WorldSBK Race One: Rea rolls to Misano glory to take third win on the trot, extending his championship lead to 80 points.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had his Superpole snatched away from him at the last moment a couple of hours prior, but that mattered little to the reigning champion once race one rolled around.
A fantastic start from the Kawasaki rider shot him ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the lights, and with an open track ahead, Rea proved to be unbeatable once again. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in second and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) in third completed the podium.
Rea was the only rider to make it into the 1’34s at the start of the race, opening a comfortable gap with the large group of pursuers. There was plenty movement behind inside the opening laps, with Laverty and Davies, who had blasted up the field at the lights from seventh on the grid, making quick work of Sykes, while Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also put his name in contention for a rostrum spot with a stunning start from eleventh.
With Rea flying away into the distance, Davies finally managed to catch the Aprilia by lap 16. Laverty went very wide going into Turn 16, a mistake that Davies welcomed going through the straight. It’s Davies’ third consecutive second position and yet another solid ride by the Welshman.
While his teammate’s Aprilia RSV4 RF suffered from performance issues in the final third of the race, there were no such problems for Laverty, who takes his second consecutive podium. After four years without a WorldSBK top three finish, this time it has only taken the Irish rider two weeks to claim a return to the rostrum.
Van der Mark completed an excellent race one with fourth position, less than five seconds off Rea despite his row four start, and making it four manufacturers in the four top spots. He crossed the line ahead of Sykes and will start from pole tomorrow, with the Englishman only able to make it through in fifth after starting from the front of the grid.
Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), in special ‘tricolore’ livery for the Misano race, was the best independent rider in race one, making his way to the line in sixth, ahead of the home duo of Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in seventh and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in eighth.
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) returned to the top ten after a disappointing US Round with ninth place on Saturday. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing Verdnatura) meanwhile scored only his fourth top ten finish of the season, coming in behind the Honda in tenth. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), who was until today the sole rider to score points in every race of 2018, crashed twice and was unable to finish.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Chaz Davies – Ducati 3. Eugene Laverty – Apriia
WorldSBK Race Two: It’s a Double! The Kawasaki rider earns his fourth consecutive win ahead of van der Mark after action-packed race
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has taken his second win of the weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli after a scorcher of a race around the Rimini track.
If Saturday was a relatively comfortable affair for the defending champion, on Sunday Rea had to dig deep and get the best out of his incredible talents, making several stunning passes on his way to beating Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) with three laps to go.
With the riders 21 laps away from a two-month summer break and everyone eager to impress, the opening minutes were nothing short than all-out war.
Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) made a blistering run at the lights, flying into first place, but a technical issue ended the Spaniard’s race just two laps later. Meanwhile, Rea jumped straight up to fifth, but was then blown away by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) through lap two.
With van der Mark making the most of the open track ahead, Rea won over two thrilling battles with the works Ducati bikes. A first joust with Davies saw the defending champion coming out in front after an ambitious move through Turn 14. Then, with both Rea and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finding their way past Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), the pair engaged in an electric battle all through laps 7 and 8, trading places several times for second.
Ultimately, Rea prevailed again, and began his hunt of the race leader, now over a second ahead and twelve laps around Misano to go. The Kawasaki rider finally caught van der Mark with five laps to go – and so did Melandri, hanging on to the ZX-10RR’s pace. The trio went into the closing laps with less than half a second separating them. With the Ducati suddenly breathing down both their necks, Rea chose to make his move with three laps to go. A feint down turn one, a stunning pass down the inside through turn two, and making it stick on the exit from the Variante del Parco: Rea first, and perhaps his hardest win of the season secured.
While he couldn’t fight back in the remaining turns, van der Mark had just enough left in the tank to defend his position from Melandri, taking second place at the flag and guaranteeing a fourth consecutive weekend with a Yamaha bike on the podium. Melandri couldn’t repeat his phenomenal win from last season’s race two, but a return to the rostrum in third will have left both the Ducati rider and the home fans ecstatic after a few difficult races.
