Motul FIM Superbike World Championship
Yamaha Finance Australian Round
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
March 1, 2020
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
- Alex Lowes, UK (Kawasaki), 22 laps, 34:04.327, 107.473 mph
- Jonathan Rea, Northern Ireland-UK (Kawasaki), -0.037 second
- Scott Redding, UK (Ducati), -0.849
- Michael van der Mark, Holland (Yamaha), -1.784 seconds
- Chaz Davies, UK (Ducati), -4.278
- Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Honda), -4.322
- Max Scheib, Chile (Kawasaki), -4.829
- Loris Baz, France (Yamaha), -6.172
- Sandro Cortese, Germany (Kawasaki), -11.057
- Tom Sykes, UK (BMW), -17.204
- Xavi Fores, Spain (Kawasaki), -33.338
- Leon Haslam, UK (Honda), -33.779
- Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Ducati), – 8 laps, DNF, crash
- Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Yamaha), -3 laps, DNF, mechanical
- Federico Caricasulo, Italy (Yamaha), -12 laps, DNF, crash
- Takumi Takahashi, Japan (Honda), -17 laps, DNF, retired
World Championship Point Standings (after 3 of 39 races):
- Lowes, 51 points
- Redding, 39
- Razgatlioglu, 34
- Rea, 32
- Van Der Mark, 31
- Bautista, 20
- Baz, 20
- Davies, 19
- Haslam, 17
- Sykes, 17
- Scheib, 10
- Cortese, 10
- Rinaldi, 7
- Fores, 5
- Laverty, 5
- Caricasulo, 4
- Gerloff, 2
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
P1 – Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I feel fantastic. Been a great first weekend with the team. The race was tricky because the temperatures were so high, it made the grip quite low. But I really enjoyed it! I needed to be patient all throughout the race because people were banging into me, hitting me wide. Baz hit me a few times, then Toprak, then Michael. Fun racing but it was hard to find a rhythm, I was back in 8th then Baz came past me, Alvaro came past me. All the time I felt quite strong on the bike. I was focussed on being smooth, looking after the tyre and coming forward at the end. The plan paid off, it doesn’t always happen like that. Really happy to get my first win with Kawasaki Racing Team, I’m going to enjoy it tonight before recharging my batteries for Qatar.”
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“Race 2 was strange because I didn’t do 22 laps yesterday so I didn’t know what to expect from the tyre in the race. We had done 22 laps on a tyre during the tests but never in one stint and with this high a track temperature. I was riding so slow at the front and doing all the work but it seemed like no-one wanted to come through and do the work. he guys behind me could all manage their tyres better than me and they had the slipstream. Last year we were 15s from the race win so I feel more competitive now. We could have given up a lot of points this weekend after a 220kmph crash in Race 1 but I was able to walk away relatively unhurt. I’m looking forward to Qatar because today we did the best that we could.”
P3 – Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Ducati Racing)
“I’ve been on the podium three times, on two occasions I finished within a tenth of a second off the winner: not bad for my first Superbike weekend. I gave it everything that I had but my biggest problem was trying to manage the front tyre in the races. We were strong and the bike worked well. We need to improve in some small areas but we’re in the battle for the win. We’re only a tenth off the win here and that’s not bad going but I was struggling in Race 2 with the tyre temperature. I learned so much this weekend and that’s the biggest thing. I’m satisfied and confident after this weekend because I held my own this weekend and that’s what was important.”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK Team:
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team experiences a difficult Sunday at the Phillip Island WorldSBK season opener.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
The first Sunday of the 2020 FIM World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) at Phillip Island (AUS) did not go as planned for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Tom Sykes (GBR) finished the morning’s Superpole Race in sixth position on his BMW S 1000 RR. In race two in the afternoon, he had to settle with tenth after a technical issue. His team-mate Eugene Laverty (IRL) unfortunately suffered a concussion in a crash during this morning’s warm-up and was declared unfit to race after a check at the Medical Centre.
