Yamaha Field Strong Line Up For WorldSSP Season Opener in Phillip Island
The Yamaha supported teams contesting the 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship are all ready to get their title challenges underway this weekend in Phillip Island, after a strong preseason testing program in Europe and Australia.
The Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP squad, for whom Sandro Cortese was racing when he won the WorldSSP title in 2018, return for the new season with Thomas Gradinger, Isaac Viñales and Loris Cresson.
Also expanding for 2019 is the GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP team, who will field an all-French line up of Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari, while the Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP team will also field a revised rider line up this season, with Federico Caricasulo signed to race alongside Randy Krummenacher.
In the final preseason WorldSSP test in Australia, it was Krummenacher who dominated, topping the timesheet with an advantage of just two-tenths over his teammate, Caricasulo.
Cluzel was the first of the GMT94 Yamaha riders on the timesheet at the Phillip Island test. The Frenchman ended the two days in fourth position, just one-tenth ahead of his teammate Corentin Perolari in fifth.
Gradinger was the fastest of the three Kallio Racing Yamaha riders at the final preseason test, which he ended in ninth position, ahead of Vinales in 12th and Cresson in 15th.
Krummenacher goes into this weekend’s opening round in Phillip Island determined to get his 2019 campaign off to a flying start. The Swiss rider finished on the podium in Australia 12 months ago but is confident that this season he is better prepared than ever to challenge for the championship from the start.
However, the Swiss rider will face tough competition at Phillip Island, in what is always a closely contested class. Cluzel, three times a WorldSSP Vice-Champion, heads into the weekend equally determined to secure maximum points in the opening race of the season.
The 2019 Supersport World Championship gets underway with free practice on Friday, with lights out for the first race of the season at 13.15 local time on Sunday.
Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP
"I am going into the Phillip Island weekend feeling confident because this is our second year with the Yamaha YZF-R6 and we're better prepared than ever. I feel really strong after the test here. Obviously the goal is to go out on Sunday and win the race, but then I think this is a goal shared by many other fast riders on the grid! It won't be easy, especially here, where the tyres play such an important part in the race. But we've worked hard to prepare everything during testing, so I'm feeling confident ahead of the weekend."
GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP
"I'm excited to get the season started, but we still need to try a few things on Friday during practice, to confirm what we found at the test here. Fourth in the test was good, but the target is to improve further this weekend and challenge for the podium in the first race of the season. This is a special circuit, one at which we cannot really decide the base set up of the bike, so I think the season will only really start at the next race. The target this weekend is to leave here with the maximum amount of points possible, so we're in a strong position to challenge for the ultimate goal of winning the championship."