2017 Phillip Island World Superbike Race 2 Results from Australia
Regardless of the 2017 World Superbike rule change that places the race-one winner in position 9 for the start of race 2, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea’s came out on top. The Northern Irishman wouldn’t take the lead until lap 17 of 22, and fought hard to claim the double at Phillip Island in Australia.
Piloting the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, the 30-year-old Northern Irishman finished a mere 0.025 of a second ahead of Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who also earned second during Saturday’s race one at Phillip Island.
Claiming third after 22 laps on Sunday was Davies new teammate, Marco Melandri. The Italian, who crashed out of race one with 8 laps to go, finished race two 0.249 of a second behind Rea.
With his win, Rea has 40-career SBK wins, and is now fourth overall for most World SBK wins; Carl Fogarty leads with 59, followed by Troy Bayliss (52) and Noriyuki Haga (43).
“Phillip Island was really rewarding and to win two last lap battles here means a lot because it is a such a hard track to lead from the front on. While that 40th career victory means a lot it is more important to put a good score on the board for round one,” Rea says.
“When I went through to clean air in the lead with three or four to go I was worried that the other riders may be learning too much about the bike. I had to be sure just to change the lines up a little bit but on the last lap, from Siberia corner onwards, I just put my head down and completed a very good back section. I covered my line into the MG hairpin and got myself tucked in as well as I could on the front straight. There was not only one area where we found some pace in the winter tests; we generally just polished the bike. Nothing magic happened but I feel good about this bike. The way things have changed a little bit have suited me. I can ride less on the limit and we have more tire left to fight with at the end of races, compared to last year.”
Davies, who finished third overall in 2016 World Superbike behind the Kawasaki duo of Rea and Tom Sykes, put in another stellar performance, just missing out on victory aboard the Ducati Panigale R.
“Today’s race was a bit more difficult to manage, given the hotter conditions. The glass is half full though, without a doubt. We tried something different but we lost a a couple of bike lengths here and there and we just couldn’t pass Rea before the finish line,” Davies says.
“When you look at the full picture, this is a really positive result. It would be easy to be disappointed because we barely missed two wins, but historically this has never been a favorite circuit for me and sometimes I lost precious points here, so two second places are a good building block for the rest of the season.”
As for Melandri, the Italian was briefly outside of the top 10, but climbed his way back to a podium position.
“It was a really touch race today. I got a good start but lost positions in the traffic early on, so I had to push hard to climb back, asking a lot to both myself and the tires,” Melandri says.
“When I took the lead, I tried to impose my own rhythm but it turned out not to be the right move. With three laps to go, when Rea and Davies gave the final push, I was struggling with grip and couldn’t attack them. Still, we needed a full race to understand where to improve, and a podium shows that we’re working in the right direction with the whole team.”
Barni Racing Team Ducati’s Xavi Fores finished fourth, followed by the 2013 World SBK Champion Tom Sykes. Rounding out the top 10 were Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Michael van der Mark, MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier, and the Milwuakee Aprilia RSV4 team of Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty.
As for the sole American in 2017 World Superbike, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden crashed out with 14 laps to go. Also crashing out were Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) and Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team).
With his win, Rea has a perfect 50 points after one of 13 rounds. He leads Davies by 10 points, and 24 ahead of Sykes. The series continues March 10-12 at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.
2017 Phillip Island World Superbike Race 2 Results:
|1||Jonathan Rea||65||GBR||25||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||33’52.785|
|2||Chaz Davies||7||GBR||20||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+0.025|
|3||Marco Melandri||33||ITA||16||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+0.249|
|4||Alex Lowes||22||GBR||13||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+0.956|
|5||Xavi Fores||12||SPA||11||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati||+2.320|
|6||Tom Sykes||66||GBR||10||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+4.781|
|7||Michael van der Mark||60||NDL||9||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+7.307|
|8||Leon Camier||2||GBR||8||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta||+9.756|
|9||Lorenzo Savadori||32||ITA||7||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+11.135|
|10||Eugene Laverty||50||GBR||6||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+20.123|
|11||Alex De Angelis||15||RSM||5||Pedercini Racing SC-Project||Kawasaki||+25.799|
|13||Markus Reiterberger||21||GER||3||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+25.917|
|14||Román Ramos||40||SPA||2||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki||+26.292|
|15||Stefan Bradl||6||GER||1||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||+28.440|
|16||Randy Krummenacher||15||SWI||0||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki||+33.679|
|17||Ondrej Jezek||37||CZE||0||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|NC||Nicky Hayden||69||USA||0||Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||DNF|
|NC||Ayrton Badovini||86||ITA||0||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||DNF|
|NC||Riccardo Russo||84||ITA||0||Guandalini Racing||Yamaha||DNF|
|NC||Jordi Torres||81||SPA||0||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||DNF|