After setting a new lap record on his RR and securing his 50th WorldSBK pole position in Saturday’s Superpole qualifying, Sykes also started Sunday’s Superpole Race from first position on the grid. He finished the extremely closely fought ten lap sprint in sixth position, only 1.6 seconds behind the winner. This also meant P6 on the grid for race two in the afternoon. After the start Sykes was in the mix in the leading group but his efforts and the potential of the RR remained unrewarded as on lap five, a technical issue made him drop down to 12th place. After 22 laps of racing, he took the chequered flag in tenth place.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal:
“First of all, on Eugene’s side I feel really disappointed for him because he certainly turned a corner this morning. He felt as though we had given him a good bike and unfortunately during this morning’s warm up got caught out on a fast lap at T10 and crashed. The crash was a big impact crash and as a result he was left concussed and could not continue further in the two remaining races. To Eugene’s own admission he was a little exuberant to crash but we don’t hold that against him, he was trying his best and we are glad he is relatively okay and will be back for Qatar.
Tom really struggled today. The Superpole Race I think was a fair reflection of his speed to get P6, but he was still lacking that top speed which hurts us here. Going into the final race from sixth on the grid, he got a good start and kept in the group but unfortunately had a technical issue mid pack and was lucky not to be collected. He then reset the bike and finished tenth to take a couple of points, but the damage had been done by then as the tyre was too worn to try and catch the front group. We will build on our qualifying and free practice pace which has always been top 6 and try to convert it into good race positions in Qatar.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“It has been a disappointing day. Eugene felt extremely comfortable on the bike. So he maybe was a bit over enthusiastic and unfortunately he crashed while being on a very fast lap. The positive aspect, however, is the fact that he clearly has developed a good feeling for the bike. What happened is a pity, but we are glad that he did not sustain any severe injuries apart from concussion. Tom started the morning’s race from pole position. Here we could see that power is still an issue as we are still losing on the straight. Sixth place however was not bad, especially only 1.6 seconds behind the top. The field is extremely close together this year. In race two, he unfortunately suffered a minor technical issue that forced him to quickly restart the bike. It seems however that in this race we could also not have maintained the pace in the final stages so we focus on the combination of riding style, chassis and tyre durability. You have to see though that Phillip Island is a challenge in this regard and this could improve at the next races.”
“It’s just been one of those weekends where we have been a bit unlucky. We had an unbelievable qualifying and the pace of the BMW S 1000 RR was really impressive and I felt very comfortable on the bike. In the Superpole Race, I felt really good. There were a few incidents on track which meant I lost around 1.6 seconds which coincidentally was the same gap to the leader at the end of the race, but this was a good step forward for us. Going into the final race, we stuck to our game plan, we got a good start and I just tried a preserve the tyre a little bit. But unfortunately had a little technical issue which lost us a bit of time. It was a disappointment but I tried my best, the team tried their best and we will continue to do so for Qatar.”
“Unfortunately I had a crash in warm-up and suffered concussion so the doctors did not allow me to race. I understand their decision, even if it is not easy to accept as a rider but ultimately it is the correct one. I am very disappointed with myself for the crash as the bike was fantastic. It was the first lap of warm-up, I should have been more tentative and I was on course to take first position. I’d needed to take my time and be calmer because I missed a big opportunity for the races today. I’m sorry to the team.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Exciting Race 2 for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team as Scott takes his third podium finish and Chaz recovers 10 positions for a precious Top 5.
The first round of the 2020 WorldSBK season, which took place at the Phillip Island circuit (Australia), ends with an excellent result for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team thanks to Scott Redding’s third consecutive podium finish and the great comeback that allows Chaz Davies to finish in fifth position.
