Alex Lowes has defeated his factory Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea in an electrifying race three at round one of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Australia’s thrilling Phillip Island to leave Australia with the world superbike championship lead after his win today and 2nd place on Saturday.
In a superb 22-lap afternoon race where 10 riders were running line astern at Phillip Island during the middle stages, it eventually boiled down to an intra-Kawasaki battle as Rea and Lowes turned the screws on their opposition.
And despite relentless pressure from Rea, Lowes used the slipstream to perfection, to pip the reigning champ and win his maiden WorldSBK race in Kawasaki colours, and his first win since Brno in 2018.
The final margin was wafer thin – 0.037 seconds – while Scott Redding (Ducati) finished third ahead of Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), a rejuvenated Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Honda’s Alvaro Bautista.
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) and Bautista (20).
Razgatlioglu locked horns with fellow Yamaha rider Loris Baz in race three and eventually retired, while early race leader Baz finished in eighth position – one spot behind impressive privateer Max Scheib (Kawasaki).
Sandro Cortese (Kawasaki) and Tom Sykes (BMW) were ninth and 10th – a disappointing result for Sykes after his pole position showed such early promise – while Leon Haslam (Honda) ran off at turn 10 after an altercation with Italian Michael Rinaldi (Ducati).
Haslam was the final rider home in 12th position.
The second round of the WorldSBK title will be held in Qatar from March 13-15.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER BOARD AFTER RACE ONE
- Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki 51 points
- Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati 39 points
- Toprak Razgatlioglu – (Turkey) – Yamaha 34 points
- Jonathan Rea (GBR) – Kawasaki 32 points
- Michael van der Mark (NED) – Yamaha 31 points
SUNDAY RACE TWO – 22 LAPS
- Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki (22)
- Jonathan Rea (GBR) – Kawasaki (1) + .037 s
- Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati (45) + .849 s
- Michael van der Mark (NED) – Yamaha (60) + 1.784 s
- Chaz Davies (GBR) – Ducati (7) + 4.278 s
TISSOT SUPERPOLE SPRINT RESULT – 10 laps
- Jonathan Rea (GBR) – Kawasaki (1)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkey) – Yamaha (54) + .067 s
- Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati (45) + .072 s
- Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki (22) + .205 s
- Michael van der Mark (NED) – Yamaha (60) + 1.088 s
SATURDAY RACE ONE – 22 laps
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkey) – Yamaha (54)
- Alex Lowes (GBR) – Kawasaki (22) +.007
- Scott Redding (GBR) – Ducati (45) +.041
- Michael van der Mark (Netherlands) – Yamaha (60) +.137
- Leon Haslam (GBR) – Haslam (5) + 3.910