Defending champ Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) got 2017 off to a good start by winning Race 1 of the opening round at Phillip Island Australia earlier today. Rea held off the rider who dominated the last part of 2016, Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who was just beaten to the line. Finishing third was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki).
New Ducati factory rider Marco Melandri ran with the front group until he overshot a corner early in the race. Melandri re-joined the race in last place, but ultimately parked his bike in the pits and did not finish. American Nicky Hayden (Honda) brought his brand new machine home in 11th place.
We will have a report on Race 2 a bit later today (U.S. time). Here are the full results from Race 1: Phillip Island Results – Race 1
See more of MD’s great photography: