Reigning British Superbike Champion and WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding topped the wet first practice of the 2020 season, going a second faster than Loris Baz with Leon Haslam in third place.
Redding is no stranger to the Phillip Island circuit having ridden there during his Grand Prix career and it showed as he set the pace with a 1’41.195 on the Aruba Ducati Panigale V4R.
Ten Kate Yamaha’s Baz had led on the 2020 R1 but the Frenchman’s best of 1’42.204 was more than a second slower than his fellow ex-MotoGP star.
Haslam, another ex-GP rider and BSB champion, took his Honda Fireblade to third with a 1’42.268 to push old friend Alex Lowes, who makes his competitive debut on the works Kawasaki this weekend, back into fourth place.
BMW’s Tom Sykes, champion back in 2013, led the show briefly but slipped back to fifth place on a 1’43.290 while reigning WorldSBK king Jonathan Rea finished in sixth place but only did four laps, one more than Sykes.
American Garrett Gerloff finished his first-ever session in seventh place, one ahead of the still-struggling Alvaro Bautista with Max Shieb in ninth.
Federico Caricasulo took his GRT Yamaha to tenth, one ahead of Takumi Takahashi who suffered a breakdown early on but came back to finish 11th. Eugene Laverty and Xavi Fores were the last riders to bother with the rest preferring to stay dry.