DesmoSport Ducati took to Sydney Motorsport Park over the weekend, alongside a host of a host of ASBK-regulars, as the first test in preparation for the 2023 Australian Superbike Championship. With two nights of racing and a track day in between, the team set about supporting Broc Pearson as he learns the circuit, while also working to dial in the Panigale V4 R.
Team co-owner, Ben Henry: “The last time we raced in Sydney, it was on the Panigale 1299 Final Edition when we won the championship, so we’ve never actually turned any laps here on the Panigale V4 R. It’s a challenge for us, but one that’s actually pretty enjoyable. Broc dropped over 3 seconds a lap from his initial session on Friday night to his final race on Saturday night which is a fantastic result. We still have some work to do to drop around a second on the lap time to match the leaders, but we focussed on building Broc‘s confidence as he learnt the track and we’ll continue on that path when we return here for the two-day ASBK official test in February.”
Team co-owner, Troy Bayliss: “Oli is home and Broc needs some track time on the bike, so we decided to race the St George Summer Series with both boys. Broc on the Panigale V4 R and Oli on Ben’s Panigale V2. It’s a really fun, fast race series and I think they had some fun racing each other again to be honest. With Broc, we’re taking things slowly, spending time on the basics to better understand how he gives feedback, and how the team needs to react to improve the bike for him.”
Broc Pearson: “I’ve never ridden a superbike at Sydney Motorsport Park, so I had a bit of learning to do, but I’m really happy with the progress we made this weekend. The team is taking a step-by-step approach that’s working really well as I get comfortable around the track. There’s a new direction with the electronic setup and I’m really just learning the impact of each change as I give the guys the feedback to make the bike easier to ride fast. In the end, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and it’s great to be back on the bike. It was great to share the garage again with Oli and just like old times, I had him covered.”
DesmoSport Ducati now head directly to Phillip Island today and tomorrow for an additional two-day test to prepare for the opening round of the ASBK alongside WorldSBK on February 24 to 26.
2023 Australian Superbike Championship