The third World Superbike Championship race weekend is already over. For the first time this season it all moved to Europe. It was the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain which organised this round.
Chaz Davies started from pole position to race one. Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were in the front row as well.
Marco Melandri, Xavi Forés and Jordi Torres started from the row two. In the third row there were Michael van der Mark, Leandro Mercado (who came back after he had to skip the first two rounds due to injury) and Eugene Laverty.
Czech rider Ondřej Ježek had do withdraw from the rest of the weekend after he crashed in Saturday’s Superpole 1 and suffered concussion.
It looked really good and promising from the Davies’ point of view. He was in the lead of the race but Jonathan Rea was always somewhere around him. But Davies had a good pace and it seemed like he’s the stronger one there in Aragon. But two laps to go it happened. He crashed from the lead.
Jonathan Rea then came for another victory this season. Marco Melandri finished second so at least Ducati had someone on the rostrum. Rea’s team mate Tom Sykes was third.
Perfect race for team Pata Yamaha as Alex Lowes was 4th and Michael van der Mark 5th and it meant that it would be double front row start for them for race 2.
Jordi Torres finished 6th in his home race and for him it also meant he would be in front row for the second race.
Perfect comeback for Leandro Mercado. He finished within top 10 in his first race after being injured. It was P7 which was really great for him and his Ioda Racing team.
Eugene Laverty was able to finish 8th, Stefan Bradl was 9th and his team mate Nicky Hayden 10th.
Leon Camier was 11th, Markus Reiterberger 12th, Julián Simón 13th, Randy Krummenacher 14th and Alex de Angelis 15th. Riccardo Russo finished 16th so didn’t take any points.
I just want to say something more about Julián Simón. He was racing with the Milwaukee Aprilia in that round. The doctors didn’t let Lorenzo Savadori to race because of his crash from last round in Thailand. There he suffered some minor injuries to his vertebrae so he had to skip Aragon round. Local rider Julián Simón replaced him and took some points in his first race. That’s good job.
Chaz Davies wasn’t the only unlucky one. Also Roman Ramos didn’t finish the race but in his case it was technical problem.
Hard times for the Grillini team as Ježek couldn’t start and Ayrton Badovini had technical problems already a few seconds after the race was started.
Local Xavi Forés crashed but then he re-joined the race. And then he had literally hot moments. He suffered minor burns on his neck and arm but luckily nothing serious.
For the race two it was Alex Lowes who was on pole position. His Yamaha team mate Michael van der Mark was next to him. Local hero Jordi Torres with BMW bike completed the front row.
Leandro Mercado, Eugene Laverty and Stefan Bradl was on the second row. Tom Sykes, Marco Melandri and Jonathan Rea started from row three. Chaz Davies was P10, thus row four.
Pata Yamaha boys really tried their best. Lowes was leading the race for a few laps until Jonathan Rea caught and overtook him. Michael van der Mark was also trying to keep the pace of the best ones.
But how the race was going they both started to lose some positions. In the 11th lap (from 18) Alex Lowes made a mistake and ran wide. He then returned to the track but as P13.
Chaz Davies made it to be behind Rea, also Marco Melandri was there with them. It was the battle of these three for the places on the podium. For a while it looked like Rea would go for another win. But later Davies overtook him and built a small margin. Even Melandri overtook Rea but then he overtook the Italian back.
Chaz Davies did it and came for his first victory of the season. Jonathan Rea was 2nd and Marco Melandri 3rd.
Tom Sykes was 4th, Michael van der Mark finished on solid 5th position, Xavi Forés was able to start to the race with some bandage on his neck and he finished on 6th position which was great result for him.
Another Spaniard, Jordi Torres, was 7th, Leandro Mercado was 8th. For Leandro it’s really great to be in top 10 in both races during the weekend. Eugene Laverty was 9th and Leon Camier 10th.
Roman Ramos was 11th, Stefan Bradl 12th, Alex Lowes 13th, Randy Krummenacher 14th, Julián Simón 15th. Markus Reiterberger and Ayrton Badovini was without any point in the race.
Alex de Angelis crashed, Riccardo Russo and Nicky Hayden both retired from the race due to some technical problems probably.
Jonathan Rea leads in the Championship with 145 points. Chaz Davies is 2nd with 95 points and Tom Sykes is third with 91 points. Melandri then has 81 points.
In the Manufacturers standings there is Kawasaki in the first place with 145 points, Ducati has 121 points and they are second. On the third place there is Yamaha with 74 points.
Kawasaki Racing Team leads the Team standings with 236 points ahead of Aruba.it Racing – Ducati (176 p.) and Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team (114 p.).
The next round of the World SBK Championship will be from 28th to 30th April in Assen, the Netherlands.
Photo: World SBK