Round One – Phillip Island
Tissot Superpole Race
Jonathan Rea scored the holeshot as the 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at midday on Sunday but the KRT man was being chased hard by Toprak Razgatlioglu, Tom Sykes, Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz.
A disastrous start for Leon Haslam with the Honda man running on to the grass early on lap one after being punted by Chaz Davies, Haslam rejoined at the back of the field.Caricasulo then went down at turn ten. A lap later Bautista went down at Siberia.
It was on like Donkey Kong throughout lap two with Baz, van der Mark and Lowes clashing fairings and Scott Redding took advantage of their tussle to move up to fourth place and then slipped past Sykes down the chute next time around to move up to third place.
Jonathan Rea ran very wide at turn four, Razgatlioglu was untidy on entry also which allowed Redding to slip through and as Rea recovered back on to the racing line he found Redding in the way and the two clashed quite heavily but both remained upright.
Alex Lowes then moved past Loris Baz to move up to fourth place.Van der Mark and Tom Sykes continually clashed into each other as they tussled for position.
Razgatlioglu got the better of Redding into turn one as they started lap six, the Ducati man back through before turn four as they chased race leader Jonathan Rea.
Razgatlioglu took the race lead at turn four on the penultimate lap but Rea got him with a brave move at Hayshed. Redding thought about going around the outside of Razgatlioglu at Lukey Heights but thought better of it.
Rea smoking Pirelli through turn three on the final lap, he touches again with the Turk at turn four and it was the Pata Yamaha man that emerged with the lead. Redding was close by in third, Lowes there in fourth.
The Turk leads through turn 10 but gets a little loose through 11 which opened the door for Rea to dive up the inside as they tipped into turn 12… The drag to the line…. Rea gets it by a gnat’s whisker over Razgatlioglu and Redding to close out what was a thrilling battle.
It was somewhat of an emotional victory for Jonathan Rea. The Northern Irishman sadly lost his much loved and very supportive grandmother overnight. Condolences to the Rea family for their loss.
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