Haslam Beats Rea In Race Two Photo Finish

Leon Haslam exacted revenge for his narrow defeat in race one by beating Jonathan Rea to the victory in race two at Phillip Island. The Aprilia rider was pipped on the final lap earlier this afternoon but responded with a sensational ride, outdragging Rea’s Kawasaki on the run to the finish line to win by one hundredth of a second.

Along with Chaz Davies, the race one protagonists established themselves at the head of the field in race two but the trio were joined by a surprise challenger in Michael van der Mark. The Dutch rookie made astonishing progress to overtake the front three within the space of a few corners before leading the pack with remarkable assurance. Soon after half distance, PATA Honda’s enthusiasm was tempered as Haslam regained the lead, ironically at Honda hairpin, before Rea and Davies piled on the punishment for the newcomer before the end of the lap, relegating him back to fourth.

Jordi Torres was an ominous presence on the tail of the leading quartet before crashing at turn one on lap eighteen before van der Mark became the next casualty, sliding out at MG to end a promising debut weekend. In their absence, the podium finishers from race one took control with Haslam slipstreaming his way into the lead two laps out but Rea looked to have stolen a second straight victory with a move at Lukey Heights. Haslam wouldn’t be denied this time though and after timing his exit from the final corner perfectly, the Aprilia made it to the finish line inches ahead of the Kawasaki, handing Haslam a first win for nearly five years.

Davies came up short again to finish third while Tom Sykes completed a solid exercise in damage limitation with fourth. Sylvain Guintoli profited from the demise of his teammate by climbing to fifth while rookie pair Nicolas Terol and Randy de Puniet took sixth and seventh respectively.

Leon Camier finished a fine eighth for MV Agusta ahead of Matteo Baiocco and Roman Ramos but Alex Lowes’ weekend of promise ended in despair with his Suzuki breaking down before the race had even started.