Three manufacturers in the top three as the race is decided by a last-corner pass…
The opening Tissot Superpole Race of the season produced the same levels of drama as Race 1 with reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) taking victory from Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) with an ambitious overtake at the final corner. As the results of the top nine in the Superpole Race sets the grid for Race 2, Rea will start from pole position with Razgatlioglu in second with Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) completing the front row.
Rea’s race started as it did during Race 1 as he jumped from third to first, taking advantage of the inside line at Turn 1 to pass polesitter Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Once he got to the front, he was able to keep the lead throughout the majority of the ten-lap race as he withstood attacks from Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding.
Sykes was unable to convert his pole position into a podium finish in a similar story to yesterday’s race as he was passed by Redding on the second lap. Redding joined Rea and Razgatlioglu in the leading group as the trio tried to pull away from the chasing pack, with Redding looking to pass both Razgatlioglu and Rea in one corner. Although he was able to pass the Turkish rider, he made contact with Rea – both riders were able to continue.
On Lap 5, Razgatlioglu passed Redding into the fast right-hander of Turn 1 but Redding was able to re-pass him at Turn 2 as the battle between the pair continued. Rea was unable to check out up front though as both riders continued to push.
The five-time Champion led for the first eight laps of the race before Race 1 winner Razgatlioglu made a move on Rea to take the lead. The Turkish rider’s lead lasted for one corner as Rea was able to respond immediately and held on to the lead until the final lap.
Razgatlioglu made a move for the lead on the final lap and looked to hold on to make it two wins from two at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, but Rea had other ideas. As the trio of Razgatlioglu, Rea and Redding made it to the final corner, Razgatlioglu had a slight twitch on his bike. Rea took advantage of this as he overtook the Yamaha rider for the race win. All three were separated by 0.072s at the finish line
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished the race in fourth place so will start Race 2 from fourth on the grid, ahead of Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Team). Both riders finished the race where they started it in fourth and fifth respectively and will start in those positions from Race 2.
Polesitter Sykes finished the race in sixth place to secure a top nine start for Race 2, as he will start from sixth place ahead of top Independent Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in seventh. Baz had been fighting with the leading group in the early stages of the race and finishing within two seconds of Rea.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was another who finished where they started with eighth at the end of the race, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) completing the race in ninth place. Like Haslam, he started and finished in the top nine to secure a top nine gird slot for Race 2. Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) narrowly missed out on a top nine grid slot but became the first Chilean rider to secure a top 10 finish in WorldSBK history as he finished in tenth.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was ruled out of the remainder of the weekend after being diagnosed with concussion after a morning Warm Up crash. Along with Gerloff, Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was unable to take part in the race following his own crash in Warm Up while Leon Camier (Barni Racing Team) was declared unfit following Friday’s action.
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.067
- Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.072
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.205
- Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +1.088
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +1.631
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