Motorsport: Rea claims opening Superbike race win

Jonathan Rea rides during World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island. Photo / Getty Images
Jonathan Rea rides during World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island. Photo / Getty Images

Jonathan Rea is chasing the first World Superbike clean sweep at Phillip Island since 2011 after beating fellow Briton Chaz Davies in a final-lap dogfight.

Davies for Ducati passed Kawasaki's Rea at turn 10 on Saturday, but the world champion blasted back at the next bend and kept the lead to the end, winning by 0.063 seconds.

The opening race of the season was Rea's 30th World Superbike win.

Michael van der Mark took third position on his Honda.

The leading Australian was BMW Motorrad's Josh Brookes in 10th position as he contested his first World Superbike race in almost a decade. The second Australian was Ducati rider Mike Jones in 14th place.

Rea started the 22-lap race in pole position, along with Davide Giugliano (Ducati) and Kawasaki's Tom Sykes, who earlier set the fastest-ever World Superbike lap with a ride of 1min 30.020sec.

The race featured a freight train of up to 10 riders at one stage, but Sykes, Nicky Hayden (Honda), Giugliano (Ducati) and Sylvain Guintoli (Yamaha), among others, dropped off the pace as Rea mostly kept the lead.

Italian Giugliano set the fastest lap of the race (1:31.445) on the final 4.448km circuit.

The weekend's second race is at 3pm (AEDT) on Sunday.

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