2015 Phillip Island World Superbike Race Two Results: Rain Threatens But Stays Away

Rain was showing south of the track, but luckily it didn't get close to the track and left the riders to get on with twenty two more laps of close racing.

Similar to the first race, Jonathan Rea led Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies into the first corner, with Michael van der Mark, Tom Sykes and Jordi Torres close behind. This time round, though, Davies took second place off Haslam quickly and stayed there for seven laps.

On the fifth lap, van der Mark passed Haslam, but Haslam quickly took third place back off him, and he would have to wait a couple more laps before gaining position. On the seventh lap, with the top six, from Rea back to Torres, being covered by under eight tenths of a second, Haslam and van der Mark started a charge that took them past Davies then Rea, a charge that van der Mark continued out of turn one on the eighth lap to take the lead from Haslam. Van der Mark led a World Superbike race for five laps in his first weekend, but in under a lap, he was passed by Haslam, Rea and Davies over a series of corners, falling back to fourth place behind the podium guys from race one.

On the fifteenth lap, while the front four were unchanged, Troy Bayliss, who at one point was in seventh place and fighting, rode into the pits and had his crew perform a tyre change. He went back out in last place and fought his way back to a sixteenth place finish, just out of the points.

Jordi Torres built a gap from Tom Sykes and, with seven laps left, caught the front four, but on lap eighteen, he ploughed too deep into turn one and the front tyre lost adhesion, a fast crash that he limped away from, giving Sykes a safe fifth place ahead of Sylvain Guintoli. On lap nineteen, Rea caught Haslam by surprise and took the lead off him, with Davies following him past Haslam and on the first corner of the twentieth lap, Davies took the lead. A few places back, van der Mark crashed out, ending an incredible debut weekend for the Dutchman.

With Troy Bayliss letting the three fast riders at the front past, Davies led over the line on the penultimate lap only to be passed by Haslam and Rea by virtue of the slipstream. The three were locked together for the entire lap, as in the last race, and they maintained their positions, all three executing whatever was left of their game plans until on turn nine of the last lap, Rea drove a pass past Haslam and covered defensively until the last corner.

Leon Haslam stated that, in race one, he was too close to Jonathan Rea to be able to slipstream him to the line, having to close the throttle a little on the exit of the corner to avoid hitting Rea. This time round, he didn't fall for the same trap and, as he exited the corner, he was in the right place to have a go at a drafting pass. With Chaz Davies not close enough to get in the way, Haslam dropped out of the clean air behind Rea with the extra speed he needed to slingshot past at the line.

Leon Haslam won his first race since 2010 by merely one hundredth of a second, stealing the double victory from Jonathan Rea while Chaz Davies could just watch from third place. Last year's championship contenders, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli, finished in fourth and fifth, ahead of Nico Terol, the 2011 125cc World Champion.

Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea share the lead in the championship, above Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 91 L. HASLAM Aprilia RSV4 RF   1'31.889 318,6
2 65 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R 0.010 1'32.049 320,5
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 0.298 1'31.725 319,5
4 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 5.242 1'31.837 316,7
5 1 S. GUINTOLI Honda CBR1000RR SP 14.649 1'32.146 317,6
6 18 N. TEROL Ducati Panigale R 16.025 1'32.389 317,6
7 14 R. DE PUNIET Suzuki GSX-R1000 22.300 1'32.282 314,9
8 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 23.606 1'32.866 305,1
9 15 M. BAIOCCO Ducati Panigale R 23.818 1'33.089 314,0
10 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.775 1'32.976 305,9
11 36 L. MERCADO Ducati Panigale R 39.929 1'33.728 309,5
12 20 S. BARRIER BMW S1000 RR 46.267 1'32.967 314,0
13 51 S. BARRAGÁN Kawasaki ZX-10R 57.893 1'34.145 291,9
14 72 L. PEGRAM EBR 1190 RX 1'02.676 1'34.466 295,1
15 23 C. PONSSON Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'05.262 1'34.851 299,2
16 21 T. BAYLISS Ducati Panigale R 1 Lap 1'32.117 314,0
17 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 1'37.099 300,0

 

Round Number: 
1
2015
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Comments

but destroying tyres...

pretty good shot from the old man... laptime,s were looking good, unfortunately the tyres were not helping.

Once again, Phillip Island delivers.

