Reigning World Champion Troy Corser showed the world exactly why he is the Champion with a hard fought race one win at his home circuit of Phillip Island for round two of the Corona Extra World Superbike Championship.
Second place, by only 0.450secs went to World Superbike 'rookie' Alex Barros on the Klaffi Honda and in a well held third place was Winston Ten Kate's James Toseland.
Pole sitter and current championship leader, Troy Bayliss on the Xerox Ducati lead the race for sixteen laps of the twenty two lap race, breaking the lap record and pulling a lead of 5.731secs. However, tyre wear got the better of his early break for the lead and he finished the race in sixth place 17.120secs from Corser's time.
“They are all tough races here at Phillip Island,” said Corser “You've got to pace yourself and that is what I did. I could see that Bayliss was pulling away and I felt that his tyres wouldn't last.” Corser had quite a battle with Barros and Toseland to deal with “When they both came past me I knew I needed to get back up to third. Then James (Toseland) went wide at Honda and that gave me an easy way through and clear track.” Once through and closing on Bayliss, Corser could see that he was really having tyre troubles, “Troy (Bayliss) was struggling and his lap times were dropping. He actually stuck his foot out at MG to say 'go past.' I guessed it was Alex behind me as I could see his pit board, so I covered my lines well.”
Alex Barros put all his Moto GP experience to good use, hounding Corser to the finish line, “The team make a great job and it is a good surprise for me to be on the podium. I hope I can do the same in race two.” It looked like Barros would put a move on Corser on the last lap but the Brazilian admitted “Troy defended his line really well on the last lap.”
Grip has been the big problem here and Toseland found it hard going mid race “We had a few problems halfway with getting the power down, there was a lot of wheel spin and I lost drive on the last section,” he said. “Shame I couldn't stay with Troy and………Alex - sorry new face up here!” joked Toseland about the new rider in World Superbike. “I really felt for Bayliss, but I'm over the moon for myself and the team,” concluded Toseland.
Roby Rolfo and Ruben Xaus both had a good race as each of them had to work through the pack for their top ten finishes. Rolfo admitted that things didn't go well on his Superpole lap and that dropped him to the fourth row of the grid, however his SC Carrachi performs well at Phillip Island and he used that to carve his way to fifth place from fifteenth.
Xaus who is still using a crutch to aid his walking after breaking his left leg in a motocross incident, went from twenty second to seventh - a hugely impressive run for the Sterilgarda-Berik rider.
Foggy Petronas rider Craig Jones took another tumble during race one and his team-mate, Steve Martin who had started out with a front row start finished in fourteenth place.
WSBK race (1) results – Phillip Island: