Rea denies Davies again in Phillip Island WSBK
Jonathan Rea has swept the opening round of the World Superbikes Championship after yet another frenetic battle at Phillip Island.
Rea figured at the front for much of the 22-lap race despite starting ninth, eventually pipping Chaz Davies by 0.03s after beating his British compatriot by only 0.04s the day before.
Xavi Fores won the start but led only as far as the Turn 4 Hairpin before running wide and letting Alex Lowes (factory Yamaha) and Eugene Laverty (factory-supported Aprilia) past.
The Barni Racing Ducati rider regained the lead on the third lap as Lowes was shuffled back by Fores, Laverty, and Rea to fourth.
Rea, who had made light work of his ninth place starting berth under the new Race 2 grid format, took the lead off Fores three laps later.
Davies then took advantage of a slight Fores error to move into second on Lap 7.
The factory Ducati rider passed Rea’s factory Kawasaki on Lap 9 and enjoyed a relatively long five-lap spell at the front.
That was until Rea and Melandri slipstreamed past in one fell swoop, and the latter led for the first time a lap later on Lap 15.
The slingshot move into Doohan Corner was popular again, Rea regaining the lead there on Lap 20 and Davies on Lap 21.
However, Rea turned the tables at the same corner on the final lap and held on for a perfect start to his title defence, having also taken pole the day prior.
Melandri made it two factory Ducatis on the podium after passing Lowes on the final lap.
Fores faded to fifth, while Australian Josh Brookes bounced back from a Saturday DNF to finish 12th.
Ant West finished on the final step of the podium in an incident-packed World Supersport race.
The Yamaha rider started from 21st but scythed his way through the field, while Robbie Rolfo beat Lucas Mahias in a photo finish.
Of the other Australians, Aiden Wagner and Lachlan Epis both realised personal best results in seventh and tenth, respectively.
The World Superbikes Championship continues in Buriram, Thailand from March 10 to 12.
Race 2: Results
|1||J. REA||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||33’52.785|
|2||C. DAVIES||GBR||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati||Ducati Panigale R||22||0.025|
|3||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati||Ducati Panigale R||22||0.249|
|4||A. LOWES||GBR||Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team||Yamaha YZF R1||22||0.956|
|5||X. FORÉS||ESP||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati Panigale R||22||2.320|
|6||T. SYKES||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||4.781|
|7||M. VAN DER MARK||NED||Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team||Yamaha YZF R1||22||7.307|
|8||L. CAMIER||GBR||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta 1000 F4||22||9.756|
|9||L. SAVADORI||ITA||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia RSV4 RF||22||11.135|
|10||E. LAVERTY||IRL||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia RSV4 RF||22||20.123|
|11||A. DE ANGELIS||RSM||Pedercini Racing SC-Project||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||25.799|
|12||J. BROOKES||AUS||ERMotorsport-EliteRoads.com.au||Yamaha YZF R1||22||25.879|
|13||M. REITERBERGER||GER||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW S 1000 RR||22||25.917|
|14||R. RAMOS||ESP||Team Kawasaki Go Eleven||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||26.292|
|15||S. BRADL||GER||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR||22||28.440|
|16||R. KRUMMENACHER||SUI||Kawasaki Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||33.679|
|17||O. JEZEK||CZE||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22||1’13.561|
|DNF||N. HAYDEN||USA||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR||8||14 Laps|
|DNF||A. BADOVINI||ITA||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||7||15 Laps|
|DNF||R. RUSSO||ITA||Guandalini Racing||Yamaha YZF R1||2||20 Laps|
|DNF||J. TORRES||ESP||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW S 1000 RR||0|
|8||MICHAEL VAN DER MARK||NED||16|
|12||ALEX DE ANGELIS||RSM||7|