2016 Phillip Island World Superbike Race One Results: How Close Do You Like It?

The first ever World Superbike race held on a Saturday would be twenty two one-and-a-half minute laps of Phillip Island in Australia, the fiftieth race held on this track.

The Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes took to the front ahead of Chaz Davies, Michael van der Mark and Davide Giugliano. Alex Lowes, Nicky Hayden and Sylvain Guintoli were on the back of them, becoming an eight bike group after dropping Lorenzo Savadori off the back.

Jonathan Rea led for three laps, with eight bikes in his wake swapping places, but at the beginning of the third lap, Tom Sykes passed Rea on the brakes into turn one. Chaz Davies took second place on the fourth lap, but it only took Rea one short lap to get it back.

Rea made an attempt to take the lead into turn one of the sixth lap, but Sykes is one of the strongest riders on the brakes, especially in the early part of a race. Behind the Kawasakis, the Ducatis of Davies and Giugliano were swapping places, with van der Mark's Honda buzzing between them where possible, taking any opportunities that presented themselves.

On lap seven, Nicky Hayden fought to sixth place, still within sight of the lead, behind the swapping Ducatis and his teammate. At the front of the race, Jonathan Rea passed Tom Sykes for the lead as they charged to the line, holding the outside line. Davide Giugliano caught and passed Sykes and Chaz Davies followed him through, pushing Sykes back to fourth place. A lap later, on the ninth lap, van der Mark and Hayden both forced their way past Sykes, with the Yamahas of Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes still holding station at the back of the pack.

Jonathan Rea held off Chaz Davies for three laps, then, once Davide Giugliano passed Davies, Rea held him off for another couple of laps. Twelve laps in and the front eight riders were still all within striking distance of the rider in front of them.

Then, Alex Lowes started to lose touch, crossing the threshold of the seven tenths of a second that makes the difference between no gap and a gap. A lap later, Nicky Hayden lost the tow from van der Mark and the three riders in front of him, and the front group became four.

Jonathan Rea, Davide Giugliano, Michael van der Mark and Chaz Davies at two thirds race distance knew that three of them would likely be on the podium, but Tom Sykes over a second back had a different idea and he despatched Nicky Hayden and worked at closing the gap to van der Mark. As Sykes closed, van der Mark made a bold move, passing both Giugliano and Davies in one corner, but Davies reasserted himself and used his still sticky front tyre to take second place back. Alex Lowes crashed out of eight place.

As Sykes closed on Giugliano, Guintoli, having also dealt with Hayden, closed on Sykes. With three laps to go, Sykes was within striking distance of Giugliano who was having difficulty keeping up with third-placed van der Mark and van der Mark was starting to realise he didn't have enough front tyre left to challenge for the win.

On the last lap, Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies were unassailable, with Michael van der Mark expending what tyres he had left to fend off Davide Giugliano. Giugliano set the fastest lap of the race trying to capture the last place of the podium.

At the front, however, Davies had plans. Unfortunately, so did Rea and Rea just needed to maintain his line and not make a mistake to keep the lead. If he exited the last corner in front, he would win as his Kawasaki had longer legs than Davies's Ducati, evidenced every lap as they barrelled down the straight.

Davies, having crested Lukey Heights made his move at the tight right-hand hairpin, MG corner. Rea let him have the corner entrance and took a more sweeping line behind Davies and, as Davies had to tighten up his entrance to the left handed turn eleven, Rea swooped around the outside and took the racing line, charging to the last corner.

Rea exited the last corner with Davies in his wake and won the first Saturday race in World Superbike history by six hundredths of a second.

Third place went to Michael van der Mark with Davide Giugliano less than two tenths behind him. Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli crossed under three seconds later.

Jonathan Rea has begin his campaign to retain the title with a victory while Chaz Davies has made it clear he has other ideas.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R   1'31.547 307,7
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 0.063 1'31.540 312,1
3 60 M. VAN DER MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 0.487 1'31.469 315,8
4 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 0.647 1'31.445 307,7
5 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 3.429 1'31.603 313,0
6 50 S. GUINTOLI Yamaha YZF R1 3.510 1'31.767 310,3
7 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 10.721 1'32.052 304,2
8 81 J. TORRES BMW S1000 RR 11.539 1'31.812 313,0
9 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR SP 15.534 1'31.704 313,0
10 25 J. BROOKES BMW S1000 RR 23.239 1'32.237 312,1
11 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 23.411 1'32.470 305,9
12 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 24.012 1'31.865 309,5
13 17 K. ABRAHAM BMW S1000 RR 37.281 1'32.792 314,0
14 46 M. JONES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 44.720 1'32.774 302,5
15 20 S. BARRIER Kawasaki ZX-10R 46.357 1'32.991 306,8
16 9 D. SCHMITTER Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'08.238 1'34.432 298,3
17 11 S. AL SULAITI Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'08.299 1'34.179 298,3
18 56 P. SEBESTYÉN Yamaha YZF R1 1'30.771 1'34.770 298,3
19 10 I. TÓTH Yamaha YZF R1 1 Lap 1'37.360 291,9


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What year was that? I know they hosted AMA races on the Saturday, but I'm struggling to remember any WSBK races held then.

Phillip Island is special.
Sometimes it almost seems like even some crappy scooters racing around this track would still be entertaining. (HEH!)

I was hoping for Hayden and Guintoli to do a better, but it was a fresh start for both of them (Hayden new to WSBK, and Guintoli riding a totally new bike to these series). They will eventually improve.

Good show, a nice start to the 2016 WSBK season.
And more coming with tomorrow's 2nd WSBK race and the WSSP race!

Close enough to please any fan of racing, I'd say. OTOH if I recall correctly, it was a similar script last year at Phillip Island. The rest of the year - not so much.

14th for the Aussie wildcard is testament to his talent.

For those who don't know, Jones is contesting the Australian Superbike championship in a team run by Troy Bayliss.

The two top speeds recorded are from both the Hondas....

Not bad for an 8 year old motor?

Methinks HRC/Ten Kate have done some homework this year?

Phillip Island.

A few more: let's see how the Honda goes at a slower track before we get carried away.

... balls do count for a lot at PI, but top speed is also a reasonable indicator of horsepower.

If they were 100% balls for those results I'd expect top speeds to be middle/lower half of the field (and making it up elsewhere), not running at the top of the sheet.