Thanks to third place in the Superpole Race, Scott Redding secures a front row place in Race 2. The start of the English rider, however, is not the best but Scott is good to stay focused and on lap 6 he attacks Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) to regain the third position. Despite the high consumption of the front tire, Scott stays with the leading group and wins a duel with Van Der Mark (Yamaha) to take the podium that allows him to go to Qatar with the second place in the Superbike World Championship standings.
Chaz Davies doesn’t manage to be incisive in Superpole Race and is forced to start from the fifth row. From mid-race, the Welshman’s pace is extremely competitive and allows him to get very close to the front group. In the last two laps, he engages in a duel with Bautista to complete a fantastic comeback and finish in 5th position.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“What can I say? I’ve been on the podium three times, on two occasions I finished within a tenth of a second off the winner: not bad for my first Superbike weekend. I want to thank the team for their work. It was very important to get off to a good start and I am very satisfied with that. Maybe we still lack some speed but it would be wrong to make comparisons with Alvaro who is much lighter than me”.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“It was a pretty tough weekend, but all in all, things didn’t go badly in Race 2. It was good to be able to get closer to the front group even though the starting position was very complicated. Of course I can’t be super happy about this weekend but it was very important to finish in a positive way. We still have a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to be in Qatar, a track that I really like”.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Lowes And Rea Share Sunday Race Wins For KRT
Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes each scored a close race victory on the second day of the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship, with Rea winning the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race and Lowes the full distance final contest, after a thrilling WorldSBK weekend in Australia.
The final race of the weekend, over 22-laps, featured up to nine riders in the leading group, even at half race distance, but it was Lowes and Rea who made the decisive moves to go 1-2 in warm and dry conditions. Lowes was just 0.037 seconds ahead of Rea across the line, with Scott Redding 0.849 seconds behind Alex.
As temperatures rose for the final long race the leading bunch were closely packed but even as riders dropped off the group one by one there were four potential race winners again with just a couple flaps to go.
In the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race, held at 12.00 noon today, Rea showed all his five time championship winning quality to pass race leader Toprak Razgatlioglu and hold on across the line for his first win of the year. Lowes, so close to being the opening race winner on Saturday, was fourth in the sprint race, just over 0.2 seconds from his new team-mate.
Rea’s Superpole race victory was particularly poignant as he received news overnight of the passing of his maternal grandmother back home in Northern Ireland. He dedicated his 89th career race win to his family.
In both races constant overtakes and aggressive passes were commonplace as the 2020 season started in an incredibly competitive fashion.
After his strong debut weekend on the Ninja ZX-10RR Lowes now leads the championship with 51 points. Rea is fourth overall on 32 points after his race one no-score on Saturday.
Qatar will now host the next round of the championship, under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, between 13 and 15 March.
Alex Lowes, stated: “I knew when it got a lot hotter it was going to play into our hands as Marcel, my crew chief, had forced me to work really hard on old tyres in practice! When the grip dropped I knew I was going to be more comfortable than the other guys. In the second race there were so many people hitting everybody, Johnny trying to control the pace and Baz hit me a few times. It was hard just to stay calm but each time by past the pitbox I said to myself, ‘relax, stay calm, you have go the pace for the next ten laps – relax, relax.’ In the end, luckily, I had a bit more grip than the other guys and won race two. A great start here with Kawasaki. Obviously this track is a little bit strange so I need to just enjoy the moment, go to Qatar and refresh. We will see how we stack up but I am really happy with the first weekend.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I got a good start in the Superpole race and put my head down. It seemed like I was really setting the rhythm with a few laps to go. Toprak was showing me his front wheel, so I knew he was there. On the last lap, throwing the bike down the inside line, I knew I had a little bit more traction. I really wanted to win that Superpole race for my family. It would have been nice to do it again in that second one but it was very strange race. I did not have the experience of doing 22 laps from race one on Saturday. I was not sure how the bike would be. The temperature went to 45°C on track today too. Nobody seemed to want to come through and do the work. I set about my rhythm and with five laps to go I put my head down – but as soon as I completed this lap I felt a drop in the tyre again. Alex got by me and made a gap and although I had a close ride up to him on the last lap it was just not enough to get to the line first. We got to Qatar now and see what that brings. Yesterday we were 25 points behind, today we are 19 behind, so a positive day all-in-all after yesterday.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 12th and 11th today, to sit 14th overall. Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) had a very strong Sunday; finishing tenth in the Superpole race and then seventh in race two for 11th overall in the championship standings. Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) was 11th and then ninth in the races, for 12th place after the opening round.
