WBSK: Photo Finish for Race 1 at Phillip Island

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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:

Pos No. Rider Country Bike Diff
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