2017 Philip Island World Superbike Race Two Results: Reversed Grid Antics

World Superbike race two is the first race to use the new-for-2017 reversed grid. The grid position is determined by a mix of where a rider qualified and where a rider finished in Saturday's race one. The front row is made up of the riders from fourth to sixth position, the second row is made of the riders from seventh to ninth position while the third row is the top three, the riders on the podium, only reversed, putting the winner in ninth place and the third placed rider seventh.

4 5 6
7 8 9
3 2 1

The fourth and subsequent rows are decided by where the rider qualified in Superpole, with anyone who qualified in the top nine who did not finish in the top nine pushed back to tenth place, and so on.

Alex Lowes starts the race in pole position, having just missed the podium yesterday, while Marco Melandri starts in tenth place having crashed out in race one but having qualified well within the front three rows in Superpole. Before the race started, however, Jordi Torres held his hand up at the start of the warmup lap and parked up, missing out on the race and leaving his place on the grid empty.

Xavi Fores pipped Alex Lowes to the front for turn one, charging into the lead from third place on the grid. Eugene Laverty, from fifth, carved past Leon Camier for third place and then followed Lowes through past Fores for second place. Jonathan Rea pushed through to fifth place, passing Chaz Davies.

On the second lap, Lowes held the lead until Laverty took it from him at the Honda hairpin. Lowes took it back and the two kept their places until the mass drafting exercise down the Gardner straight gave Fores a chance at the lead and put Rea past Lowes for third. A lap later, Rea took second place and Laverty started losing places.

Marco Melandri had also decided to join in, and by lap six, Jonathan Rea was first place having started ninth and Melandri was fifth from tenth. Chaz Davies slipped under Xavi Fores and sat in second place having started eighth, and maybe the reverse grid won't change much after all.

The leading five riders of Rea, Davies, Lowes, Fores and Melandri had over a second gap to sixth place, held by Tom Sykes who really isn't used to starting off the front row and isn't that fond of Philip Island either. The gap would eventually shrink to just under a second before settling back to over a second.

On lap nine, the front five splayed out down the straight side by side and sorted themselves out in the entry to Doohan Corner with Davies at the front ahead of Rea and Lowes. This continued every lap, and on lap fourteen, Melandri finally made it to the front, holding the lead for four laps until Rea, having tried passed round the outside, finally made a pass stick and it looked like Melandri had spent more of his tyre than he wanted getting to the front from tenth place through traffic. Davies took advantage to also pass Melandri for second place.

Two laps from the end, Rea led Davies as Lowes passed Melandri for third place with Fores prising a gap under Melandri at the turn ten hairpin to push the Italian back to fifth place. Melandri recovered his fourth place shortly after, down the straight as Davies took the lead.

Alex Lowes pushed past Jonathan Rea in Honda Corner but Rea took second place back at Siberia, two turns later. As the last lap started, Fores dropped off the front four and left the fight for the podium. Rea took the lead into Doohan Corner ahead of Davies and Melandri took third from Lowes at Stoner Corner, turn three. Through the Honda Hairpin, as Davies was building momentum, Rea slowed slightly and forced Davies to break his rhythm and wait for another spot. Rea maintained a fast defensive line throughout the last lap and Davies was forced to leave it until the Gardner straight to make a passing attempt, but Rea had decent drive out of the last turn and wasn;t going to lose. Davies pulled alongside Rea, but couldn't pass, finishing two and a half hundredths of a second behind Rea's Kawasaki.

Jonathan Rea took his fortieth Superbike victory and his eleventh double win, returning to Parc Fermé to silver balloons celebrating his milestone. Marco Melandri rounded put the podium and also set the fastest lap on lap six, an impressive result after a year without racing.

Maybe Phillip Island isn't the best track to judge the reversed grid on, but it didn't seem to have much affect to the podium. 


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R  
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 0.025
3 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 0.249
4 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 0.956
5 12 X. FORÉS Ducati Panigale R 2.320
6 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 4.781
7 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 7.307
8 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 9.756
9 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 11.135
10 50 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 RF 20.123
11 15 A. DE ANGELIS Kawasaki ZX-10R 25.799
12 25 J. BROOKES Yamaha YZF R1 25.879
13 21 M. REITERBERGER BMW S 1000 RR 25.917
14 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 26.292
15 6 S. BRADL Honda CBR1000RR 28.440
16 88 R. KRUMMENACHER Kawasaki ZX-10R 33.679
17 37 O. JEZEK Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'13.561
RET 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR 14 Laps
RET 86 A. BADOVINI Kawasaki ZX-10R 15 Laps
RET 84 R. RUSSO Yamaha YZF R1 20 Laps
RET 81 J. TORRES BMW S 1000 RR  


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Wondering when Honda will issue the real bikes.  Or maybe at least give last year's bikes back to the team so they can start fighting for top ten finishes?

As to the "are you sure the France's didn't dream it up?" starting order, other than a couple of interesting opening laps, it sure didn't seem to affect anything in the race overall.  What I really enjoyed watching this weekend was the return of Marco Melandri.

The top 9 in both races are composed of the same people apart from Torres, Savadori and Melandri who had bike issues or crashed. No one gained an advantage from the overly complicated grid reshuffle and only Sykes was disadvantaged by it. What a failure.

More sensible would be to base all the grid positions for race 2 on the race 1 results, or on the fastest laps from race 1 like BSB. Either of these options would be better than the ridiculous procedure Dorna invented.

So glad the racing is this close in World Superbike, and that Yamaha is looking more competitive along with MV Agusta possibly.  If only Honda wasn't so embarrassing, we could be on our way to a proper multi-factory scrap in this championship!  And Melandri is on a tear, clearly out to prove he is still one of the best.  Good stuff.

Agreed Mac! I have been quite focused on this Honda, having had the prev one and knowing they CAN make a winner. It amazes me that several of our Superbikes have a compact stature just like a 600 now. And put out SO MUCH POWER. We are into an era of electronics in Superbikes, for better or for worse. Interesting also to see the new R6 doing well in WSS with an electronics package and features brought over from the R1. We have a few more Triumphs out there in addition to Stapleford, but they aren't impressing. The handling is AMAZING, torque curve PERFECT, but as folks have said they lack some power up top. Curious of the WSS bikes power relative to one another and wish we could see some dyno results. The MV Agusta must have a bit more in it. Looks like the Triumph can't go as far from stock as some others. Anyone have knowledge to share here for us?

By the way, F*#K YOU new Euro emission standards. And F*#K YOU American policies that made a casino out of our financial system making a few people filthy rich, and nearly collapsing banking and depressing a global economy. The whole flipping world may be losing middleweight bikes secondary to you two. I am hard to please anyway, Goldilocks needs a CBR750RR. A Triumph 765R maybe just about the bike for me but I bet I would prefer a touch more out of it, but I digress. Rant over.

I had a clear strong feeling that we could see Melandri crash out. He is impressing, great to see, and I still see a vulnerability he has had and may not have worked through. Fast racer, yes. He can be mercurial though.

Going to listen to the podcast now, hoping for some data analysis.

Thanks for the article Jared. "Jonathan Rea took his fourth Superbike victory" the zero balloon was right next to the shiny silver number four balloon. Eleven doubles is 22 wins. Does motomatters need a proofreader? If so I'm yer man. Great weekend of racing. So good to be at the circuit again. Good to see Marco "melodrama" Melandri make a podium finish after his DNF in race one.