The dust settles… Find out what was said after the opening round!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 11:44 GMT

Champagne, knives to gunfights, walks in the park and a whole load of other top quotes from the opening round of the WorldSBK Championship!

“What is winning? For me it’s the feeling that you can do anything, the smell of champagne that I had missed so much and the feeling that, at that moment, you’re the best at what you do.”

Record-breaker, history-maker and WorldSBK race winner: Alvaro Bautista’s superb performance at Phillip Island has been something of a wake-up call to the rest of the field. Having enjoyed a stunning battle with Jonathan Rea in the Tissot Superpole Race, nobody saw what way the 34-year-old went in Race 1 or 2, cruising home with more than 12 seconds to spare in both. His quote of being “capable of everything” rings true, as he demonstrated a phenomenal ability. However, it also suggests that his rivals should find a way to stop him before it is too late.

“We took a knife to a gunfight” – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

A disgruntled Jonathan Rea made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of not winning, as the four-time champion said that his team took a “knife to a gunfight” as Alvaro Bautista dominated the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, talking to However, Rea was not gaining the support of his rivals, with Alex Lowes’ (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) response on Twitter being one of the most popular. With Jonathan Rea’s seemingly controversial analogy, the reigning champion has found himself severely on the back-foot and rivals don’t seem too sympathetic. The tides are starting to change in the standings and the most successful WorldSBK rider EVER is not a fan.

“Competing in the World Championship is not a walk in the park” – Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

Markus Reiterberger made a pleasant return to the WorldSBK Championship this year and has shown glimpses of strong pace already. The reigning European Superstock 1000 Champion didn’t have the most standout of performances at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit but admitted that “competing in the World Championship is not a walk in the park.” With 11 race winners, over national or international championships won and one of the toughest WorldSBK grids ever, Reiterberger’s statement is a very true one indeed.

“No words needed” – Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK)

The former 250cc World Champion started his 2019 WorldSBK campaign off in great manner. The all-new GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team achieved a podium in their first ever race, thanks to Marco Melandri’s great race craft in Race 1. Starting in a positive way is just what the Italian needed, as well as WorldSBK enjoying the success of a new team from the word go! Melandri may well be making more headlines as the season rumbles on.

“Definitely made progress” – Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea HONDA Racing)

Leon Camier’s 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship may not have started in the most glamourous of manners but he insists that he made good progress throughout the weekend. His Tissot Superpole time on Saturday afternoon would have placed him on the front row last year, such is the pace that the WorldSBK Championship has moved on in. Keep an eye on Leon for the remainder of the 2019 season, particularly in Thailand, where reports suggest the Honda CBR1000RR has been endlessly testing.

Big statements, hard battles and fierce rivalry are set to continue at the Pirelli Thai Round, where you can watch it with our WorldSBK VideoPass!