In hot conditions the World Superbike competition got underway with winner Jonathan Rea scoring the win by leading for all but one of the 22-laps, and finally taking the race victory by 0.039 seconds from Leon Haslam. In race two he was unlucky not to make it a double win after another fantastic fight to the flag, but he was beaten by an impossibly small 0.010 seconds across the line by Leon Haslam.
Jonathan Rea says, “I could not have had a better weekend. The team were not so optimistic about winning races or being on the podium here with the pace of some other bikes but together with Pere, Paolo, Javier, all the guys from Showa, all my mechanics, we worked really hard and never lost sight of our goal, which was not be strong for 22-laps each time. Leon just had more pace today in each race, so race one fell in my hands a little, but I am so happy to be getting out of here with 45 points and starting the season strongly. We did the maximum we could and came away with the maximum points we could have had. I am happy and excited to move on from here with 45 points.”
The first race of this years Super Bike World Championship started with 22 riders after David Salom (Team Pedercini) his team mate Matt Walters and Gabor Rizmayer (Team Toth BMW) were ruled out following crashes earlier in the weekend. As the lights went out it was Pole sitter Rea who led the field into turn 1, the Kawasaki Racing Team rider never headed until lap 5 as the chasing pack of three began to ease away.The remaining laps of the race served up a real treat for everyone watching as lap after lap the leading riders swapped places at almost every turn, the final lap one of the most thrilling to ever happen at Phillip Island.
The second race was even more exciting and unpredictable as the first, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team) snatching the victory ahead of fellow podium finishers Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK) after another epic final lap. In the final lap, at the flag and behind the top three it was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSBK Team) who completed the top 5 with Nico Terol (Althea Racing) a lonely 6th ahead of, Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) and Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Kawasaki) who rounded out the top ten.
David Salom who was riding for the Kawasaki satelite Team Pedercini, was happy to get away with minor injuries after a huge highside in Superpole. Following the crash, David Salom was declared unfit by the Medical Director for the opening races of the 2015 Superbike World Championship. However, the Spanish rider escaped what was a really nasty fall with ‘just’ a fracture in the third finger of the left hand and a concussion. “I’m happy to be here (at the circuit),” said David Salom. “The crash was really a big one. I thought my conditions were OK to try and get on track for the Warm Up, but the doctors’ opinion was not the same. Surely my safety and my health are more important, I think I’ll be good to go for Thailand. I have a broken bone in my hand and once I’ll be back
The overall championship points sees leaders Jonathan Rae and Leon Haslam tied on 45, with a win and a second place apiece, while Tom Sykes is sixth overall, on 23 points.
Kawasaki enters 2015 stronger than ever with a former World Champion in Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, an aspiring Champion.
The next round of the 2015 World Super Bike Championship will begin on 22nd March 2015, at the Chang International Circuit in Chang Thai, Thailand.