The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has welcomed a new name, Japanese Tetsuta Nagashima, during the Grand Ridge Brewery round in Australia. Substituting for Iker Lecuona following Valencia’s injury in Indonesia, Nagashima impressed on his first day of WorldSBK action, finishing sixth in the combined standings and finishing as Honda’s standout rider on Friday’s finish in Australia.
Nagashima completed 19 laps in FP1 aboard the CBR1000RR-R and finished that session just 0.010sec ahead of his teammate Xavi Vierge, ninth and tenth respectively. The Japanese pilot’s best time came on his final lap, with a 1’32.964.
Nagashima, who raced for Team HRC with Lecuona at this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours and contributed to the team’s success, improved by one-tenth of a second in FP2 to finish that session in sixth place, also in the combined classification. Stay at the same place. Nagashima’s best time came at the start of his third run, when he posted a time of 1’31.869.
Talking about his great start in WorldSBK, Nagashima said at the end of the day: “I didn’t expect this! I expected to suffer a bit more because it’s my first time in WorldSBK and it’s with Pirelli tyres. It was my first time. It’s very tough, but it’s not bad to have a sixth best time. I have MotoGP experience here and I think the bike is a bit more difficult. It should be a bit easier when I ride a superbike goes as I have experience with the Suzuka 8 hours and know this bike very well. I just need to adjust to the Pirelli tyres, but it has been good. I still have to improve for the race as it is a 22 It’s a long lap. My average lap time is not that good, I can still improve a lot. Let’s enjoy the race. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I’ll try my best and maybe That I can smile after the race.”
Nagashima has been the leading Honda driver in both FP1 and FP2 with ninth and sixth places respectively. Virg was behind him in FP1, but eight places behind in the combined standings, having finished 14th on the first day. At a circuit where he raced in MotoGP just over a month ago, can Nagashima continue this strong form in Saturday’s race and make an immediate impact on Sunday and the championship?
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