Phillip Island WSBK: Rea takes Superpole race win
Jonathan Rea rebounded from his disastrous start to the new World Superbike season by winning the Superpole race at Phillip Island.
After crashing out of Saturday's opening race following contact with former teammate Tom Sykes on the first lap, Rea once again grabbed the advantage off the line, jumping into the lead heading into Turn 1 ahead of Race 1 winner Toprak Razgatlioglu.
The Kawasaki rider maintained his advantage until the penultimate lap, surviving an attack from the Ducati of Scott Redding at Honda corner on lap four of 10 as the British Superbike champion found a way past Razgatlioglu for second place.
Razgatlioglu re-emerged as Rea's main challenger three laps later, passing Redding at Honda, and then repeating the move on lap nine to clear Rea for the top spot.
Rea responded heading into the Hayshed to wrest back the lead, only for Razgatlioglu to re-pass at Honda on the final lap.
But the five-time champion was able to duck underneath his Yamaha rival at the very last corner and pick up his first win of the season by just 0.067 seconds, with Redding again completing the podium a further five thousandths behind in third.
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Alex Lowes was fourth on the second Kawasaki, shadowing the leading trio for much of the race without ever getting involved in the lead fight, finishing 0.205s behind Rea.
Yamaha man Michael van der Mark was fifth ahead of BMW rider Sykes and the Ten Kate Yamaha of Loris Baz, the top seven split by 1.8 seconds.
Leon Haslam recovered to eighth having been relegated to last on the all-new factory Honda on the first lap, while the final point went to Michael Ruben Rinaldi (GoEleven Ducati) in ninth.
Chaz Davies finished outside of the points in 13th on the second works Ducati, having sustained damage during a first-lap incident with Haslam.
Alvaro Bautista was 16th and last of the finishers following an early crash at Siberia and a trip to the pits that left him three laps down on the second Honda.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Eugene Laverty (BMW) were both ruled out of action by crashes in warm-up and neither will take part in Sunday afternoon's final race.
|1||1|| Jonathan Rea ||Kawasaki||10|
|2||54|| Toprak Razgatlioglu ||Yamaha||10||0.067|
|3||45|| Scott Redding ||Ducati||10||0.072|
|4||22|| Alex Lowes ||Kawasaki||10||0.205|
|5||60|| Michael van der Mark ||Yamaha||10||1.088|
|6||66|| Tom Sykes ||BMW||10||1.631|
|7||76|| Loris Baz ||Yamaha||10||1.849|
|8||91|| Leon Haslam ||Honda||10||7.145|
|9||21|| Michael Ruben Rinaldi ||Ducati||10||7.219|
|10||77|| Maximilian Scheib ||Kawasaki||10||7.433|
|11||11|| Sandro Cortese ||Kawasaki||10||9.678|
|12||12|| Xavi Fores ||Kawasaki||10||10.744|
|13||7|| Chaz Davies ||Ducati||10||11.124|
|14||64|| Federico Caricasulo ||Yamaha||10||31.961|
|15||13|| Takumi Takahashi ||Honda||10||36.341|
|16||19|| Alvaro Bautista ||Honda||7|
|View full results|
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Phillip Island WSBK: Lowes holds off Rea to win finale