Features 17 Nov 2022

Rewind: Australian WorldSBK 2020

Reflecting on the series most recent outing at Phillip Island.

With the 2022 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) returning to Phillip Island for its 12th and final round, CycleOnline reflects on the last time series visited the venue over two years ago.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) narrowly edged out Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) to secure victory in race one at Phillip Island’s Motul 2020 WorldSBK opener, the gap separating them just 0.041s.

The 22-lap encounter got off to a chaotic start when pole-sitter Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) clashed with five-time defending champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in the opening laps, sending the number one off-track and to the rear of the field.

Rea later crashed heavily while attempting to work through the pack, while up front a four-way battle ensued between Razgatlioglu, Lowes, Redding and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha).

It was a photo finish in that order, with Razgatlioglu winning by a mere 0.007s, while Redding was a further 0.034s back. Fourth’s van der Mark crossed the line 0.136s behind the winner, the Dutchman being out-dragged down the final straight after previously battling for victory.

Fifth went to Team HRC’s Leon Haslam ahead of teammate Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), while the top 10 was completed by Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing), Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), Sykes, and Michael Rinaldi (Team GoEleven).

Image: Supplied.

Race two served up another thriller, as Lowes fended off Rea to secure victory. The British ace rode strongly throughout the 22-lap outing, ultimately edging out the five-time champion by a slender 0.037s as they crossed the chequered flag.

Runner-up honours for Rea capped off a positive Sunday, the number 65 winning the Superpole race after enduring a disastrous start to the Yamaha Financial Services round.

WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) locked out the podium, while it was Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) completed the top five.

Bautista (Team HRC) was sixth, followed by Maximilian Scheib (Oorelac Racing Verdnatura), Baz, Sandro Cortese (Ooutdo Kawasaki TPR), and Sykes.

Image: Supplied.

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) crashed at the beginning of the race before recovering for 12th, while race one winner Razgatlioglu experienced a technical issue and was forced out of the race.

Rookie Andrea Locatelli took a convincing win by almost six seconds at Phillip Island on debut in round one of the 2020 Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP).

The WorldSSP race featured a mandatory pit stop with stints not allowed to last more than 10 laps of the 16-lap race distance.

Bardahl Evans Bros. Yamaha rider Locatelli started from pole position and he led WorldSSP championship winners Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) from the front row.

Krummenacher had a poor start and crashed in the opening sequence of corners as his title defence got off to the worst possible start. Mahias briefly led Locatelli into turn one, but the Italian rookie was able to re-pass the French rider into two. Mahias would eventually finish in fifth place.

Image: Supplied.

Once Locatelli had re-taken the lead, he didn’t look back as he pulled out a six-second lead over the course of 16 laps and was also the last of the front runners to make the mandatory pit stop as he pitted at the end of lap nine.

Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished behind Locatelli as Italian riders finished 1-2. De Rosa was one of the first riders to pit in the race when the pit window opened, as he dived into the pit-lane on lap seven along with Patryk Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) and GMT94 Yamaha duo Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari.

It was a different strategy to the one race winner Locatelli took as he was the second last to pit – only Jaimie van Sikkelerus (MPM Routz Racing Team) pitting later.

Cluzel finished in third place despite picking up a time penalty for not adhering to the pit stop minimum time during his pit stop, but the 0.080s was not enough to affect his result as he finished five seconds clear of GMT94 teammate Perolari in fourth place.

Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, with 3.545s added on to his race time for an infringement of pit time not enough to move him down the order. This was partially due to Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) also receiving a time penalty for the same reason. Soomer’s teammate Isaac Vinales finished in P10.

Australian wildcard Oli Bayliss was a non-starter this afternoon after his Cube Racing team was unable to rectify an issue with the WorldSSP-spec Yamaha that the team had built for Phillip Island.