Australia WorldSBK R1 Results: Razgatlioglu wins thriller, Rea crashes

Australia WorldSBK Race 1 Results - A thrilling opening encounter at Phillip Island goes the way of Toprak Razgatlioglu as Jonathan Rea crashes out

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Yamaha WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlioglu has claimed victory in a thrilling opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship at Phillip Island, while defending champion Jonathan Rea suffered a disastrous start to his season with a crash early on.

In one of the most competitive WorldSBK races in recent memory, Razgatlioglu held off Alex Lowes, Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark in a breathless encounter that would end with just 0.041secs covering the top three.

On a weekend that gave no clues as to which rider came into the curtain raiser with a discernible edge, the first encounter of the year duly lived up to expectations with all five manufacturers battling in the lead group for the majority of the race.

Indeed, predictions were turned on their head on lap one when Rea – who got the holeshot off the line - was punted down to the back of the field courtesy of an aggressive move up the inside of Lukey Heights by Tom Sykes as he reclaimed the lead.

With contact sending Rea across the gravel trap and seven seconds adrift, the Kawasaki rider quickly attempted to make headway but in doing so lost the front-end of the ZX-10RR on lap six at Hayshed. Able to walk away despite the high-speed accident, his first retirement since Brno 2018 nonetheless marks a disastrous start to his title defence.

Surviving the lap one contact with Rea, Sykes held onto the lead but found himself backing up a group that included Redding, van der Mark, Razgatlioglu, Lowes and Leon Haslam for the first half of the race, with the quintet behind jostling for position behind the BMW.

Eventually Redding made his move for the lead on lap 11, instantly demoting Sykes to the back of the group as he struggled to keep his tyres alive.

From here the race developed into a thriller as Redding resisted the attentions of the close following Yamahas, only for an error that knocked him off line into the hairpin allowed Razgatlioglu – who was midway through a pass on van der Mark – up to first from third in one swoop.

Putting the Yamahas 1-2, van der Mark struck past his team-mate with four laps to go on the exit of Turn 2, only to find himself down to third with two laps remaining as a charging Lowes utilised a double slipstream to nose his Kawasaki in front.

However, when he couldn’t get the ZX-10RR balanced on the run into Turn 2, Razgatlioglu struck straight back ahead and pulled van der Mark through, with Lowes just able to hold off Redding.

It was the order they’d take right up to the final corner, only for van der Mark to run wide on the entry to the fast left-hander allowing both Lowes and Redding back ahead.

With the benefit of the slipstream, both closed down on Razgatlioglu on the run to the finish line but couldn’t quite do enough to overhaul the Turk as he snatched victory on his Yamaha debut by just 0.007s from Lowes, with Redding himself just 0.041s away from victory in third.

Missing out on the win by 0.137s but not making it onto the podium, van der Mark was left in a frustrated fourth.

Behind the dogfight up front, though his pace dropped in the crucial final laps, Haslam produced a fine ride to secure a fifth place finish on the Honda CBR1000RR-R’s debut, while Alvaro Bautista delivered a storming performance to climb from 15th to sixth having run pace on a par with the leaders as he climbed the order.

Loris Baz raced with the leaders early on but an off-track moment dropped him back before he recovered to seventh, ahead of Chaz Davies and Sykes, who faded right back to ninth place.

With just a tenth of a second covering 8th down to 11th, Michael Ruben Rinaldi rounded out the top ten, just ahead of the rider he replaced at GOELEVEN Ducati, Eugene Laverty.

With all 15 finishers scoring points, Federico Caricasulo and Sandro Cortese were 12th and 13th, with Garrett Gerloff in 14th having run as high as seventh after a stunning start. Maximilian Scheib, who ran off track, was a distant 15th.

As well as Rea, Xavi Fores crashed out of his first race back with Puccetti Kawasaki, while Takumi Takahashi suffered a technical issue.

Phillip Island WorldSBK – Race 1 Results

Phillip Island WorldSBK: Race Results (1)
PosDriverNatTeamModelBest Lap
1Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha YZF R122 Laps
2Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+0.007s
3Scott Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+0.041s
4Michael van der MarkNEDPata YamahaYamaha YZF R1+0.137s
5Leon HaslamGBRTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+3.910s
6Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+4.426s
7Loris BazFRATen Kate SBK YamahaYamaha YZF R1+4.493s
8Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+11.849s
9Tom SykesGBRBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR+11.910s
10Michael Ruben RinaldiITATeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+11.922s
11Eugene LavertyIRLBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR+11.949s
12Federico CaricasuloITAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R1+20.720
13Sandro CorteseGERPedercini KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR+20.778
14Garrett GerloffUSAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R1+26.039s
15Maximilian ScheibCHIOrelac Racing VerdnaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+34.385s
DNFTakumi TakahashiJPNMie Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R13 Laps
DNFXavi ForesESPPuccetti KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR10 Laps
DNFJonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR6 Laps
 Leon CamierGBRBarni DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RWithdrawn