The weekend attendance of 54,437 were treated by close racing in the first two races with a promise of more for the last race of the weekend.
The race opened with several riders all swapping places for the first couple of corners, resulting in Michael van der Mark, Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alex Lowes, Loris Baz, Tom Sykes and Scott Redding together as a group. On lap two, Rea took the lead in the most popular passing place of the weekend, turn four. Leon Haslam and Michael Ruben Rinaldi had a coming together at turn four, with Haslam knocking Rinaldi off; Haslam was able to recover in last place but Rinaldi's race ended in the gravel. Scott Redding set the fastest lap.
For a few of laps. Jonathan Rea kept the pace down, keeping the lead and his tyres. On lap seven of twenty two, the leading nine riders were covered by a second and a bit with independent rookie Maximilian Scheib holding on to the leading group in ninth place behind a scrap between Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies who both made up for bad qualifying by taking advantage of the constrained pace to get into the leading group.
Jonathan Rea led Michael van der Mark, Scott Redding and a hard-charging Loris Baz who was making all sorts of mischief to make up for his slower engine by making his presence known at turn four of every lap, his drive through turn three being remarkably quick. From lap seven to lap ten, he went from sixth place to second place and eventually even took the lead from Jonathan Rea.
On lap eleven, Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz traded places as Baz's lack of power let Rea take back the lead down the straight, and Rea covered turn four so Baz couldn't take the lead back until the lap after. The lap after was the same, with Baz losing out on the straight and Rea taking advantage only to have Baz recover the lead, but on lap fourteen, after Baz took the lead into turn four, Rea struck back at turn eight and Baz fell prey to Michael van der Mark.
Lap fifteen and Alex Lowes joined Jonathan Rea at the front, passing Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz down the straight. Van der Mark kicked Baz off the track at turn three, but Baz somehow recovered and was able to slide sideways into turn four to retain fourth place before the freight train of riders behind him took advantage.
On lap sixteen, Alex Lowes took the lead into turn one, but Jonathan Rea took it back at turn two and Michael van der Mark took second place off him at turn four where he had a scrap with Loris Baz for a couple of corners. Loris Baz's tyre started to look like it was more sprint than those of the riders around him.
At the start of lap seventeen of twenty two, Jonathan Rea's pitboard read “Vamos”, signalling that it was time to stop worrying about his tyres and make a break. Alex Lowes took second position from Michael van der Mark in turn two and sunk his claws into Rea's Kawasaki. Rea increased the pace, but Lowes, van der Mark, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Loris Baz and Scott Redding matched it. On lap nineteen, Rea, Lowes, van der Mark, Baz, Razgatlioglu and Redding finally broke away from the riders behind them. Alvaro Bautista, Chaz Davies and Maximilian Scheib were then in a second group, contesting seventh place.
On lap twenty, as they charged round turn three, Toprak Razgatlioglu was on the inside of Loris Baz as the pair swept through the fast left-hander. Razgatlioglu started pushing Baz wide and Baz ended up in the gravel as Razgatlioglu started pounding his tank in frustration. Razgatlioglu retired while Baz recovered in eighth place.
For the last two laps, as has been the pattern this weekend, four riders contested the podium, with Jonathan Rea leading Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding. Alex Lowes took the lead into turn four and started the last lap with only Jonathan Rea able to keep up. It looked like van der Mark and Redding would be contesting third place if this pace kept up. Rea tried to close up at turn four for a pass, but Lowes held him off. Turn eight was the same, and turn ten, until it came to the last corner, where Lowes held a defensive line as Rea probed right and left to find the faster line. Lowes held on to the lead as Rea ducked out of his wake to make a run for the line.
Alex Lowes won his second career World Superbike race, his first for Kawasaki, ahead of his teammate Jonathan Rea. Eight tenths of a second behind the Kawasaki pair, Scott Redding took his third podium of the weekend, fending off Michael van der Mark. Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista made the best of terrible qualifying to cone in fifth and sixth places respectively, ahead of Maximilian Scheib, the highest-placed independent rider, over a second clear of Loris Baz.
Alex Lowes leaves Australia with his first ever title lead, twelve points clear of Scott Redding, with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea rounding out the top four.
|1||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||0.037|
|3||45||S. REDDING||Ducati Panigale V4 R||0.812|
|4||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||1.784|
|5||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||2.494|
|6||19||A. BAUTISTA||Honda CBR1000RR-R||4.322|
|7||77||M. SCHEIB||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||4.829|
|8||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||6.172|
|9||11||S. CORTESE||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||11.057|
|10||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||17.204|
|11||12||X. FORES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||33.338|
|12||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR-R||33.779|
|NC||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||8 Laps|
|RET||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||3 Laps|
|RET||64||F. CARICASULO||Yamaha YZF R1||10|
|RET||13||T. TAKAHASHI||Honda CBR1000RR-R||5|