Winner of the first two races and looking to make it an opening weekend hat-trick, World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista did just that after dominating from pole position.

Bautista made a great start as he led from teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi into turn one, which was the last he saw of his rivals.

A brilliant start was also made by Andrea Locatelli as the Pata Yamaha rider moved up from fifth to third. 

Following an intense couple of laps battling behind the race leaders, Axel Bassani was the rider who settled into fourth ahead of Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu

After taking out teammate Dominique Aegerter in the Superpole Race, Remy Gardner took his Long Lap penalty on lap three which put him back down to 14th position.

Looking to make their way back into podium contention, Rea and Razgatlioglu made quick moves on Bassani before Lowes did the same at turn four (lap six). 

As Razgatlioglu lined up a move on Rea heading into turn one, the 2021 world champion was instead passed by Lowes who got a brilliant run off the final corner. 

After making contact with 14 laps to go, Iker Lecuona and Bassani hit one-another again a lap later at the same turn four.

The incident resulted in Philipp Oettl managing to overhaul the pair for eighth, while Lowes moved ahead of Rea for P5. 

2023 World Superbike Phillip Island, Australia - Race (2) Results
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati22 Laps
2Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+6.191s
3Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+9.099s
4Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+11.680s
5Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+12.020s
6Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+13.701s
7Dominique AegerterSWIGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+14.316s
8Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+14.753s
9Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark Ducati Team+18.745s
10Remy GardnerAUSGRT Yamaha+21.331s
11Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+21.500s
12Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+29.790s
13Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+34.265s
14Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMW+34.444s
15Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+34.846s
16Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94 Yamaha+45.568s
17Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+1'02.330s
18Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+1'02.589s
19Eric GranadoBRAMIE Honda Racing+1'04.168s
20Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBKDNF
21Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBKDNF
22Tom SykesGBRPuccetti KawasakiDNF

Rea responded immediately before being put under pressure from Razgatlioglu, who got ahead of his rival before running wide at turn one. 

As Bautista continued to lead by over three seconds from Rinaldi, the battle for fifth was heating up once again as Bassani took over from Rea at the head of the group.

Then came a big moment early in the championship as Razgatlioglu crashed out after Lowes went down directly in front of him.

Lowes lost the front of his Kawasaki at turn four, and with Razgatlioglu just metres behind him, the Yamaha rider was left with nowhere to go. 

Rea was then pushed down to sixth as Oettl made his move at turn one, which put the Kawasaki star into the clutches of Lecuona. 

Rea’s day then did get worse as Lecuona pounced on the Northern Irishman who was clearly struggling for performance.