Phillip Island WSBK: Rea beats Davies in thrilling first race of 2016

Reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea kicked off the 2016 season with a victory at Phillip Island as he kept the late-charging Chaz Davies at bay.

Third on the grid, Rea got a jump on fellow front-row starters Tom Sykes and Davide Giugliano but only led the way for a handful of laps before giving up the place to his teammate Sykes.

The Kawasaki duo was at that point closely followed by Giugliano, Michael van der Mark and the fast-starting Davies, the trio jockeying for positions.

Sykes' pace would then drop off in a big way at around the halfway point as he was muscled down the order, allowing van der Mark and the Ducatis of Giugliano and Davies to establish themselves as Rea's main challengers.

However, the Northern Irishman's lead was left largely unchallenged up until the final lap.

Having emerged victorious in a duel with van der Mark for second, Davies was able make a move on Rea, edging ahead under braking but running just wide enough to allow Rea to retake the spot.

The reigning champion would, as such, go on to win the race, albeit did so by just 0.063s.

Van der Mark completed the podium, having to fend off Giugliano through the final corners.

Sykes had to settle for fifth, just holding off Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman securing sixth on Yamaha's return as his teammate Alex Lowes crashed out.

Leon Camier recovered from a slow start to take seventh, followed by Jordi Torres, newcomer Nicky Hayden, who had run with the fellow Honda of van der Mark before dropping off, and Josh Brookes.

Race results:

Pos.RiderTeamBikeTime
1 United KingdomJonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R 33:47.823
2 United KingdomChaz Davies Ducati Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R +0.063
3 NetherlandsMichael van der Mark Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP +0.487
4 ItalyDavide Giugliano Ducati Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R +0.647
5 United KingdomTom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R +3.429
6 FranceSylvain Guintoli Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team Yamaha YZF-R1 +3.510
7 United KingdomLeon Camier MV Agusta MV Agusta 1000 F4 +10.721
8 SpainJordi Torres Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000 RR +11.539
9 United StatesNicky Hayden Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP +15.534
10 Joshua Brookes Milwaukee BMW BMW S1000 RR +23.239
11 SpainRoman Ramos Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R +23.411
12 ItalyLorenzo Savadori IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF +24.012
13 Czech RepublicKarel Abraham Milwaukee BMW BMW S1000 RR +37.281
14 Mike Jones Desmo Sport Ducati Ducati 1199 Panigale R +44.720
15 FranceSylvain Barrier Pedercini Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R +46.357
16 Dominic Schmitter Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R +1:08.238
17 Saeed Al Sulaiti Pedercini Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R +1:08.299
18 HungaryPeter Sebestyen Team Toth Yamaha YZF-R1 +1:30.771
19 HungaryImre Toth Team Toth Yamaha YZF-R1 +1 lap
DNF Markus Reiterberger Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000 RR  
DNF Alex Lowes Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team Yamaha YZF-R1  
DNF SpainJavier Fores Barni Racing Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R  
DNF Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF  

 

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Phillip Island
Track Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers Jonathan Rea
Teams Kawasaki Racing
Article type Race report