2017 Philip Island World Supersport Race Results: Red Flag Gives Exciting Ten Lap Sprint

The opening race of the World Supersport series was not without incident as several riders crashed in isolated incidents in the first three laps and was stopped when Robin Mulhauser's Honda flipped end over end and deposited a touch of oil and carbon fibre shrapnel across the track. The race was cut down from fifteen to ten laps and the restart would use the Superpole grid as opposed to track position as too few laps were completed for anything to count. A quick restart procedure put a mechanic out with each rider but none of the usual fanfare or unnecessary latex clad brolly dollies.

PJ Jacobsen, in spite of being one of the crashers in the first race, took his place back in pole position and hoped for a better start, Jules Cluzel being the quickest to turn one in the first start. As it turned out, Cluzel was first into turn one again ahead of Federico Caricasulo, Lucas Mahias and Jacobsen but towards the end of the first lap, Jacobsen had a bit of a wobble and lost a couple of places.

At the beginning of the second lap, Caricasulo led Cluzel but the Frenchman carried speed through the first turn and was able to take the lead back on turn two, throwing him into the clutches of Mahias and their fighting allowed the groups behind to close up, as is familiar to fans of Philip Island.

On the third lap, Jacobsen messed up the turn ten hairpin and ended up in the grass and last position. At the front, the laps qwere ticking down with Cluzel leading at the beginning of most of them, with Mahias, Baldolini, Caricasulo being joined by Robbie Rolfo, Kyle Ryde and Niki Tuuli. Jacobsen was setting fastest laps at the back as he carved his way through the pack, but he would end the race in sixth place.

On the last lap, Lucas Mahias led Federico Caricasulo and Robbie Rolfo but Caricasulo took the lead into turn one. Rolfo forced his way past and was followed by Mahias with Cluzel closing in fast on third place. A little too fast, as it turned out and he collided with Caricasulo, taking both of them out and creating a gap between Rolfo and Mahias at the front and Anthony West, the Aussie journeyman wildcarding this weekend and having climbed up to third place quietly.

With nobody to bother them, Rolfo and Mahias took their fight to the Gardner straight and Mahias glued his Yamaha to the side of Rolfo's MV Agusta and the pair had a horse power and gear mappng duel to the line, with Mahias swerving to find clean air and traction, at one point leaning his elbow on Rolfo's front fairing to get a hind of an advantage and the two crossed the line as one.

At the riders made their way to Parc Fermé, nobody knew who won, but eventually, the photo finish showed that Rolfo led by a tyre's width at the race end. Roberto Rolfo win by the closest margin possible, 0.001 of a second ahead of Lucas Mahias. Anthony West took third place ahead of Kyle Ryde and Niki Tuuli. Only fourteen riders finished and three didn't even start, with Robin Mulhauser, Gino Rea and Christian Gamarino not making the race start.

Update: Lucas Mahias was penalised one second for his leaning on Roberto Rolfo down the Gardner Straight.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 44 R. ROLFO MV Agusta F3 675  
2 144 L. MAHIAS Yamaha YZF R6 0.001
3 13 A. WEST Yamaha YZF R6 1.544
4 77 K. RYDE Kawasaki ZX-6R 1.679
5 66 N. TUULI Yamaha YZF R6 1.727
6 99 P. JACOBSEN MV Agusta F3 675 5.237
7 41 A. WAGNER Honda CBR600RR 5.387
8 26 K. WATANABE Kawasaki ZX-6R 6.610
9 10 N. CALERO Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.057
10 83 L. EPIS Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.309
11 32 S. MORAIS Yamaha YZF R6 10.264
12 63 Z. KHAIRUDDIN Kawasaki ZX-6R 11.579
13 25 A. BALDOLINI MV Agusta F3 675 14.148
14 65 M. CANDUCCI Kawasaki ZX-6R 23.247
RET 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R6 1 Lap
RET 16 J. CLUZEL Honda CBR600RR 1 Lap
RET 35 S. HILL Triumph Daytona 675 4 Laps
RET 7 D. PIZZOLI MV Agusta F3 675 7 Laps
RET 81 L. STAPLEFORD Triumph Daytona 675 8 Laps
RET 111 K. SMITH Honda CBR600RR 9 Laps


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It is hard to argue that West is not a journeyman, but he is an incredibly talented one and he has some companions in the class including the winner.

What West offers is exciting chapters in his journey and this was yet another.

How did he ever manage to get a podium given his weekend saga?

Sadly his record of disaster following close on near success is such that I would not be surprised if something bizarre negated his podium eg his "10hp down" motor being determined to be illegal for some trivia.

Sorry Jared, some of us enjoy a latex clad dolly once in awhile.  As for Mahais leaning on Rolfo that was just racin', why can't these guys in the "office" leave the racers alone.  If you've ridden a bike on the race track and experienced the "G" forces you'd understand just how these things happen.

If brolly dollies were necessary, they'd have to use them in the quick start procedure. 

As for Mahias v Rolfo, if you're in a position where your "g forces" can affect another rider, that's still your responsibility. A one-second penalty with no loss of position is basically a warning, as I see it. 

Spectacular race, sensational finish, surprising winner and wonderful third place with amazing story! If the rest of the season is going to be like this, the World Championship Supersport is very much alive! It would be nice if this can give a much-needed boost to the 600 class.

On a side note: with Rolfo 36, Mahias 27 en West 35 years old, the three podium finishers have a combined age of 98 years - this must be a new record, I'd guess. And by looking at the way they raced, it seemed more like a bunch of hungry young rookies... No conservative riding there!

As far as I could see, it was not Cluzel who took out Caricasulo, but the other way around. Caricasulo came in too fast on the inside of Cluzel at MG Corner and lost control, is what I saw.

I didn't watch the race, I have been following West's progress on FB.  That bike was a street bike that he bought, and he and his friends race prepped in their garage.  I know he's getting on in years, but I still don't think it's fair that he can't get a ride at all.  He trounced Abraham in WSBK last year despite only competing in half the rounds that Abraham did.  Abraham moved up to motoGP, while West has to buy and prep his own street bike to compete in WSS.

is the most underrated rider of the last 15 years. He just hasn't been able to put it together for one reason of 4.