WSBK RD 2 Review

Race 1:

 

Just like in Phillip Island the front row was made of Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri, Alex Lowes, Chaz Davies and Michael Van Der Mark made up row 2. The entrie front row made good starts but it was Rea who lead into turn one ahead of Melandri, Sykes came through in third ahead of Davies in fourth and Lowes in 5th his team mate Van Der Mark started well in 6th and Eugene Laverty started impressivley in 7th.

Almost striaght away Rea started to open up a gap as he said on the grid he felt he had the pace to put alot of time into the group behind , He did open up a gap but the entire front four of Rea, Melandri, Sykes and Davies were pulling away from the Yamaha’s of Lowes and Van Der Mark who were fighting over 5th and 6th places.

On Lap 3 Rea set a new race record as he continued to push the pace,Van Der Mark made his way past Lowes as the battle of the Yamahas continued to heat up. As they went onto lap 4 it was clear that Sykes didnt have the pace to go with Melandri and Rea and was holding up Davies behind him it took till the mid way point however till Davies could pass with a hard but fair move that seemed to surprise Sykes.

The gap at the front had opened up to around 1 second by lap 5 Rea set another race record, Melandri didnt have the pace to live with Rea at the front but was holding onto a gap to his team mate Davies who was trying to make up the time he lost behind Sykes. The Yamaha battle had split up by this stage Van Der Mark looked to have a slight advantage over Lowes opening up a gap to him. Behind them Laverty was having a solid race in 7th place still get adjusted to the Aprillia and back into WSBK action after his time in Moto GP.

Rea had opened up his gap to 2.2 seconds with 12 laps to go, Melandri remained in second but was being put under pressure from Davies who in turn was feeling it from Sykes in fourth. Behind that front group there was a battle for 8th place between Jordi Torres,Xavi Fores,Lorenzo Savadori, Nicky Hayden and Leon Camier this would eventually break up leaving Torres to eventually take 7th after Laverty ran into troubles at the end of the race.
At the front of th race Rea was well in front but Davies was maintaining the pressure on Melandri as he was looking to limit the point damage caused by Rea’s dominance, Sykes maintained his gap but looked to be struggling to stay with the Ducatis, With 7 laps to go Davies made his move on Melandri passing him easily ahead of them Rea had opened his gap to 5 seconds.

With 5 laps to go Melandri was still hanging onto the rear wheel of Davies hoping to pressurize him into some kind of mistake,Sykes was still there but looked a bit to far back to really make an impact, Van Der Mark had solidified his fifth place ahead of his team mate Lowes showing a massive improvement from his Phillip Island results.

As they entered the lasp lap most of the top 7 positions were secured Rea could have pushed his bike across the line at this stage Davies had opend up his gap to third as it looked like Melandri had used up his tyre life as he struggled to hold of Sykes eventually he would lose third place to Sykes in the final corner, Laverty ran into issues on the final lap dropping right down the order and as mentioned earlier handing 7th place to Torres.

This race was certainily not the thriller we had seen in Phillip Island but it was a comfortable dominant showing from Rea right from the first lap with no one having an answer to him, Davies managed to limit the championship damage by taking second place and Sykes also helped his championship by beating Melandri to the final podium psotion.

 

1 1 1 J. REA GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 5 7 C. DAVIES GBR Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati Panigale R
3 2 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
4 3 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati Panigale R
5 6 60 M. VAN DER MARK NED Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1
6 4 22 A. LOWES GBR Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1
7 10 81 J. TORRES ESP Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S 1000 RR
8 11 2 L. CAMIER GBR MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta 1000 F4
9 14 69 N. HAYDEN USA Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
10 16 6 S. BRADL GER Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
11 8 12 X. FORÉS ESP BARNI Racing Team Ducati Panigale R
12 13 88 R. KRUMMENACHER SUI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R
13 9 32 L. SAVADORI ITA Milwaukee Aprilia Aprilia RSV4 RF
14 12 21 M. REITERBERGER GER Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S 1000 RR
15 19 40 R. RAMOS ESP Team Kawasaki Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R
16 15 15 A. DE ANGELIS RSM Pedercini Racing SC-Project Kawasaki ZX-10R
17 17 84 R. RUSSO ITA Guandalini Racing Yamaha YZF R1
18 18 37 O. JEZEK CZE Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
————————————————–Not Classified————————————————–
RET 7 50 E. LAVERTY IRL Milwaukee Aprilia Aprilia RSV4 RF 19
RET 20 86 A. BADOVINI ITA Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R

 

Race 2:

 

As the new reverse grid came into effect again Rea started race two from 9th with Davies in 8th and Sykes 7th, Melandri started the race from pole ahead of Van Der Mark and Lowes who completed the front row, Torres,Camier and Hayden all made up the second row. Starting the race Melandri started well leading into turn one head of Lowes and Camier, Rea and Davies both made great starts getting up as high as 4th and 5th.

Davies passed Rea and Camier to go into 3rd Van Der Mark started to drop down the order falling to 13th with a bike issue. Futher into the lap Rea passed both Davies and Lowes in one turn but lost out to Davies again as he went slightly wide on the exit of the corner.
Davies made a massive mistake on lap 3 going in very deep into the second turn running out wide into the dirty area of the track and crashing out of the race he managed to pick the bike up and restart, Davies crashign allowed Rea to mov into second and close in on Melandri, Lowes moved into 3rd place after Davies crash ahead of Sykes who was not suffering from the reverse grid as he had done in Phillip Island.

Rea made his move to take the lead from Melandri with 16 laps to go and almost instantly attempted to break away from him as he had done in race 1. Lowes remained in 3rd and was doing well to fend of Sykes Camier behind them in 5th was having a brilliant ride as was Laverty in 6th. Unfortunately the race was red flagged the next lap due to Lorenzo Savadori having a massive high side in the final turn his crash was caused by a engine blow up drpping oil over his rear wheel thankfully he was unhurt from the accident.

The race restarted with the grid lining up as they had crossed the line, Van Der Mark was unfortunately unable to restart due to his bike have an unidentifiable oil leak that the team were unable to fix, The biggest beneficary of the restart was Davies who was able to to get a standing start and make his way through the pack.

Rea and Melandri got away from the line well swapping positions almost every corner on the opening lap eventually Rea took the lead and held it, Sykes got a great start and was in 3rd right on the back wheel of Melandri, Davies was already up to 11th on the first lap carving his way past the slower riders at the back of the pack.

The front three of Rea,Melandri and Sykes had broken away from Laverty who was up to 4th he was battling with Lowes for this place showing the form everyone believed he would have, Davies was up to 9th now and closing in on the group that was now lead by Lowes in 4th Davies was doing a great job of limiting the points damage caused by his earlier crash.

At the front of the race Rea continued to lead but Melandri was hanging on and putting as much pressure as he could on him Sykes was sticking with them but didnt quite seem to have the pace to put any sort of pressure to take the lead at this stage of the race. Stefan Bradl who was having a really bad weekend and pretty horrible start to life in the WSBK paddock crashed out on lap 11, Ahead of this Davies moved into 8th place,Rea had opened up a sizable gap at the front as Melandri’s attention turned to Sykes who was now putting pressure on him.

With 9 laps to go Davies looked to have the pace to move forward but was being held up by the MV Agusta of Camier he struggled to find a way past every time he would get close Camier would shut the door, Laverty who was running 5th at this point crashed out this accident caused Camier to sit up and this allowed Davies to make his move but also handed 5th place to Torres who was having a brilliant race on the BWW. Hayden was also having his best race to date on the new Honda Fireblade running in 8th place and running at the pace of the group of riders ahead of him.

Unfortunately with 6 laps to go Camier ran into issues his bike started smoking badly and he was forced to pull out , At the front of the race Melandri had really lost touch with Rea in the lead and was being hounded by Sykes, Lowes was showing great maturity and again impressed with a solid 4th place ride something that looked miles away last season.
With 4 laps to go Davies was throwing everything he had at Torres but just didnt have an answer for the top end speed of the BMW down the straights, At the front the battle for 2nd was really heating up Sykes was right on the back wheel of Melandri and was setting much faster lap times than the italian meanwhile well up the track Rea was comfortable in 1st.

As they entered the final lap Rea had the race all but sown up the real battles were between Melandri and Sykes for 2nd and between Torres and Davies for 5th place, Lowes had as big a gap to Torres and Davies as Rea had to Melandro and Sykes.

Rea took the win ahead of Sykes who as he had in race one passed Melandri into the final corner Lowes came home 4th ahead of Torres who manged to hold of Davies, Hayden crossed the line 7th taking the best finish to date for the brand new fireblade, This weekend was another truly dominant performance from Rea who became the first rider since Neil Hodgson to win the first 4 races of year Davies did his best to limit the points damage but Rea was still able to open the gap in the championship up to 30 points.

 

1 1 1 J. REA GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 2 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
3 3 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati Panigale R
4 4 22 A. LOWES GBR Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1
5 10 81 J. TORRES ESP Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S 1000 RR
6 5 7 C. DAVIES GBR Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati Panigale R
7 14 69 N. HAYDEN USA Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
8 8 12 X. FORÉS ESP BARNI Racing Team Ducati Panigale R
9 19 40 R. RAMOS ESP Team Kawasaki Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R
10 12 21 M. REITERBERGER GER Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S 1000 RR
11 15 15 A. DE ANGELIS RSM Pedercini Racing SC-Project Kawasaki ZX-10R
12 17 84 R. RUSSO ITA Guandalini Racing Yamaha YZF R1
13 18 37 O. JEZEK CZE Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
14 20 86 A. BADOVINI ITA Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
15 7 50 E. LAVERTY IRL Milwaukee Aprilia Aprilia RSV4 RF
————————————————–Not Classified————————————————–
RET 11 2 L. CAMIER GBR MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta 1000 F4 10
RET 13 88 R. KRUMMENACHER SUI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R
RET 16 6 S. BRADL GER Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
NS 6 60 M. VAN DER MARK NED Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1

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