This morning in Italy it was race 2 of the WorldSBK championship, with pressure on Davies to get the double, just like last year.
The grid today, due to the reshuffle introduced this season, went as follows: In pole it was Sykes followed by Forés and Camier. Row 2: van der Mark, teammate Lowes and Ramos in front of Melandri, Rea and Davies. Laverty, Mercardo, Savadori, Bradl, Hayden and Krummernacher will be taking up rows 4 and 5. It was then De Rosa, Badovini and De Angelis and last but not least on row 7, Russo, Jezek and Torres – Torres being declared fit to race thanks to Clinica Mobile and looking a lot happier today!
The race got underway with Sykes getting the hole shot ahead of Forés, Rea had managed to make up 3 positions putting him into 5th unlike Davies who has been pushed back after a bad start. Lowes and Van Der Mark had both fallen back into 6th and 7th from their 2nd row start while half way through the lap Davies had started to come back.
Following the theme of this weekend, the red flag came out after the engine of Badovini blew on the second lap. The race was due to continue as 18 laps with a quick restart procedure.
For the second time today, the riders lined up on the grid keeping their original positions but this time without Badovini. Sykes got the hole shot again, but Rea was coming up to 4th and Davies was up to 5th making a better start this time round.
Sykes started to build up a lead and had got the gap up to 2.1s but Davies was coming and quick. He was the first into the 1:46s and was constantly putting in new fast laps, eventually bringing him into 1st. The battle for 4th was between Forés and Melandri who were both on Ducati’s, but it seemed that Melandri couldn’t made a move on Forés and it was an incredible ride for the Spaniard. Soon after Davies got through on Sykes, so did Rea but couldn’t manage to get away unlike Davies.
It was a good ride for Torres, starting from the last spot on the grid as he had managed to make his way into 8th -making up 13 places after the illness he had been suffering with over the weekend.
This is what the top 3 riders had to say:
Davies: “It’s been working like a dream since, FP2, the bike had a re-balanced and a different front tyre from what I would normally use and it seems that at the end of the race, the gap was going and I was controlling it quite comfortably. In front of the manufacturers home crowd, in front of everybody from Ducati and it’s just amazing and the support here for us Ducati guys is just incredible and it’s so good to see the whole track lined with people. It’s something very special that’ll I’ll remember, the whole weekend, so thanks everybody.”
Rea: “Really good weekend for me because there was no stopping Chaz (Davies) I mean we pretty much halved the gap to the front in that race. I felt a little bit better with the bike but unfortunately we changed the front tyre and I just found it a bit squishy on the side of the tyre but I did my best, had fun and scored points in Imola – so congratulations to Chaz and Ducati because they didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend.”
Sykes: “We’ve always been missing that last little bit, this weekend we were very good until the racing and for the racing on both days, the track temperature was only 6/7 degrees hotter but a bit greasy and I was really struggling with the front. We need to build on this, apart from that, enjoyed the racing, you know it was a close race between the Kawasakis all race. It’s great here in front of the fans in Italy,of course, a better result would have been nicer but we tried and we always try to improve.”
The race finished with Davies taking the win for Ducati again, making the double, just like last year. Finishing off the podium was Rea again in 2nd and this time Sykes in 3rd. Forés came across the line in 4th followed by Melandri who managed a podium finish yesterday. It was then Lowes, Laverty, and impressive ride from Torres, van der Mark and rounding off the top 10 was Mercardo with a brilliant ride.
Ramos finished in 11th followed by Hayden, Savadori, Bradl and the last point went to Krummenacher with De Rosa missing out on the points finishing 16th along with Jezek in 17th.
Rea continues to build on his lead in the championship, now 74 points ahead of Davies who has moved into 2nd pushing Sykes down to 3rd with 160 points. It is then Melandri with 125, Lowes in 5th with 94 points, Forés has 84 and van der Mark on 78. Torres moved up the board to 8th with 65 points, Camier is only 1 point behind with 64 and finishing the top 10 is Laverty with 55 points.
In two week times we come over to the UK to Donington Park for the 6th round of the championship!