2019 Philip Island World Superbike Race Two Results: Here We Go Again

The second race at Phillip Island was the grid determined by this morning's Superpole race and it took place under a sunny Australian sky. 

In a foreboding move, Alvaro Bautista charged to the apex from pole position ahead of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Michael van der Mark, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Marco Melandri. Leon Haslam took second position from Jonathan Rea, exhibiting the outrageous leg dangle that he used in British Superbikes while Melandri took fifth from Rinaldi.

Lap two, Alvaro Bautista started it nearly a second clear of Leon Haslam and ended it over a second clear after breaking the lap record. Leon Haslam broke away from Jonathan Rea as the Yamahas of Michael van der Mark and Marco Melandri closed in, but as Melandro passed van der Mark, Rea was able to close back up to Haslam. 

As Bautista ran away at the front, Rea caught Haslam back up and escaped the influence of the warring Yamahas behind him until Melandri closed up on lap seven. 

As the race progressed, Bautista increased his lead over Haslam, Rea and Melandri as they built a gap from van der Mark. Behind the lone Yamaha, Alex Lowes had a lonely race in sixth place over three seconds clear of Chaz Davies, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Sandro Cortese.

Mid-race, all that happened was that gaps were stretched, fuel was burnt and tyres spent some rubber until lap fifteen. Alvaro Bautista was over eleven seconds clear of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea made a move on his teammate into turn one. Rea held his position until turn four where Haslam has struck so many times. Haslam took second place back and Rea looked over his shoulder to see Melandri closing up. 

Lap sixteen, over thirteen seconds behind Bautista, Rea beat Haslam at turn one again, holding turn four this time as Melandri harassed Haslam. The in-fighting was just what Michael van der Mark needed and the fight for second became a four bike affair.

Lap eighteen, fifteen seconds behind Bautista, Haslam powered down the straight in Rea's clean air to take second place in to turn one as van der Mark tried to pass Melandri. A lap later, sixteen seconds behind Bautista, Rea took second place at turn one and van der Mark took fourth place at turn four. A lap later, seventeen seconds behind Bautista, Melandri took fourth place back at turn four, slowing both Yamahas a little and letting the Kawasakis of Rea and Haslam get on with their own fight without fear of losing third place. 

Seventeen seconds behind Bautista, Haslam took the lead into turn one of the penultimate lap and eighteen seconds behind Bautista, on the last lap, Rea took it back. Haslam took second place between turns two and four, only to carry too much speed until turn four to let Rea take a tight line back underneath. Van der Mark won the Yamaha battle to sit in fourth place behind the Kawasakis.

Alvaro Bautista won his third race of the weekend, becoming the first man to win all three races in the new format. Jonathan Rea recovered from the resounding defeat by taking second in every race while Leon Haslam took sixteen points to make up for his crash in race one.

Bautista leads the title chase by thirteen points from Jonathan Rea with Marco Melandri in third place a further nineteen points behind. Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark take fourth and fifth place ahead of Leon Haslam whose solitary point from Saturday put him on his back foot, regardless of how good his Sunday results were. 

As the circus moves to Thailand in a few weeks, much will be made of the Ducati's dominance in the hands of Alvaro Bautista, as it was when Marco Melandri won both races last year, but winning both races by almost twenty seconds isn't normal.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 12.195
3 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 12.454
4 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 16.574
5 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 16.859
6 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 17.329
7 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 26.823
8 11 S. CORTESE Yamaha YZF R1 27.580
9 50 E. LAVERTY Ducati Panigale V4 R 29.116
10 2 L. CAMIER Honda CBR1000RR 29.178
11 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 29.460
12 28 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 29.896
13 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 31.231
14 81 J. TORRES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 40.926
15 23 R. KIYONARI Honda CBR1000RR 41.616
16 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 1 Lap
RET 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 17
RET 17 T. HERFOSS Honda CBR1000RR 5
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Would love to see alvaro bautista winning the championship, but it still too early.  What's happening with chaz. I'd expect him to challenge those kawasakis.

not normal at all...superpole race give more objective picture of where ducati stand.. the bike isn't too far mighty from others, aside from bautista the other red bike finish in midpack. In PI the rider did make diffrerence..only AB19 skill can do this thing.. lets see how it perform in stop-n-go track like buriram.

I may live to eat my words, but the way Bautista blew past the Kawas suggests the new WSBK normal is Ducati domination. As others have mentioned early days etc, but 10kmhs top speed and the way it fired out of the the biiig long left hander on to the the Ducati straightaway. Was a serious marker, edge drive and top speed? Hmmm

My takeaway from this weekend is that, yes, those MotoGP boys are a cut above.

Pretty amazing results. With only one data point, it appears Ducati have hit the nail on the head; Rider, Bike and team. 

Should be a cracking season. 

In an odd way, a winner this weekend was Rea. Taking all the second places, when you don't have the speed to take the top spot, is very good for your championship goal. Going to more normal tracks, and also to tracks Bautista hasn't ridden (esp in the latter half of the season) will likely work in Rea's favor.

And a loser is Dorna/WSBK. The gimmicky sprint race didn't change the results, which setting AB19 aside, was: Kawasakis (with Rea first), Yamahas, Ducatis, and somewhere back in the pack, Hondas being generally outpaced by BMWs. The simplest view of this would be that the differences in manufacturers overshadow the differences in the riders, which I think is the opposite of what most race fans want to see. The sprint race did cut off the sometimes processional end of traditional race format, so maybe it's a good experiment in that way.

However, it's early, it's PI, the V4R is very new still, etc etc. Great job by Bautista (and Haslam too), and some promising results for Cortese, Razgatlioglu, and Sykes on the BMW.

This result has not defined the season, as so many Phillip Island WSBK races haven’t. People are commenting that it’s the higher level of MotoGP riders, that isn’t a surprise and really isn’t worth pointing out. What is clear is the quality over quantity has prevailed for 2019 a it’s a good field with good bikes, they now need to sell it to Suzuki & Aprilia for 2020, that would be a good watch!

I genuinely believe Rea will be totally dominant at tracks, the one thing I can’t get out of my mind is the sealed gearing. Kawasaki have data to burn from the 6-7 years of development to choose the right compromise, Ducati have no data so let’s see; great for the championship mindst..

One question I would like to put out there is, if a rider totally trashes his bike in the Superpole race, does he have a second bike or-as I suspect-there’s only one bike and it has to be rebuilt and presented to technical to compete in race 2?



One can gather quite a bit of information from the gaps between teammates, who are on identical bikes.  Rea is only slightly quicker than Haslam.  But Bautista is way quicker than Davies, who was considered a challenger to Rea.  Bautista has upped the ante and answers the question why Rea is not in MotoGP.