More, from a press release issued by Honda Pro Racing:
Bautista sixth in Race 2 at Phillip Island, Haslam makes a good recovery from a race clash
1 Mar 2020 Australian Round
Phillip Island, Australia
WorldSBK 2020, Round 1
Team HRC and factory riders Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista conclude the opening round of the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Australian track of Phillip Island with two hard-fought races and strong pace.
The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at 12pm local time. Lining up fifth on the grid, Haslam ran wide through the first corner finding himself fourteenth at the end of lap one. Battling hard and passing several riders mid-race, the Brit was up into tenth by lap six. Gaining further ground in the final stages, the Team HRC rider powered his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP to a solid eighth-place finish.
Getting away very well from fourteenth on the grid, Bautista was up into ninth place and well positioned for further progresses when a crash at turn 6 forced him to return to the garage. Back out for the final stages of the race, the Spaniard crossed the line in sixteenth position.
Lining up for race 2 later in the afternoon Bautista, from fourteenth, quickly moved up into tenth position. His impressive pace saw him continue to work his way up the timesheets, fighting as part of the chasing group for fifth place. Oscillating between fifth and seventh, the Spaniard ultimately crossed the line in sixth position. As this first round draws to a close, Alvaro lies sixth in the general classification having scored 20 points over the weekend.
From eighth on the grid, British rider Haslam barely had chance to get into a rhythm before a crash at turn 10 pushed him to the back of the field. Leon didn’t give up and after re-joining the race worked hard to close the gap to those immediately ahead of him, finishing in twelve position. He scored four points with this result, for a total of 17, which places him ninth in the championship standings at the end of this opening round.
Team HRC will travel on to Qatar, and the Losail International Circuit, where round 2 of the 2020 Championship is set to take place over the weekend of 13-15 March.
Alvaro Bautista 19
Today was more difficult than yesterday also because I started from the back in Race 2 following this morning’s crash in the sprint race. A pity because I think I could have fought in the top five in the Superpole race. We made another little change to the bike today and that was definitely an improvement, but I tried too hard and lost the front. Track conditions in the afternoon were really tricky, as I had no grip or sufficient corner speed. Considering that one of the areas we are working on is acceleration, Race 2 was honestly quite tough. All in all though, we are not too far from the fastest riders and I’m happy with our weekend. I think it has been positive for us because we’ve taken some small steps forward and collected a lot of data during these three races to be able to continue with bike development. I want to say thank you to Honda because it’s not easy to win right away with a new bike, especially with a rider like me, used to another engine configuration. Everyone is really supportive and helping me, trying to give me everything I ask for, and we have real margin for improvement with our bike
Leon Haslam 91
A false neutral, my mistake, caused me to crash in Race 2. I’m a little disappointed with the weekend’s results because I felt we had the pace to be on the podium. But we all know that, at this track, it is key to put everything together, saving the tyre, engine management etc. and so I think that’s why we did how we did today, with no previous references to use either of course. In Race 1, we were there until four laps from the end, so the weekend has had its positives of course, while today was a little more difficult. Essentially, I’m fairly happy with our speed, but we need to manage it better. We’re still testing fundamental things and strategies and that work will continue at the next round of Qatar
More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:
Pata Yamaha Fight for Victory Again In Battling Sunday Races
Phillip Island, Australia (1 Mar 2020) – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was beaten by the narrowest of margins to second place in the first Tissot-Superpole race of the 2020 season, to back up his debut R1 race win on Saturday. Michael van der Mark was in contention for both podiums today but ultimately secured fourth and fifth place finishes after one ten-lap and one 22-lap race at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.
