Sam Lowes was forced to settle for fifth place in the opening World Supersport race of the season at Phillip Island in Australia.
After qualfying second, the Lincoln rider shot into the lead on his Bogdanka PTR Honda. Lowes led for the opening laps before becoming emoiled in a battle with PTR team-mate Jules Cluzel and Intermoto Step Kawasaki'sÂ Fabien Foret. The trio were reeled in by Ten Kate Honda's Broc Parkes andÂ formerÂ World Supersport championÂ Kenan Sofuoglu, who went on to take victoryÂ in his first race sinceÂ returning to the series from Moto2. Lowes suffered from a loss of grip in the second half of the race and dropped back to fifth to collect 11 points while Frenchman Cluzel, who also had tyre issues, finished fourth. Forest, in second, and Parkes joined DeltaFin Kawasaki's Sofuoglu on the podium. The second race of the season takes place at Imola, Italy, on April 1.
By Dan Rack on 19 March 2012