WorldSBK: We take a look at the race action (gallery)


Leonard Smith was at the WorldSBK Championship over the weekend and here we take a look at race day


Race 1

The opening race of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship was held in hot and sunny conditions at the Phillip Island circuit with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) taking the opening victory of the year after a titanic 22 lap fight with Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK), and the Aprilia Racing Team duo of Leon Haslam and superbike new boy Jordi Torres.

After a tense final lap, Haslam and Davies completed the podium with Torres just missing out in 4th. The Spaniard continuing to impress in what is his debut superbike weekend.


The race started with 22 riders after David Salom (Team Pedercini) his team mate Matt Walters and Gabor Rizmayer (Team Toth BMW) were ruled out following crashes earlier in the weekend. Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) had made the final Superpole session but was relegated to the back of the grid after a tyre infringement.

As the lights went out it was Pole sitter Rea who led the field into turn 1, the Kawasaki Racing Team rider never headed until lap 5 as the chasing pack of three began to ease away.


The remaining laps of the race served up a real treat for everyone watching as lap after lap the leading riders swapped places at almost every turn, the final lap one of the most thrilling to ever happen at Phillip Island.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) put a brave move on Tom Sykes to claim 4th into turn one, the former champion taking to the grass at high speed before rejoining 10th. He would eventually salvage 6th at the flag behind the Dutchman who dropped to 5th in the closing stages.

Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSBK Team) rode a solid race to claim 7th ahead of Nico Terol (Althea Racing), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Leon Camier who raced his MV Agusta Reparto Corse machine into an encouraging 10th at the flag.


Troy Bayliss (Aruba Ducati SBK) ran as high as 7th before eventually fading to 13th just ahead of local wildcard rider Jed Metcher (Race Center – Demolation Plus) who was elated at scoring 2 points on his WorldSBK debut.

Niccolo Canepa (Team Hero EBR) was the only faller, he was taken to the medical centre for further checks.


Race 2

The 2nd race of this year’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship was even more exciting and unpredictable as the first, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team) snatching the victory ahead of fellow podium finishers Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK) after another epic final lap, as in the early stages 9 riders fought it out at the head of the field.


For Haslam it was his first victory since Kyalami in 2010.

As in race 1 it was Rea who took the holeshot, the Kawasaki rider in control until an audacious move by reigning World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda WSBK Team) sensationally took the lead into turn one at the start of lap 7. Van Der Mark would crash out of 4th at the end of lap 19 without injury.

Jordi Torres also fell a lap earlier, losing the front of his Aprilia Racing machine at Turn one.


The 22nd and final lap would once again decide the outcome of the race and at the flag and behind the top three it was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSBK Team) who completed the top 5 with Nico Terol (Althea Racing) a lonely 6th ahead of, Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) and Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Kawasaki) who rounded out the top ten.


Troy Bayliss (Aruba Ducati SBK) started well, once again moving through the field making it as high as 7th until the triple champion entered the pits to change his front tyre on lap 14. He rejoined finishing outside of the points in 16th.

Niccolo Canepa (Team Hero EBR) was ruled unfit following his race 1 tumble while local wildcard started from the back of the grid after his Kawasaki was pushed off the grid just minutes before the race was scheduled to start. He eventually retired to the pits as did Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who pulled in at the end of lap 2.


World Supersport

After an 18 lap World Supersport opener, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) came out victorious ahead of his new team mate Lorenzo Zanetti with WSS returnee Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) joining him on the first podium of the year.

The leading duo were involved in a fight in the early laps before gradually breaking away from the 3rd place fight involving Rea, supersport rookie Kyle Smith (Pata Honda WSS Team) and Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE Motorsport Thailand) who completed the top 5 in that order.

For Cluzel it was the second year in succession that he has tasted the winner’s champagne in Australia after winning the shortened opening race 12 months ago.


Former champion Kenan Sofuoglu’s challenge for the win ended at the start of lap 6, the Turk running off track at speed at turn one aboard his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing machine. He was able to rejoin finishing 6th at the flag after setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 7.

Dominic Schmitter (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) finished grabbed a top ten finish 9th on his WSS debut ahead of local wildcard Aiden Wagner who raced his Oz Wildcard Racing Yamaha to a very credible 13th.

Glenn Scott (AARK Racing) followed his compatriot home in 14th place.


Lucas Mahias (Intermoto Kawasaki Ponyexpre) was disappointed to retire to the pits 4 laps from the end after making a claim for the podium in the first half of the race.


Photos by Leonard Smith, word from WorldSBK PR  February 2015

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring exclusive interviews and photos from motorsports finest drivers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the motorsport field. With a heavy presence on Facebook,Twitter and iTunes where we have over 3000 followers, our mission to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. Additionally we have over 1 million views on our G+ page. We have partnered with motorsport teams like Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind MotorsportDark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.

We are always looking for new people to join our team. If you are a motorsports photographer or journalist looking for additional exposure or a great place to learn your trade, contact us