Phillip Island, the name alone brings to mind one of the most famous and historic tracks in WorldSBK. The first race of the season, in Australia, is now tradition; here the 2024 season opens among the ups and downs surrounded by the Ocean, creating breathtaking views. For Team Go Eleven, debuting with Andrea Iannone in the saddle is a further stimulus and motivation; Over the years, Phillip Island has given the rider from Vasto some great satisfaction with moments that have remained imprinted in the minds of all the fans.

The Australian week begins with great uncertainty due to the tires not arriving on the circuit; Unfortunately, due to the delicate international situation, the containers that were supposed to deliver the Pirelli materials were severely delayed, forcing teams and riders to change plans. Just one day of testing, on Tuesday, instead of two, 8 hours divided into two shifts of 4 each. The work on the track, however, was facilitated and carried out regularly thanks to the good weather and a rather mild climate, which allowed the last day of pre-season testing to be fully exploited. Andrea Iannone found himself at ease with the bike right from the first laps, so much so that during the morning he alternated several times at the top of the standings with Bulega, finishing in second place and showing an excellent race pace. In the afternoon the conditions changed slightly, the wind picked up and the temperature of the asphalt altered the grip conditions on the track. In terms of long-distance pace, number twenty-nine seems to have found good consistency without putting too much stress on the tyres, but what remains the most difficult issue to untangle is qualifying. By fitting the soft tyres, the bike suddenly seems difficult to ride, so much so that it is slower and does not provide the right feeling to the rider. To demonstrate this, the Best Lap of the day came with SC 1, the hardest solution here on the island. The work starting from Friday will be concentrated in the time attack direction; with three starts, the Superpole and a good starting grid count for a lot.

An important issue at the end of Day 1 is the very high tire wear, with the drivers having to manage the tires well over the long distance, and possible twists on the duration of the race cannot be ruled out. Little curiosity, Andrea Iannone has already done his best lap ever at Phillip Island, being almost four tenths faster than with the MotoGP four years ago.

Australia Test – Combined Results:
P 1   T. Razgatlioglu   1.28.511
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.074
P 3   A. Locatelli   + 0.24
P 4   A. Iannone   + 0.490

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“It was nice to get back on track at Phillip Island after a long time, it’s always a very pleasant and fun track. We worked but we need to understand the tyre situation better. We still have to analyze the datas in depth to make more specific assessments but certainly in some aspects we have a good feeling, but on some others I’m still struggling a bit. However, the balance is positive, we’re off to a good start.”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):

“Despite the logistical difficulties I have to thank Pirelli for being able to provide us with everything we needed to carry out the test today, the guys did a great job with very little time available. 70% of the work we had planned before leaving from home, we managed to turn it into practice. Andrea is getting to know the feedback of the tyres better and better, very different from the ones he used in Motogp, and it takes some time to be able to exploit them, but the work and harmony inside of the garage is nice, we work well and we grow together. As in the last test in Portimao, we lack a bit of performance with the soft tyre, while with the hard one, even with many laps, we are quite fast. It was a very interesting test, now the games are over and from Friday we’ll start the very hard work!”