Davies does the double at Magny-Cours
Chaz Davies has produced a flawless race strategy to claim victory in race one at Magny-Cours on a drying track as Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes made the most out of a tyre change to complete the podium. Approaching the starting grid the French track was slowly drying after overnight rain drenched the tarmac. Davies made the brave gamble of starting on intermediate tyres to avoid the need for a tyre stop which paid dividends with blistering late race pace.
After tip-toeing around the opening laps just outside the top ten on the intermediate tyres conditions came to the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider as his rivals lost speed on the wets while he stepped up lap by lap. The Welsh rider had to bide his time passing those in front of him or waiting for them to pit but Davies bolted to the front with six laps to go after passing the fading Lorenzo Savadori and from then on he was never troubled to claim a comfortable victory by 9.8 seconds.
Honda's van der Mark acted as the rider who profited most from the tyre changeover by pitting at the end of lap seven for slicks. Despite sliding down the order on his opening laps on the dry tyres the Dutch rider gathered momentum to scythe up the field into second but couldn't bridge the time deficit to Davies.
World Superbike title rivals Sykes and Jonathan Rea effectively copied one another's strategy by pitting on the same lap to change from wets to dry tyres. The pair were involved in an intense on-track battle throughout and worked up from ninth and tenth respectively to the final step of the podium for Sykes and fourth place for the championship leader.
The result sees Sykes trim his Kawasaki team-mate's championship lead down to 44 points with five races remaining in 2016. Further back early leader Savadori could only manage fifth place at the chequered flag ahead of local rider Matthieu Lagrive on his first outing for Pedercini Kawasaki. Leon Camier saw a brief glipse of a maiden race win on the MV Agusta slip away, having also been an early leader, as he faded on the used tyres over the final six laps to drop to seventh place in front of Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores and Pata Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli.
IodaRacing Aprilia's Alex de Angelis was unable to reproduce his impressive wet pace from the Lausitzring down in 10th but ahead of Alex Lowes and Josh Brookes while Roman Ramos, Jordi Torres and Luca Scassa competed the points-paying places. It turned into a race to forget for Nicky Hayden who pitted early to switch to slicks but sustained a technical issue that forced him into retirement, while Aruba.it Racing Ducati's Davide Giugliano was ruled out of the race due to his injury sustained in Germany two weeks ago.
Race 2 of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship got underway at Magny-Cours on Sunday with almost perfect conditions setting the scene for a magnificent day of racing. Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies stole the show once again to take the double for a fifth time in his career. Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes put on an incredible show battling for the podium to finish in second and third.
Leon Camier once again produced a flawless race on the MV Agusta to grab fourth place with Honda's Michael van der Mark completing the top five.
Lorenzo Savadori continued to impress on the IodaRacing Aprilia with sixth place ahead of next year's switch to the factory-backed Milwaukee squad as he kept clear of the late race battle with Jordi Torres beating Sylvain Guintoli to seventh place.
Nicky Hayden ended a frustrating race weekend in ninth after retiring from race one as Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores rounded out the top ten. Milwaukee BMW's Josh Brookes enjoyed a rather lonely race in 11th from Markus Reiterberger as Roman Ramos, Alex de Angelis and Mathhieu Lagrive completed the points places.