Fully in contention for a second consecutive win of the weekend, Razgatlioglu was only 0.067 seconds from race winner Jonathan Rea in the sprint race after another photo finish, following a late inside pass at Turn 11 that Razgatlioglu could not quite respond to on the final few hundred metres. It was his second podium finish in two races for Pata Yamaha.
He was unfortunate to suffer a fuel problem in the second race today, retiring on lap 20 of 22, just as he was making progress toward another potential podium finish.
After coming so close to the podium on Saturday, van der Mark did not have the bike balance he needed to be in contention for a top three finish in the sprint race, taking fifth position – but still only one second from the race winner.
In the final race of the weekend van der Mark was engaged in a fight for the podium places that featured up to nine riders at times, with close passes and bold braking manoeuvres a regular occurrence. He was on course for third place and a well-deserved podium until the last lap, when he was passed by Scott Redding’s Ducati and could not find enough rear grip by that stage to re-challenge. The incredibly close nature of the 2020 Phillip Island races is demonstrated by the fact that, cumulatively over the 3 races, van der Mark finished less than 3 seconds from victory on the new 2020 R1.
Having led the championship after the Superpole race, Razgatlioglu’s Race 2 misfortune sees him slip to third overall, with Van der Mark not far behind in fifth.
Now the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla relocates to the deserts of Qatar for a floodlit round two, with track action starting on Friday 13 March.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: P2 and DNF
“We have made an incredible start to the season. At Phillip Island in the last two seasons I was not fast, but we were at the top this time on the R1. The sprint race today was not bad – quite good really – but there was just too much spinning on the last lap and Johnny passed me inside on the last corner. In the second race, the long race, I just waited patiently, and then with four laps to go I passed Loris Baz and started to go for a podium finish, but then my race was over. Overall, it has been a very nice, very good race weekend and we were just unlucky after the second race. Maybe I could not have won that one but I am sure I could have again been in the fight.”
Michael van der Mark: P5 and P4
“It has been a bit of a weird raceday. This morning in the Superpole race I did not have the confidence or feeling with the bike that I had yesterday, so it was a real ten-lap struggle. I was really upset because yesterday everything went so well, and I was just a bit unlucky to miss out in the last corner. For the final race we found a set-up solution and I had a really good start. To be honest my plan worked out and again we planned not to take the lead and try to slow it down a bit, not stress the tyre. It went well until two laps before the end when the guys around me started to push. I pushed as well but I just did not have enough grip to attack again. It is a shame but I think we must be quite happy with the pace that we have had and how quick we have been from the first moment on this track.”
Paul Denning: Team Principal
“After yesterday’s victory and Michael being so close to the win we were obviously hoping to replicate that, but with the full understanding that when the racing is this close it can go in the other direction! Unfortunately Michael was restricted in the Superpole race due to a settings imbalance, and this is something we have to improve upon. Toprak looked like he was going to double up on yesterday’s win but got very narrowly beaten to the flag by Jonathan Rea, after another outstanding performance on his new Yamaha. In Race two, Michael’s bike was much improved but it was a strange race. Unfortunately at the end when it was time to “go” we had just used a bit more of the tyre than the podium finishers. That was disappointing but again it was a really solid, fighting ride by Michael that has put us in a decent position after the first round of the championship. Unfortunately we have to apologise to Toprak and to Yamaha as the bike had a problem that could and should have been avoided, which is extremely disappointing. Despite that, if we reflect on this Phillip Island weekend, being so competitive, having won the first race and ran at the front all weekend, we have to be happy with the confirmation that the R1 has taken a good step forward into 2020. With a very strong bike and two incredibly talented riders, we can look forward positively to the rest of the season.”