Race of the Year: 4th - Phillip Island WSB
After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP Reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike Reporter) sat down to discuss their favourite races of the year.
And after such a dramatic season across MotoGP, World Superbikes, British Superbikes and road racing, it wasn’t an easy call to decide which race deserved what spot in our top five races of the year. Here’s what we think – but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
Race of the Year: 4th – Phillip Island WSB
Marco Melandri snatched victory from world champion Jonathan Rea by just 0.021 seconds in a bizarre second race at Phillip Island to kick off the 2018 season.
Following significant tyre degradation in the opening race, organisers enforced a mandatory pit stop window for the second outing, preventing riders from completing any more than 12 laps on a slick tyre.
Rea looked to be in control as the race came to an end, but tremendous drive from Melandri out of the final turn saw him snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as the reigning champ was forced to settle for second and his worst season opener since joining Kawasaki in 2015.
Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores led the race ahead of the compulsory pit stop window with the Spaniard going on to take his first dry WorldSBK podium in third. Chaz Davies, who had fought with Fores for the early lead, dramatically fell out of the race after taking to the front after the pit window as he tucked the front at turn ten.
Tom Sykes was unable to repeat his podium performance from the opening race and crossed the line fourth ahead of the leading PATA Yamaha of Alex Lowes.
Leon Camier got things off to a strong start for Red Bull Honda to take sixth with Michael van der Mark crossing the line seventh.
Jordi Torres got the better of Loris Baz for eighth while rookie Toprak Razgatlioglu completed the top ten.
Race leader in the early laps, Eugene Laverty crashed out in the early stages but rejoined to finish 15th.