Davies finally crossed the line in fourth, not quite able to consistently match the front pace. A difficult end after a promising start for the Welshman, who now enters the summer break 92 points behind Rea. He finished ahead of Sykes in fifth.
After a race to forget yesterday, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) bounced back brilliantly in sixth despite having to start from the back of row 4. He endured a late charge from Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in seventh, who managed to beat his teammate Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) this time around, with the Irish rider finishing eighth.
Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) came back from his early crash in yesterday’s event with a ninth position, with Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) closing the top ten. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) was the best independent rider in Rimini, taking eleventh.
WorldSBK is back in two months’ time, with Round 10 of the championship in Portugal’s Portimao, September 14-16.
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Michael van der Mark – Yamaha 3. Marco Melandri – Ducati
WorldSBK Championship Standings
1. Jonathan Rea – 370 points (Kawasaki) 2. Chaz Davies – 278 points (Ducati) 3. Michael van der Mark – 248 points (Yamaha) 4. Tom Sykes – 218 points (Kawasaki) 5. Marco Melandri – 193 points (Ducati)
WorldSSP: Caricasulo sends home fans in a frienzy after stunning win
The excitement of the home crowds at the Riviera di Rimini round hit fever pitch on Sunday as Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took his first win of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship in brilliant fashion, ending a twelve-year run with no Italian victors at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in WorldSSP.
The home delight was twofold, as Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) claimed his best finish of the season in second, with championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) completing the podium.
At the lights Jules Cluzel (NRT) shot out like a cannonball, moving ahead of pole-sitter Caricasulo before the entry to Turn 1. The stunning start from the French rider came with an added bonus, as championship rivals Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) and Cortese tumbled down to sixth and eighth, respectively, while Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) crashed out one lap later.
Any jubilation for Cluzel was short-lived, however, as in a matter of seconds in lap 4 he was pushed back to third in consecutive corners by Caricasulo and the rising De Rosa. The French rider’s woes were compounded two laps later, as Cortese, now the fastest man on track, found his way smoothly past the NRT bike.
The top three would remain unchanged from that point forward, despite the gap between first and third never rising to more than a couple of seconds. Caricasulo didn’t wilt under the pressure, keeping the MV Agusta of De Rosa at bay and confirming a superb return to the top spot of the rostrum. He also moves above both his fellow countryman and teammate Mahias in the championship standings, with all three battling inside one point and still in view of the championship lead.
Despite not finding the pace to match Caricasulo in the second half of the race, De Rosa takes home his best-ever result in WorldSSP and a fifth consecutive podium, a huge boost for him going into the summer break. Amidst a sea of Yamaha machines, the Italian’s efforts aboard the MV Agusta cannot be overstated.
With his third place, Cortese increases his championship lead to five points over Cluzel, who finally crossed the line in fourth position after riding alone most of the latter stages of the race.
Krummenacher made it to the flag in fifth place, thirteen seconds off the race winner, with Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing), a former Misano race-winner, scoring his joint-best performance of the season in sixth, ahead of Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in seventh and again in the top ten after changing team before Brno.
Eighth position went to wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (G.A.S. Racing Team), his first points finish in WorldSSP after also racing at Imola. Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made a phenomenal start to his race, moving up to fifth inside the first lap, but by the end he could only make it to the flag in ninth. Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was the fourth and final home rider inside the top ten, taking tenth spot.
WorldSSP Race Results: 1. Federico Caricasulo – Yamaha 2. Raffaele De Rosa – MV Agusta 3. Sandro Cortese – Yamaha
WorldSSP Championship Standings
1. Sandro Cortese – 138 points (Yamaha) 2. Jules Cluzel – 133 points (Yamaha) 3. Randy Krummenacher – 116 points (Yamaha) 4. Federico Caricasulo – 104 points (Yamaha) 5. Lucas Mahias – 103 points (Yamaha)