WATCH thrilling blanket finish to WorldSBK Phillip Island opener

Toprak Razgatlioglu holds off Alex Lowes and Scott Redding in an incredibly tight finish during the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship

WorldSBK finish

Phillip Island is certainly known for its tight finishes but even by its high standard the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship proved to be a thriller right up to the line.

A breathless encounter that for a large portion saw all five manufacturers in contention for victory, the race ultimately whittled down to a four-way battle for victory between Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alex Lowes, Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark in the closing stages.

With Razgatlioglu leading into the final lap, having gotten the better of van der Mark and Lowes on the penultimate revolution, he came into the long final left-hander with the advantage but with his three rivals breathing down his neck.

van der Mark – who was second into the final corner – effectively ruled himself out by running wide on entry, which in turn allowed both Lowes and Redding through.

With both riders getting excellent drive onto the home straight,t they homed in on Razgatlioglu with the benefit of the slipstream, getting close enough to overlap as the finish line loomed.

Crossing the line almost three abreast, Razgatlioglu did just enough to pinch the victory from Lowes by a mere 0.007s, making it the second closest finish in WorldSBK history, while Redding had to make do with third despite being just 0.041s from success himself.

Even van der Mark ended the race just 0.137secs from victory despite missing out on the podium altogether.

WATCH WorldSBK Race 1 Finish

Razgatlioglu’s success comes in his first race as a Yamaha rider and raises his career tally to three wins, while Lowes’ second place marks a podium on his first outing as a Kawasaki rider. Redding’s result also sees him secure a podium on his WorldSBK debut.