|An action packed opening weekend for WSBK 2015.|
With Brits on top throughout testing, along with young guns from far and wide popping up with some staggering pace, it was anyone's guess who would take the honours yesterday at the Australian circuit. Could Alex Lowes convert his testing success into racing glory? Would Troy Bayliss make a triumphant return to the series he dominated for so many years? Both Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are on new machinery for 2015 - the final ingredient they need for WSBK stardom at long last?
Race OneAs race one got going under the blazing Australian sun, Jonathan Rea in his new colours took the holeshot, closely followed in the opening laps by Aprilia duo Haslam and Torres, as well as Chaz Davies, team mate Sykes and reigning World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark.
By half distance, Rea, Davies and Haslam had managed to drop Aprilia's Jordi Torres, but a substantial mistake from Haslam on lap 15 allowed Torres to catch Davies and Rea, creating a four way battle for the top spot.
The final few laps produced thrilling action (almost too much to cope with at 1am GMT). A last lap, last corner scrap left the winner to be decided on the home straight with Rea's Kawasaki just having the legs on Haslam's RSV4 Aprilia. Davies took his first Phillip Island podium for Ducati, and Jordi Torres produced a fantastic debut finishing in a solid fourth position.
Michael van der Mark held off last year's championship runner-up Tom Sykes for 5th place, and reigning SBK champion Guintoli, Moto2 exile Nico Terol, Alex Lowes and Leon Camier rounding out the top 10.
'Read More' for Race Two, Championship Standings, Rider Reactions, and Tweets of The Weekend!