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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Track analysis: Phil Maron outlines the keys to Phillip Island

The final round of the 2022 season of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship takes place at the Phillip Island track, one of everyone’s favorite events in the paddock. The sun and coastal climate make it a traditionally excellent start to the Championships, but this year the event presents new challenges as competitors face freezing temperatures and the threat of rain. As our MotoGP colleagues know, Phillip Island can go through all four seasons in a single day during the Australian spring and now, heading into round 12, that’s exactly what WorldSBK will have to deal with.

Driving is important: natural twist and different brake discs for Australia

The last time we visited Phillip Island was at the start of the 2020 season, when COVID-19 had not yet emerged. No one in the paddock knew how much things would change over the next three years and the same could be said for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRICS WorldSBK). The Turkish star was making his Yamaha debut that weekend and surprised everyone by winning Race 1. A lot has changed since then, and hat trick Toprak signed in Indonesia last weekend, which was a good reminder of the change he too has gone through since then.

Phil Marrone, the Turkish rider’s crew chief at Pata Yamaha, gave us his thoughts on the 4.4km circuit and the challenges the teams face this weekend: “We’ve only come here with Yamaha in 2020”, Irish coach says. “It was Toprak’s first outing on the bike, but it went well for us. On this track you need a bike that has natural cornering that can take turns when you’re up to speed. It’s such a fast and fluid track that You need to change the bike and build it specifically for this round. We’ll try to keep the front end a little lower and the rear end a little higher to help with that.

“While it’s about building a bike that handles well, you also need a bike that can stop in slow corners. They’re not aggressive zones with hard braking, but in Miller Corner and Turn 10 You should be able to brake it well in. Here we will try to use smaller brake disc, 336mm one and not 338.5mm one, because we want to reduce gyroscopic effect by using higher mass brake disc The goal is to make the bike easier to turn into corners. High speed”.

Tyres: how to manage them and the possibility of racing in the wet

Traditionally, the biggest challenge at Phillip Island is managing the extremely high track temperatures in summer. With cooler air and lower ambient temperatures, this won’t be a problem this weekend, but Maron still believes proper tire management will be a big factor in deciding the outcome of the race.

“This weekend the track temperatures will be a little cooler than what we’re used to here. That should mean we’ll have an easier time on the rear tire this weekend with the SC1 rear compound. It could mean is that this year the rear tire is less stressed, especially on the left. The hardest corners for the left hander are ‘Stoner’, ‘Siberia’ and the final sector. There is a lot of stress in the tire as they are long corners which are very high on that side Let’s put the heat in. We’ll probably have some wet sessions this weekend so it will be interesting to see how the wet tire reacts as we don’t have a lot of experience in the wet.

PLATE LOSS #1: Time to get it back in 2023…

After handing the title to Alvaro Bautista and Ducati last weekend, Yamaha will head into the closing stages of the season focused on trying to finish the campaign well and win races. Winter is always a time for self-evaluation and recharging your strength and ammunition for the coming year. For Maron and Razgatlioglu, it is clear that the objective of the next course will be to reclaim the scepter.

“Congratulations to Alvaro and Ducati because they have been very strong and consistent this year. We have had too many scoreless races this season, and that was after taking too long to get going. How is Toprak driving and how is the team performing? It’s hard not to be happy with what she’s doing, so we’ll give her another chance next year!

Watch the 2022 Australian Round for FREE by subscribing to a 2023 WorldSBK VideoPass now!

World Nation News Desk
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