2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1 Results

Jonathan Rea Wins Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1 2016
Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea leads

Phillip Island is known for final-corner battles in the World Superbike Championship. Saturday’s opener of the 2016 FIM World Superbike Championship maintained that time-honored tradition with a nail biter of a race.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, the reigning WSBK champion, had the crowd in an uproar as he swiped the victory from Ducati’s Chaz Davies on the last lap of 22.

Piloting his ZX-10R Ninja, Rea overtook Davies with a daring outside pass, earning the 30th victory  of his WSBK career by a mere 0.063 seconds. Claiming the final podium in race 1 was Honda Racing’s Michael van der Mark, the 2014 World Supersport Champion (Honda).

Jonathan Rea says: “We expected to be strong because I am so lucky with Pere and my guys. I put all my trust in them, we made a strategy for the winter tests in November and it is clear that it worked. To be strong in the race, to control the race from the front at this track, is so difficult. I had a look every lap on the big screen at MG and I could see the size of the group at the front. It eventually dropped to four guys and in the end three.

“I put my head down with six laps to go and upped the pace but it was still ‘+0’ on my pit board. Then with three to go I made another push and Chaz was still there. I knew the only way to win the race was to close the door at MG, but he blew it completely wide open! I managed to stop the bike and fire it out. It was not a very pretty last sector but we won the race and have 25 points. I am really happy because all our work paid off.”

2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Results – Recap

Ducati Rider Chaz Davies at Austrialia WSBK 2016
Ducati’s Chaz Davies

This year, things are a bit different in World Superbike. Races will be held on Saturday and Sunday, instead of the double headers that we saw during previous years. And Superpole sees the top-20 riders from free practice 2 automatically enter the Superpole session.

But enough on the new schedules; let’s talk racing.

When race 1 at Phillip Island World Superbike began, Kawasaki Racing teammates Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes – the poleman – were nearly two wide through the southern loop, neither one relenting an inch, even off the starting line.

The top five came into formation with the Kawasaki’s ZX-10Rs up front. Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies propelled himself from a lonely ninth  place off the line and into the fight for the front positions. Early on in the race, the Davies’ teammate Davide Guigliano and Honda’s Van Der Mark rounded out the top five.

Once things began to settle, the rest of the field sorted itself out. Newcomer Lorenzo Savadori of Aprilia moved into the top 10, just behind the Yamaha YZF-R1 duo of Sylvain Guintoli, who led Phillip Island SBK Friday, and Alex Lowes. American favorite, the 2006 MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden (Honda Racing CBR1000RR), was also in the top 10. Sykes maintained the lead while the Ducati riders tried to manage Rea. A few times Van Der Mark was able to approach the situation, but had to fall back.

Rea struck for the lead, swiping it away from Sykes who seemed to have lost his pace and slowly fell back into position with Hayden, Lowes and Guintoli. The Aruba.it Ducati riders hashed it out with Van Der Mark as Rea held the lead.

Rea remained in the lead, but by a thin margin – behind, Davies Giguliano and van der Mark waited for the perfect moment to strike. Rea played it cool, but when the clock wound down, it was Davies who had made his way into second and turned up the heat on Rea.

On the final lap, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R pilot Davies made his move. Davies bore down on Rea from Lukey Heights and took the lead, only to lose it in the final turn. Two by two they rode in to a near photo finish but the Kawasaki rider was able to get the drive and claimed the season’s first victory.

Honda CBR1000RR rider Michael van der Mark at Phillip Island SBK 2016
Honda’s Michael van der Mark

Van Der Mark took home third place and tallied his fourth-career podium finish in his second season – quite commendable to say the least. Ducati’s Giugliano followed in fifth, while the 2014 WorldSBK champion Guintoli cinched claimed sixth, showing the world that the YZF R1 is more than hype – it’s a WSBK contender.

Seventh went to MV Agusta Reparto Corse pilot Leon Camier, who was followed by BMW’s Jordi Torres.  Hayden seemed to have lost a little steam in his first World SBK race, dropping down to finish ninth. Aussie and local Josh Brookes on the BMW S1000RR rounded out the top 10 after having troubles during qualifying.

Lowes DNF’d while making his rounds in the top 10, but  suffered no injuries; he’s expected to return on Monday

Saturday was quite the kick off with a closing lap that rivaled any title contending race. It also made for a diverse top ten, with six different manufactures filling in the blanks. It was more than action packed but will it continue to tomorrow? As always, keep your browsers open to Ultimate Motorcycling for the latest in World Superbike racing.

Read Phillip Island World Superbike Results, Race 2

2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Results: Race 1, Round 1:

1.Jonathan ReaGBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 22 laps
2. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +0.063s 
3. Michael van der Mark NED Honda Racing CBR1000RR +0.487s 
4. Davide Giugliano ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +0.647s 
5. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +3.429s 
6. Sylvain Guintoli FRA PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 +3.510s 
7. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta RC F4 RR +10.721s 
8. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW S1000RR +11.539s 
9. Nicky Hayden USA Honda Racing CBR1000RR +15.534s 
10. Josh Brookes AUS Milwaukee BMW S1000RR +23.239s 
11. Roman Ramos ESP GO Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R +23.411s 
12. Lorenzo Savadori ITA IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 +24.012s 
13. Karel Abraham CZE Althea BMW S1000RR +37.281s 
14. Mike Jones AUS Desmo Sport Ducati 1199R +44.720s
15. Sylvain Barrier FRA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +46.357s
16. Dominic Schmitter SUI Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 08.238s 
17. Saeed al Sulaiti QAT Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 08.299s 
18. Peter Sebesteyen HUN Team Toth Yamaha R1 +1m 30.771s 
19. Imre Toth HUN Team Toth Yamaha R1 +1 lap 
20. Markus Reiterberger GER Althea BMW S1000RR +1 lap 

DNF

21. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 16 laps completed
22. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati 1199R 12 laps completed 
23. Alex de Angelis RSM IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 2 laps completed

2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Race  1 Results, Photos: