WorldSBK Race One: Rea Wins After Technical Issue, With Davies And Sykes On Podium
Saturday’s racing at the Pirelli Spanish Round saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) register his first victory as the recently crowned 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Champion, taking advantage of a late technical issue for provisional race leader Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
With his first ever win at Jerez, Rea was joined on the podium at the end of a restarted race one at round 12 by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
On his way to equalling Carl Fogarty’s career podium record of 109 rostrum results in WorldSBK Rea took over at the front after Melandri pulled off with a problem with four laps to go.
Rea had taken control of the restarted race in the early stages and led for several laps before Melandri made a move with 13 laps to go at turn 9 up the inside of the Northern Irishman. Davies then followed Melandri through to overtake Rea, but Rea soon responded to retake the Welshman and slot back in behind the Italian.
As Melandri chased his second race win in 2017, since his return to WorldSBK at the start of the year, cruel luck saw him pull off towards the end of the race, leaving Rea to take the glory. Sykes produced a solid ride in third place as he continues to recover from wrist and finger injuries sustained in Portugal in September, with Davies crossing the line just under 0.5s ahead of him in second.
It was another strong performance from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) as he collected more good points on the Yamaha YZF R1, crossing the line fourth, 3.677s ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark who was fifth.
2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli’s return to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR saw him finish a creditable sixth, in the first of four races he will ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final two rounds of the season.
The top ten was rounded out by Milwaukee Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty and Spanish pair Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) – in seventh to tenth places respectively.
Turn 13 proved to be unlucky for Takumi Takahashi (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) as he lost the front end of his Honda CBR1000RR, though he picked it up to finish 16th. Takahashi’s Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team colleague Davide Giugliano was an unfortunate late retiree.
In the initial race start a turn 6 crash on the first lap involving Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) brought out the red flags. After a short break the race was recommenced with a quick restart procedure with the riders keeping their focus in the clear conditions in Andalusia on the resurfaced Jerez track, though neither Badovini nor De Rosa made it back onto the grid.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Chaz Davies – Ducati 3. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki
WorldSBK Race Two: Rea Completes A Fine Weekend In Jerez
At the Pirelli Spanish Round it was triple World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory in race two on Sunday to complete a fine weekend at round 12 at the Circuito de Jerez. A commanding performance in a restarted WorldSBK race at the resurfaced 4.423km Spanish track gave Rea maximum points – as he was joined on the podium by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Northern Irishman Rea notched a double win at a venue where he had not previously tasted victory, the KRT man riding in a confident and relaxed manner having wrapped up an unprecedented third successive title three weeks ago in France. Rea went from ninth on the grid to first place by the end of the first lap, overtaking Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) cleanly at the second attempt to remain at the front from early in lap 2.
Rea did not look back from there and crossed the line 2.7s seconds ahead of Melandri, who got the better of his teammate Davies in the final stages of the race. The result gave Kawasaki the 2017 WorldSBK Manufacturers’ title.
There were good battles throughout the field behind the front runners with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finishing fourth and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) fifth. Van der Mark was sixth after leading on the first lap and having had a clash with Melandri early in the race.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh, after a good battle with 2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli – who returned to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR this weekend. Frenchman Guintoli will also ride for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final round of the season in Qatar next month. Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) completed the top ten.
Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was given a ride through penalty after speeding in pit lane having been forced to return to his garage due to an issue midrace. He eventually finished 17th, after suffering a DNF on Saturday. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was 18th after he crashed out on the first lap of the restarted race.
A red flag had been shown after first lap incidents in the initial race, which saw Davies and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) both down at turn two and then Dominic Schmitter (eighty one HPC-Power Suzuki Racing) needing assistance from medical staff at trackside after crashing heavily on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Davies’ team worked hard as the riders prepared for a restart 20 minutes after the original race had begun, with the Ducati Panigale R requiring some quick repairs in order for the Welshman to return to the starting grid for the second getaway. Laverty was also due on the grid for the restart however he had to return to pit lane for another tweak to his Aprilia RSV4 RF just before the second start – as his tough season continued. He eventually restarted from pit lane and was ultimately unable to finish the shortened 19 lap second race.
The last round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship – the Acerbis Qatar Round – takes place from Thursday 2nd November to Saturday 4th November, under the floodlights in the desert at the Losail International Circuit. The fight for 2nd and third will be intense, with both Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes sitting on 363 points.
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Marco Melandri – Ducati 3. Chaz Davies – Ducati
WorldSBK Championship Standings
1. Jonathan Rea – 506 points (Kawasaki) 2. Chaz Davies – 363 points (Ducati) 3. Tom Sykes – 363 points (Kawasaki) 4. Marco Melandri – 301 points (Ducati) 5. Alex Lowes – 226 points (Yamaha)
WorldSSP: Australia’s Anthony West Takes Third With Caricasulo Victorious
In the penultimate WorldSSP race of the season on Sunday in Spain it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who clinched a scintillating victory, crossing the line just 0.065s in front of Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with the podium completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
It was a superb 19 lap contest around the resurfaced 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with Caricasulo and Cluzel contesting the lead in the early laps and their battle would continue to the last corner of the race, with the Italian just holding off the Frenchman for a breathtaking win.
The experienced West worked his way up into a front group of five riders and was able to secure third place by a comfortable enough margin from fourth placed PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in the end.
At the Pirelli Spanish Round standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) ultimately produced a controlled and professional ride to fifth place, picking up crucial points after two crashes earlier in the weekend in Spain.
In the absence of the injured 2016 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias has opened up a 20 point advantage at the head of the standings with one race remaining in Qatar early in November.
Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) is now out of contention for the title, the South African having a tricky race, taking the holeshot off the line from third on the grid before dropping out of the top ten in the early running and then making his way back up to sixth.
The top ten was completed by Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
The race results saw Yamaha confirmed as the Winning WorldSSP Manufacturer for 2017 as the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team secured the Team’s title.
Meanwhile, for Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) 15th place was enough to give him the FIM Europe Supersport Cup title.
Stefan Hill (Profile Racing) crashed out at turn 10 early in the race, then with 9 laps to go Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) went down at turn 13 and would retire shortly afterwards. Kyle Smith then also crashed at turn 13 at the end of the race, meaning a DNF for the GEMAR Team Lorini man.
WorldSSP Race Results: 1. Federico Caricasulo – Yamaha 2. Jules Cluzel – Honda 3. Anthony West (Australia) – Kawasaki