Zulfahmi returns to his Kawasaki ZX-6R from Orelac Racing VerdNatura team
0.001 seconds faster than 2016 WSSP Champion, Kenan Sofuoglu--Innity--
Out of the 26 riders that went out during the WorldSSP Free Practise 1 session, our hometown hero Zulfahmi Khairuddin managed to secure the fifth fastest position this morning. The testing session was however cut short due to heavy rain conditions. Zulfahmi only managed to complete 11 laps before the weather turned against them.
The highlight of the testing session was on Jules Cluzel, the Frenchman from the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda outfit. With his Honda CBR600RR, he managed to clock a 1:35.365; almost 0.9 seconds faster than the current WorldSSP Champion, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Although Sofuoglu only managed to set the sixth fastest time of the session, it was impressive considering that it was his first time on the bike following an injury during the winter.
The FP2 session did not see much improvement due to the wet conditions of the track. Only 15 riders went out before deciding that the track wasn’t anywhere close to perfect to set quick lap times. The combined practise times saw Roberto Rolfo from Team Factory Vamag as the second faster rider with a time of 1:35.559 on board his MV Agusta F3 675. Kyle Smith from GEMAR Team Lorini completed the top three by finishing over half a second behind Rolfo.
The other CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider, Hikari Okubo, completed the day in fourth with a time of 1:36.187. Okubo was only 0.076 seconds faster than our homeboy, Zulfahmi Khairuddin. The Malaysian rider managed to complete the Phillip Island circuit with a time of 1:36.263, just 0.001 seconds faster than Turkish rider, Sofuoglu.
The second session of testing will resume again today. Stay tuned to Bikes Republic for more updates.
PHOTO SOURCE: WorldSBK