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WORLD SUPERBIKES

Davies takes red flagged race one at Imola

Race One

At his team’s home round Ducati man Davies scores runaway win from pole, with Rea and Melandri also on the podium in a shortened race
At the Motul Italian Round on Saturday Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) took a runaway victory in a race which was shortened due to a red flag, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also featuring on the podium.

Davies made a brilliant start from pole and was untouchable, leading by well over six seconds when the race ended early due to a red flag, after a big crash for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) at turns 17 to 18 - which meant track conditions were not safe for racing to continue. Laverty walked away from the incident which saw his Aprilia RSV4 RF go up in flames and he was taken immediately to the medical centre for a check up after the high speed incident.

With 12 of 19 scheduled laps having been completed at the time of the crash the rider placements at that stage were taken as the final race results, with Davies therefore claiming his second win of the season. The ever-consistent Rea picked up more important championship points in second, whilst Melandri made it a good day for Ducati on home territory in third place on the podium.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was fourth, the Englishman trailing Melandri by less than a second, whilst Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) continued his good form in fifth.

Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) produced a good ride in sixth, whilst Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and his teammate Alex Lowes were seventh and eighth respectively. Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top ten.

Race Two

Sykes got off to a good start, as he usually does when he starts from pole. But it was short-lived as a blown engine from Grillini Racing’s Badovini brought out the red flag just two laps in.

After a long delay, the race was restarted and we everyone started from their original positions. As the lights went out, Sykes got another incredible start off the line but it wasn’t long before yesterday’s winner Chaz Davies began creeping up behind him. Once Davies made the move he was off and left Sykes for dust. His job was made much easier due to the early departure of MV Agusta’s Leon Camier who at the time was running in 2nd. whilst on track for his best finish of the season.

Just as Rea began ripping through the pack, he cut through the final corner leaving him wide on the exit, and subsequently lost three places. This mistake didn’t appear to faze him however, and he instantly fought back, managing to get past Sykes, eventually settling for 2nd. Today was a disappointing one for Marco Melandri. After finishing on the podium yesterday, you would’ve thought that would motivate him, along with the support from his home crowd. But for some reason, Melandri just couldn’t gain on Xavi Fores. He managed to pick up time towards the end, but unfortunately the Italian had to settle for 5th.

We did see two remarkable comebacks from two of the unluckiest riders this weekend however. Jordi Torres was declared fit to ride today after suffering from gastro issues that have plagued him all weekend, but having missed qualification, he had to start from the back of the grid. He instantly made incredible pace, managing to fight his way through the grid to finish in a respectable 8th. And then there was Laverty. Yesterday we saw a huge crash from Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty with the bike bursting into flames. The mechanics worked tirelessly to rebuild the bike from the ground up and Laverty managed to bring it home in 7th – a great effort considering the incident we saw in race one.

Ultimately though, it came down to the usual suspects on the podium, with Chaz Davies taking the double in Imola for the second year running, followed by Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Davies’ double sees him move ahead of Sykes in the championship, but still 74 points behind Rea. With the championship not even reaching the half-way point and Rea so far in front, there are some who might argue that we just give him the trophy now. But Davies would seem to have other ideas.

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