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WORLD SUPERBIKES

Rea and Davies share the spoils at Aragon

Race One

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea made it five World Superbikes wins from five by snatching victory in race one in Spain after Welsh rival Chaz Davies crashed.
Davies had just regained the lead on the penultimate lap in Aragon when he slid off to allow Rea to extend his championship advantage to 47 points.

It is a commanding lead for 30-year-old Rea who is aiming to become the first rider to win three WSB titles in a row. Italy's Marco Melandri was second in Saturday's race and Tom Sykes third. Englishman Sykes is Rea's closest rival in the championship standings with Davies now in third.

Thirty-year-old Davies, who had started on pole, was able to walk away after his accident and was clearly frustrated about losing a winning position so late in the race after a thrilling duel with the back-to-back champion. Alex Lowes finished fourth despite starting in the fourth row after his qualifying session was ended by a technical problem with his Yamaha.

His team-mate Michael van der Mark completed the top five with Spaniard Jordi Torres (BMW) taking sixth place in his home race with Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) all in the top ten. Bradl did well for ninth after technical problems earlier in Tissot Superpole 2.

Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) retired early in the race due to a technical problem with his Kawasaki ZX-10R. Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was forced to stop in the final stages due to a technical problem which caused his Ducati Panigale R to catch fire. It was an disappointing end to Fores’ race after he had remounted and battled on having crashed early on when fighting for fourth with Sykes at turn 1.

Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 11th and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) did well for 12th after starting from pit lane due to an issue before the race.

Race Two

Chaz Davies has halted Jonathan Rea's flawless start to the 2017 World Superbike championship with victory in race two at Aragon as the defending champion settles for second place to further extend his points lead. After Davies suffered heartbreak in the Aragon opener when he fell from the lead on the penultimate lap, the climax to the second race had a repeat look to it with Davies reeling in Rea to take the lead with five laps remaining.

Once again the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider blitzed the times by setting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap but still had Rea in close company for the final lap. Rea, who appeared faster in the mid-speed corners, had two attempts to pass Davies up the inside but the Welsh rider held firm to block off his title rival's attacks. At the exit to turn 15 on the last lap the two appeared to touch at the corner exit but with Davies ahead he kept his momentum on the long back straight to ease away from Rea and clinch the win by almost half a second.

With Rea settling for second place it ends his 100% record in 2017 having won the first five races of the year including the Aragon opener. Rea's nearest title challenger Tom Sykes failed to match the pace of the front-runners and finished fourth to see his team-mate pull out a bigger championship points lead.
Marco Melandri had been a close contender for the majority of the race but his pace dipped over the final two laps and was forced to settle for third but comfortably in front of Sykes.

Michael van der Mark led the Pata Yamaha charge in fifth place after pole-sitter in the race two grid shake-up Alex Lowes ran on at turn 14 on lap 11 which saw him drop from fifth to 13th. Xavi Fores recovered from his fiery exit in race one to place the Barni Ducati in sixth ahead of fellow Spaniard Jordi Torres as Leandro Mercado won the battle of the Aprilias with eighth place for IodaRacing ahead of Eugene Laverty on the Milwaukee Aprilia.

Leon Camier capped a tricky race weekend with tenth place for MV Agusta in front of Roman Ramos for Team Go Eleven Kawasaki and Stefan Bradl on the Red Bull Honda. Bradl's team-mate Nicky Hayden was forced into retirement with a technical issue which saw Lowes take 13th as Randy Krummenacher and Julian Simon completed the points places.

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