Along with the start of the 2018 WorldSBK championship came new rules, new expectations as well as high levels of apprehension as to what was to come from the season.
The Nolan Group riders did well to ease the worries of supporters early on. In particular Marco Melandri with a double win over the weekend, but also Chaz Davies with a hard fought 3rd place in race 1! Along with some other impressive early results made the Australian weekend an exceptional start for our riders, and their new X-803 helmet!
Not only did we do exceptionally well in Superbike, but we also had excellent placements in the Supersport with Federico Caricasulo falling just 1 place short of the podium.
A bit of a wait now until our next fix of WorldSBK action, the exotic Thai round in Buriram on March 24th-25th! We hope for another successful weekend!
Marco Melandri Race1 1st
"It's been a fantastic race. Sykes got off to a strong start and it wasn't easy to follow him and Rea early on. As the race went on, I managed to cut the gap. Once in the lead, it wasn't easy anyway because the wind gusts were even stronger. The last lap seemed to last forever, but we hung on and brought home the victory. I want to thank the whole team for the hard work done throughout the winter. Tomorrow we'll need to get a blistering start from third row, and we can still improve some details, but I expect another solid race."
Marco Melandri Race2 1st
"It's been a crazy race. The tire change made it impossible to come up with a strategy, as many riders could be fast for 10 laps. It was a big fight, with many aggressive manoeuvres. We still tried to look after the tires after the pit-stop, and in the last five laps we found our rhythm. Towards the end, it was difficult to pass Rea under braking so I decided to focus on the final sprint and catch the slipstream out of the last corner, in which we were particularly fast, and the plan worked. I'm super happy and can't wait to race at Buriram."
Chaz Davies Race1 3rd
"I'm really happy with this result. It's been a tough winter, so it's great to start the season on the podium. The race itself was different than usual here, everybody pushed hard from the very beginning. I had a fun battle with Forés and I didn't expect Rea to have whatever problem he ran into and drop back, but I seized the opportunity when it came. This morning I had a great feeling on used tires, but in the race we struggled a bit more, especially with the left side of the tire, and the bike moved a bit too much. Otherwise, I think we could have fought at the top. We've been improving session by session, and I'm happy with the bike now. The goal is to fight for the win tomorrow."
Leon Camier Race1 7th
"I made a good start in the race as qualifying didn't go to plan, but in the opening laps I got involved in a couple of battles that cost me some time. Once I broke away I was able to set a good pace and make up some positions, but when my rear tyre went away in the last few laps I focused on keeping my position. Hopefully if I can get a good start from fourth on the grid tomorrow and we can find a setting to look after the rear tyre a bit better, we should have a good Race 2."
Leon Camier Race2 6th
"I gave as much as I could in Race 2, we were really strong in some areas and in other areas not so much but overall I felt very competitive. I could stick with the leading group before and after the pit stop and made some really good passes from a long way back. I had some good battles with Lowes and Sykes and between the two races this weekend I'm really happy with my first race weekend with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team. Now I just want to keep making progress and see what we can do at the next round in Thailand."
Federico Caricasulo 4th
"Today was not an easy race! I had a great start in the flag-to-flag race, but then the red flag meant I had to begin again. In the restarted race I got a good start and I thought I could battle for the victory. Unfortunately, after four laps I started to have a slight issue with my rear tyre and which made it impossible to fight for the win. Despite this, I managed to keep fighting to the line and while I am disappointed to miss out on the podium, I am happy because my team worked really well, as always, and I'm sure we will back on th