It’s still snowing here but halfway around the world at Phillip Island the World Superbike have already started turning laps in their opening rounds. Are you excited? Because I surely am! The race being held in the opposite side of the world meant it was starting in the late hours of Saturday night so it was perfect to catch up on while staying warm inside with 100+ inches of snow outside.
Jonathan Rea held onto to the top spot pretty much the entire race. Dominating as soon as the lights went out. His talent on top of a machinery that can actually win often is seeming to be a clear threat for the season. Anyone who isn’t Rea should be afraid of him. Although during the later stages there were scraps amongst the top three, Rea himself along with Haslam and Davies, all Britons, the race was clearly decided in the last half of the last lap, making it for an intense few corners before the finish line.
Astoundingly enough Haslam proved to be on form in this race often challenging for the lead. It honestly was his first year entering the start of the season where he wasn’t injured and clearly was in top physical form. Davies on the Ducati broke through the rostrum barrier he was suffering from since joining. Bringing a smile to his face but a win would have foreseen a grin ear to ear. The most shocking one for me was probably Jordi Torres of Moto2 fame getting on well with the Aprilia at PI. At times dicing it with the top 3 no less. Who knows maybe he will be the dark horse of the season.
Congrats to Rea for the win in race one.
As the rain stayed at bay race two was considered to heat up as a scorcher. With Rea winning the first race he was out looking to complete the double at PI. Great launch off at the start saw somewhat of a repeat of race one with the top 3 slotting back into their previous race battle positions. Duking it out now with the likes of Van Der Mark who made no qualms about being in the top class in his rookie year. He took the lead and was actually pulling away at points but eventually reeled back in by the top three.
There were crashes abound in this race. VDM pulled off to the side after he was caught by the faster guys, Torres lost the front after the straight flipping his bike head over arse, Baylis, who was doing a one off ride for injured Guigliano, pitted in for a tire change, costing him time and out of the points. Although Pegram of Hero EBR managed to score points in only the second race of the first round, a great feat for an American company competing on the world stage!
Action back at the front certainly was on egg shells as again Haslam refuted to let off taking his first victory of the season. With a pass on the lap before last it was certain he would hold Rea at bay long enough to cross the line in first position. Rea was not having any of it as he made an inside pass before Lukey Heights, which pretty much sealed the fate of Haslam, with Davies towing behind. Aprilia is known for its grunt and my god grunt it had as it saw both man exit the last corner before the line pinning and giving it everything they got. Can you say photo finish? That is right Haslam pipped Rea at the line being 0.01 second AHEAD! Photo finish indeed! Parc ferme saw to it a very happy Haslam who in all honesty worked very hard for that win.
The next round isn’t until April but in the interim there is the MotoGP Sepang Test 2 happening this week! Until then my friends enjoy the bountiful snow we have outside!