This year The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is celebrating its 30th year anniversary and what a weekend it was at the Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island. With new riders in new teams it was an action packed weekend from start to finish! Briton Scott Redding, joining the Racing Ducati outfit for 2020 was off to a great start. Sitting on top of the time sheets for both practice sessions on the Friday, the Ducati rider seemed to be a happy chappy with the day on top of the timesheet.  With Saturdays final free practice to be held to determine the grid positions for the Superpole sprint.

Top six on combined times.

  1. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’30.436
  2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) +0.418
  3. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) +0.469
  4. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.500
  5. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.537
  6. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.542

Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu took a memorable win in the opening race of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Yamaha Finance round, beating Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes by just 0.007 seconds!!! Making it the fifth closest finish in the history of the production series. How awesome was that! The race was a 4 way battle between Razgatlioglu, Lowes, Scott Redding (Ducati) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha). On the very last corner onto the straight Razgatlioglu lead the pack and all 3 riders crossed the finish line within 0.041 seconds! Making that the closest podium finish in World Superbike history! Toprak on debut for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team, couldn’t have asked for a better start, new team and wins on debut, can’t get any better than that. “I’m really happy.   I needed the first race podium, and after the race I feel much better, I need the motivation,” said the Turkish rider.

For Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK, things could not have gotten any worse for the Kawasaki rider. After an incident at turn 9 with Tom Sykes aboard his   BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, after the two touched the Kawasaki rider then went on pushing hard trying to make up for time when he crashed out 5 laps later at turn 8 ending his race.

WorldSBK Race One Results

Gap from leader

  1. Toprak Razgatlioglu  (Turkey) – Yamaha (54)
  2. Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki (22)                                     .007
  3. Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati (45)                                     .041
  4. Michael van der Mark (Netherlands) – Yamaha (60)         .137
  5. Leon Haslam (GBR) – Haslam (5)                                       3.910

Jonathan Rea rebounded from a disappointing Race 1 on Saturday to claim a win in the Tissot Superpole 10 lap sprint. The first ten lap Superpole race of the year saw Jonathan Rea bounce back from a disastrous Day 1 DNF and come back the best way possible. Toprak Razgatlioglu aboard his Yamaha managed 2nd and another fine result for the Turkish rider, with Scott Redding taking third aboard his Racing Ducati. Toprak Razgatlioglu now finds himself leading the championship with 1 race left to go.

Superpole Rresults

1. J.Rea Kawasaki ZX- 10RR

2. T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha YZF R1

3. S. Redding Ducati Panigale V4 R

One race to go and it was anyones to grab with 2 different winners so far. And it was Alex Lowes that took the top spot of the podium from teammate Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea in an epic battle . Alex Lowes now leads the championship after a good haul of points from the weekend.

The Kawasaki riders ding dong battle through the 22 lap race ended up showing the opposition the Green machines strength of the race. Lowes beating his teammate by 0.037 seconds and bagging himself a maiden WorldSBK race win in Kawasaki colours!!  Scott Redding (Ducati) finished third ahead of Michael van der Mark (Yamaha). Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu had a coming together with fellow Yamaha rider Loris Baz and eventually retired.

“What a weekend, I could not have asked for anything more,” said an elated Lowes, post race.    “The bike was fantastic in that race.  I was trying to control myself, cause I kept getting punted wide three or four times, dropping back to seventh or eighth position.

“I felt like the bike was working well and I knew it was going to be about the last few laps. So I tried to keep it smooth and luckily for me today I had a little more grip than other guys. 

“But this guy is still going to be the man to beat,” he said signalling to his new team mate and five-time world champion, Rea.

“I am looking forward to hopefully having a few races with him this year.  Although  I’ve been in the same championship last few years, it is very rare we’ve managed to have some battles.”

Lowes leads the championship after round one, his 51pt haul at Phillip Island putting him ahead of Redding (39), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha, 34), defending champion Rea (32), van der Mark (31)

The nest round of the WorldSBK title will be held in Qatar March 13-15.

 World  Championship  Leader Board  After Round 1

  1. Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki                51 points
  2. Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati                39 points
  3. Toprak Razgatlioglu – (Turkey) – Yamaha      34 points
  4. Jonathan Rea (GBR) – Kawasaki                         32 points
  5. Michael van der Mark (NED) – Yamaha          31 points