Another World Superbikes race weekend did take place in Italy, at the Imola circuit. It was Ducati and Chaz Davies who dominated there with both races affected with the red flag.
Chaz Davies started from pole position to the Saturday’s race. Tom Sykes was second, Jonathan Rea third. In the second row there were Leon Camier, Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty.
Chaz Davies had a perfect start and went to the lead. Marco Melandri did good start as well and he was going on 2nd place. Kawasaki’s duo Rea and Sykes were 3rd and 4th respectively.
Jordi Torres didn’t start to the race due to some health problems.
Davies was increasing his lead, while Rea was closing his gap to second Melandri. In lap number 5 the British rider overtook Melandri for P2.
Meanwhile, Riccardo Russo and also Nicky Hayden weren’t continuing in the race as both went to the pits due to technical problems.
Leandro Mercado crashed from the very promising P8. He wasn’t able to continue in the race then.
On top positions, the situation was quite stable as Davies was in the lead with very comfortable gap to second Rea who also made some advantage ahead of third Melandri. Then Sykes was behind him.
Eugene Laverty had good start and was going on 5th place but how the race was going his rivals were overtaking him. In the lap number 12 he had a very nasty crash after some contact with Alex Lowes. It seemed like Laverty jumped off his bike to avoid any bigger problem (as his breaks didn’t work). The bike burned down.
Red flag came out. The race was officially ended. So Chaz Davies won the race ahead of Jonathan Rea and local rider Marco Melandri. It was also good home race for Ducati who had P1 and P3.
Tom Sykes was 4th which meant that he went to start from pole positon on Sunday.
Xavi Forés finished on very solid 5th place, Leon Camier was 6th, Michael van der Mark 7th, his team mate Alex Lowes 8th. Roman Ramos and Stefan Bradl completed top 10.
Alex de Angelis, Lorenzo Savadori, Randy Krummenacher, Raffaele de Rosa and Ayrton Badovini also took some points. Ondřej Ježek finished 16th.
Tom Sykes started from pole position, Xavi Forés and Leon Camier were next to him in the front row. In the second row there were Michael van der Mark, Alex Lowes and Roman Ramos. Marco Melandri, Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies started from the row number three.
Sykes went to the lead but already in the first lap of the race the red flag came out.
Ayrton Badovini’s bike had technical issues. It was the engine problem and there was oil on the track.
Track marshals were quite busy with cleaning it all. It took them more than half an hour.
Badovini then didn’t go to the restart.
When it was restarted, it was Sykes again who managed to lead from pole position. Leon Camier moved to 2nd and Rea was already 3rd in the first lap. Also Chaz Davies did a good start and was there as well. His team mate Melandri was in the front too.
Marco Melandri overtook Rea for P3 but later Rea tried to overtake him back but he was wide and went back some places.
Later also Melandri has some hard moments so Davies made it to P3. In that time Camier wasn’t in the race already because he crashed. A big shame for him as he was P2 in that time.
Also Alex de Angelis crashed.
Chaz Davies (who moved to P2 after Camier’s crash) started to catch Sykes. It took him a few laps to catch him and overtake him. He started to pull away then.
Then there was Rea catching Sykes. And also Melandri trying to catch Xavi Forés who was racing on great 4th place.
It didn’t take too long for Rea to catch his team mate Sykes. He overtook him and was racing on the 2nd place.
With 4 laps to go Davies had already 4.8 seconds advantage ahead of Rea. Sykes was going 3rd. And Davies was increasing his lead.
Chaz Davies took the double there and so it was double for Ducati. Good for them in their home race weekend!
Jonathan Rea was 2nd, Tom Sykes 3rd.
Xavi Forés managed to keep the 4th place, Marco Melandri was 5th, Alex Lowes 6th, Eugene Laverty 7th, Jordi Torres 8th (great job from him as he couldn’t start on Saturday due to illness and so he started from P21 on Sunday), Michael van der Mark 9th and Leandro Mercado completed top 10.
Roman Ramos, Nicky Hayden, Lorenzo Savadori, Stefan Bradl and Randy Krummenacher were on points too.
Raffaele de Rosa was 16th, Ondřej Ježek 17th.
Russo, Camier and de Angelis didn’t finish the race with Badovini didn’t start to the restart.
Jonathan Rea is still in the Championship lead with 235 points. Chaz Davies is on the 2nd place 74 points behind. Tom Sykes is 3rd.
Kawasaki Racing Team is in the Team Standing lead while Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers Standing.
Next race will be in 2 weeks time in the United Kingdom, at Donington Park.
Photo: World SBK