The World Super Bikes kicked off their season right here at Phillip Island over the weekend of Feb 22- 24 2019. With new colour schemes and rider combos as well to show to the world. Everyone was keen to see the new liveries and riders in action. With the action actually kicking off the Monday before the event, teams were already in Australia testing man and new machine at the Island getting dialed in for the action that lay ahead.
So when the actual event started on the Friday, everyone was ready and riders already dialled in for the track. It was going to be a cracker of a weekend ahead. Weatherwise it was a great low 20c day with cloud cover on the friday for FP1. It looks like things kicked off from last year, with Jonathan Rea leading FP1 in his Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK – Kawasaki ZX -10RR with a 1’30.341. 2nd was new comer to WSBK Alvaro Bautista, on the ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati Panigale V4 R with a 1’30.362. Third was another Kwaka of Leon Haslam also on a Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK – Kawasaki ZX -10RR with a time of 1’30.499. Not much at all seperating the top 3!
Fp2 saw the same 3 but this time a different order. This time it was the Ducati of Alvaro Bautista in 1st, followed by the 2 Kawasakis of Rea and Haslam for the day! It certainly shaped up a great battle for the Superpole on Saturday!
Saturday and everyone was greeted by beautiful sunny weather and a nice breeze. Not that the riders will get to enjoy it as the battle for Superpole had to be decided. So with the riders setting off it was on for everyone! but only 1 can be at the top of the pile. So with Superpole continuing on from FP1 and 2 the same trio had locked out the top 3. With Alvara Buatista taking his first ever Pole in WSBK !! Rea and Haslam on their Kawasakis respectively in 2nd and 3rd.
It was Bautista on his Red rocket that blasted off into the distance leaving everyone in his wake. Winning the race by almost 15 seconds over Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki and Marco Melandri in 3rd on his Yamaha.
The Island had put on its best weather for the Sunday having already seen action packed racing, could it get any better? It seems Alvaros Ducati was on fire and no one could catch him, again winning the 10 lap Supersprint ahead of the Kawasakis of Rea and Haslam. With only 1 race left for the weekend, could Alvaro and Ducati make it a clean sweep?
Debutante Alvaro Bautista not only smashed everyone, he left em for dead and left everyone stunned for someone on his first appearance. The Ducati Panigale V4 R and Bautista made the perfect combo at Phillip island!! Again team mates Rea and Haslam left fighting for the scraps, but hauling valuable points.
“Thanks to Ducati and the whole team, because they have all worked so hard.”
Round 2 sees the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship of to Thailand.
Enjoy the pics below.