The wait is over, World Superbike racing action is back as Race 1 was underway at Phillip Island today. Perhaps a glimpse into the racing year, the action from down under did not disappoint race fans, and sets up WSBK to have a excitingly close season. Click past the jump for all the racing news of Race 1 at Phillip Island, including rider quotes, video highlights, and race standings.
4/1000th’s of a second determined Leon Haslam as the winner of race one, narrowly beating out Italian Michel Fabrizio. The margin was so close, that Fabrizio thought that he had won the race until an examination of the photo finish proved otherwise, and he was announced the second place finisher. As you can see, Haslam won the race by less than half a tire’s radius. With Noriyuki Haga 3/4 of a second behind the finishing pair, the battle for WSBK supremacy is well underway, and very heated.
For Haslam, who won his first Superpole yesterday, this is also his first WSBK victory and judging from his early showing, probably not his last podium finish of the year. Talking about his first win, the British rider said the following:
“The first race was such hard work and it was impossible to relax for a second. I knew that I had Michel and Nori breathing down my neck, but I just kept concentrating on my lines and my braking points and tried to hold them off. I realised that Michel was in my wheeltracks going into the last turn and would try and use the draft to get past me, but I kept my head down and charged to the flag. At the end, I didn’t know if I’d won or not, but when I realised that I had, I was so unbelievably happy and it was such a fantastic feeling. All weekend I knew that a win was possible, but thinking about and it happening are two different things.
For the former MotoGP riders, Vermeulen & Toseland, their outings back in WSBK went less than according to plan. Both riders ended up in the gravel traps for Race 1. Similarly Max Biaggi had only a moderate showing for his return on the Aprilia RSV4’s second season, he finished 5th in Race 1. Video highlights and standings below.
Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Phillip Island, Australia:
|1||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||–|
|2||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||0.004|
|3||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||0.769|
|4||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||10.201|
|5||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||10.782|
|6||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||11.079|
|7||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||11.208|
|8||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||16.522|
|9||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||20.291|
|10||57||L. Lanzi||ITA||Ducati 1098R||26.352|
|11||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||29.775|
|12||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||30.155|
|13||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||31.951|
|14||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||31.957|
|15||88||A. Pitt||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||55.082|
|16||31||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||1’10.932|
|17||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’11.237|
|18||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’17.357|
|19||25||J. Brookes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||6 Laps|
|RET||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||17 Laps|
|RET||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||19 Laps|
|RET||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||20 Laps|