WorldSBK Race One: Five From Five For Brilliant Rea At Aragon
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) maintained his perfect record book for 2017 with his fifth win from five events on Saturday at Spain’s Aragon, taking full advantage of a late crash for Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) to secure the victory. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed the podium.
Rea put pressure on the provisional race leader Davies for most of the race, with Ducati’s Welsh rider crashing out at the penultimate turn of the penultimate lap.
Melandri was another beneficiary of Davies’ unfortunate crash as he crossed the line in second, the Italian outpacing Sykes as the pair battled for prominence. Sykes’ third place in the race moves him up to second in the general standings.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) secured an excellent fourth place finish, ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who completed the top five.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) was the best Spanish finisher in sixth, with Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) all in the top ten. Bradl did well for ninth after technical problems earlier in Tissot Superpole 2.
Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) retired early in the race due to a technical problem with his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was forced to stop in the final stages due to a technical problem which caused his Ducati Panigale R to catch fire. It was a disappointing end to Fores’ race after he had remounted and battled on, having crashed early on when fighting for fourth with Sykes at turn one.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 11th and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) did well for 12th after starting from pit lane due to an issue before the race.
“I rode the strongest race I could; Chaz was strong in areas where I was not, and I was strong in areas where he was not, so it was a case of me learning a lot in the race. The only thing I could do in that race was ride shotgun and put as much pressure on as I could and wait for a mistake. The door opened up a few times because Chaz missed a few apexes but finally he went down in the penultimate lap. I hope Chaz is OK but for me it was a perfect opportunity to win another race”
1st – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“I was a very tough race because everyone expected to have warmer temperatures to use the softer rear tyre but this was impossible, everyone’s bike were completely different to the practice and for me it was not easy. I couldn’t have the speed that I would like to have and to be second is a big result for me.”
2nd – Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“Sometimes you get gifted things in racing but we were working hard. The start of my day was very bad because I woke up about 04.00 this morning with some kind of sickness and suffered in the race. In the wind I just suffered a little bit with the turning of the bike, so the rear traction was critical. Because the bike would not turn I was over-stressing the rear tyre. From that point of view, tomorrow we will have another go.”
3rd – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Marco Melandri – Ducati 3. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki
WorldSBK Race Two: Davies Halts The Rea Train
A highly determined ride from Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) at the Pirelli Aragón Round on Sunday saw the Welshman get his first win of 2017, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also on the podium.
WorldSBK race two – in sunny but windy conditions at MotorLand Aragon – went down to the last lap, with Davies making amends for his race one crash as he got the better of world champion Rea over the last two corners.
The pair duelled for the lead in the final stages, with Davies ultimately crossing the line half a second ahead of Rea, to end the Northern Irishman’s five race winning streak. Melandri continued his solid comeback season in third place, around 2.5s back on his victorious teammate.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished in fourth place, the former world champion suffering from sickness this weekend in Spain. Sykes finished eight down on the podium positions but got the better of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) on the final lap.
Dutchman Van der Mark equalled his best result of the season so far in fifth. There was frustration for his Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team colleague Alex Lowes on lap 11, as a mistake saw him run off track and drop out of podium contention as he resumed way down the field, having been in fourth before his off-track excursion.
Lowes had started race two at the front of the grid and he had held the lead for several laps. The Englishman eventually finished 13th.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) recovered from the drama of his Saturday DNF, which saw his race end with his Ducati in flames, finishing Sunday’s contest as the top Spanish rider in sixth – just under two seconds ahead of compatriot Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completed the top ten.
Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) suffered a DNF due to a technical problem, whilst Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project) crashed out at the end of lap 15.
The WorldSBK grid will be back in action at the Acerbis Dutch Round at Assen from 28-30 April.
“Yesterday was a disaster, the whole weekend was a disaster until the last lap of the second race. The only moment of joy is bringing home the win, and it’s good to bring it home like that. We know the bike is good here, although we still need to work in a lot of different areas, but for now we are really going to enjoy this and it was a great battle.”
1st – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“I’m really pleased and its been a really good weekend for us. We have come to a track that’s not strong for me on the bike, we put a good Friday in and felt confident. To put in a 18 full laps with Chaz yesterday, bar to bar in both races at one of his strongest tracks was no mean feat. And today we had a good battle, so are really happy to get a podium.”
2nd – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“It was a great race, but very tough because of the windy conditions but my bike was working pretty good. It was not that easy to come back from the third row. I struggled with the front again and when Chaz arrived it was difficult. He is always difficult to try and force more in the breaks. I was able to get closer to the front guys but I am missing something.”
3rd – Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Chaz Davies – Ducati 2. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 3. Marco Melandri – Ducati
Championship Standings After Round Three
1. Jonathan Rea – 145 points (Kawasaki) 2. Chaz Davies – 95 points (Ducati) 3. Tom Sykes – 91 points (Kawasaki) 4. Marco Melandri – 81 points (Ducati) 5. Alex Lowes – 65 points (Yamaha)
WorldSSP: Superb Victory For Mahias In dramatic Aragon Race
Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) was the victor in an action-packed WorldSSP race at the Pirelli Aragón Round, with Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) joining the French rider on the podium.
With several front-running riders crashing out over the course of the race Mahias, Morais and Jacobsen were left to fight for the victory. Mahias got the better of South Africa’s Morais on the final corner to win by just +0.014s.
Jacobsen was in the hunt for second in the final stages but the American finished a tenth of a second behind the leading two. The win for Mahias sees him take over at the head of the standings after three rounds.
Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crossed the line three seconds behind the podium finishers in fourth place, with close behind him Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI) in fifth.
Robin Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crashed alone on the first lap at turn 7, Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) crashed at turn 9 on lap 5, with Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) then going down at turn 14 on lap 7 having run at the front in the early stages.
Then there was more drama at the start of lap eight as Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) was flipped over his bike and Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was unable to avoid colliding with Caricasulo’s Yamaha.
Returning World Champion Sofuoglu, who missed the opening two rounds with a hand injury, was taken to the medical centre for check-ups, as was Caricasulo.
The top ten was completed by Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing).
Estonian rider Soomer’s ninth place result made him the top FIM Europe Supersport Cup finisher, followed by Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) in 12th and Péter Sebestyén (Team SSP Hungary by Pedercini Racing) in 19th.
There were DNFs for Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), the Englishman stopping midrace and the Italian retiring in the opening stages.
The WorldSSP riders will return to action at the Acerbis Dutch Round over the
28th-30th April weekend.
“It was pretty crazy but I was fighting a lot. I had a good strategy, in the beginning it was to follow all the riders and with a lot of wind it was tricky with the race. I am very happy as in the race I was fast in the last corner and Sheridan doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the corner, and the win is good for me and for the team.”
1st – Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha)
WorldSSP Results: 1. Lucas Mahias – Yamaha 2. Sheridan Morais – Yamaha 3. PJ Jacobsen – MV Agusta
Australians: 17. Aiden Wagner – Honda 20. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki
Championship Standings After Round Three
1. Lucas Mahias – 45 points (Yamaha) 2. Roberto Rolfo – 40 points (MV Agusta) 3/ Sheridan Morais – 34 points (Yamaha)