coming in sixth place, bringing the factory Ducati contingent to a halt as Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista had to settle for seventh and eighth.

Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter finished ninth, making up for missing two rounds of pre-season testing. Razgatlioglu, who returned late to the track played it safe and finished tenth fastest leading the BMW pack.

Jonathan Rea who is recovering from a leg injury suffered in a testing incident finished in 12th place as fellow British riders Scott Redding finished in 15th place, Bradley Ray in 19th and Tarran Mackenzie in 22nd.

2024 WorldSBK Phillip Island Free Practice 1 Results

PosRiderNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 29.197
2Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.303
3Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.717
4Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 29.755
5Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.885
6Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.924
7Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.949
8Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.034
9Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 30.350
10Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.354
11Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.455
12Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 30.495
13Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R11m 30.752
14Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.808
15Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.896
16Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.004
17Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 31.030
18Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 31.437
19Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R11m 31.443
20Iker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.682
21Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 32.404
22Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 32.416
23Adam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 33.862

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