Those two races were suitably electrifying from start to finish. You never really knew who would end up with the chocolates, but Rea, Haslam & Davies all deserved it.

It looks like the organisers have finally got the rule changes about right to even up the bikes this season, so credit where it's due - at least on this track. Let's see how they go at some other "car-park" type circuits.

And Bayliss. What can you say? Almost zero time on the bike & tyres, and if they'd had more time to get the setup right who knows what he could have done. Champion!!

Great opening race of the season - long may they continue like that!

But I can't deny I'm disappointed in Bayliss's results. He would have had higher expectations than 13th and 16th, be interesting to see what he thought was holding him back.

He says he felt like nothing much had changed. The 'old guy' showed VERY well. Even better than I and probably a lot of others thought he would. I didn't care where he finished, just good to see him enjoying himself. Legend!

The results sheet don't show how competitive he really was. If he'd had more track time in practice and no tire issues I think he'd had made a serious run at a top 5

Great racing overall. Close and clean. Hats off the VDM on the ancient Honda, super impressive for a first race weekend in SBK

I missed most of last year. First time since 1988. Looks like I missed a lot! Not just 3 aliens. So many possibilities all the way to final lap.

I still say hats off to Bayliss. Not the fairytale weekend but a respectable race 1 and he kept it up race 2. A tire change over a wrecked bike.

I would say there are at least two riders very happy about their new bikes! And they happen to be former team mates... If we needed proof that the Aprilia and the Kawasaki are better than the Honda, well, here it is. Especially Leon Haslam's revival is remarkable. He was a crashing mid-fielder on the Fireblade these past two years and he looked on his way out of the championship... So happy to see him back at the very sharp end! This will be an huge boost for him, interesting to see what he can do this season! I saw him flapping his knees again under hard braking, like we saw so much in 2010 on the Suzuki. He's one happy bunny!

Bayliss... To be up there with these guys, after retiring in 2008, having had no winter tests and especially missing those two days at PI last weekend, then missing FP1 almost entirely because of technical problems - and then being able to hang on to the front group for several laps... That's amazing. Next month he'll be 46 - even if he had been 36 (or 26, for that matter) it would have been mighty impressive. In those opening stages he was doing a lot of overtaking too, so it's not just speed he still has!

I really wonder what he could have done when instead of about two-and-a-half hours of practice at the Island, he'd had something like 18 hours like the rest... Especially in race two he was going as fast as the leaders in those early stages, and so close. Bloody hell. At some point, when he was 7th and closing in, I really thought he was going to do something outrageous. It was an amazing sight, almost unreal.

I'm assuming in race one it was also tyre issues that were causing him to drop back after that strong start. Haven't seen any post-race comments from him yet. Would be so cool if he could get another go, with this 'crash course' weekend under his belt, but I'm afraid his wife will spoil the fun. :-(

The man even set the fastest race lap (up to that point) in one of the races... pretty incredible.

Powervalve58, Chris Vermeulen interviewed Bayliss after race two and Bayliss looked a bit annoyed at how things had panned out - in fact he even stated that he was 'pissed off' : )

Vermuelen asked him if we'd see him racing in Thailand, to which Bayliss replied that he'd 'already given the leathers back'... but I reckon Ducati Corse will be weighing up the 'Pirro or Bayliss' options right about now...

A true racers heart.

Two excellent races from WSBK in PI. Bit disappointing for Suzuki, though. Bayliss added a fun story line to the second race, but his tire troubles spoiled a good ending. In WSS, Cluzel is the man to beat as Sofuoglu and Kawasaki are still reeling from last season and sponsorship woes.

The new SBK rules are working out well. I know the Flamini's didn't like playing second fiddle, but installing MotoGP prototype engine parts in production engines never made a great deal of sense. The teams just ended up spending even more money on electronics to keep the power under control.

The SBK internals are heavier now, which means the power delivery should be softer and the engine-braking should be more controllable. The rider can tame most of the chaos with his right wrist, which reduces the need for superfluous electronics. Hopefully, it will stay this way as development for the new rules matures.

I think WSBK will be a good case study in how motorcycle racing works best, regarding engine parts and power delivery. WSS already provided good insight, but fans don't pay terribly close attention to support class regulations.

I'd argue that BSB provides the definitive case study in how motorcycle racing works best... but do agree with you that the WSB changes are looking pretty positive so far.