Du­cati Dom­i­nant at Imola

Davies achieves a splen­did dou­ble vic­tory, break­ing Rea’s win­ning streak

Bike India - - SPORT WSBK ASSEN & IMOLA -

AF­TER A DIS­AP­POINT­ING

race week­end in Hol­land, Aruba.it Du­cati’s Chaz Davies was back to his win­ning ways at Imola, bag­ging a dou­ble vic­tory.

RACE ONE

The first Ital­ian round of the sea­son was prob­a­bly the most ac­tion- and drama-packed one to date: the first race saw an Aprilia burst into flames and then Chaz Davies claim vic­tory by 6.6 sec­onds. It was a clear vic­tory for him as the Welsh­man led the race from flag to pole. As the lights went out, Davies took off like a rocket and held on to the lead. Be­hind him was his team-mate, Marco Me­landri, who also got a bril­liant start. In third place was reign­ing cham­pion and Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea, who, on lap five, over­took Me­landri to slip into P2.

Con­sis­tently rid­ing in P4 was the sec­ond Kawasaki rider, Tom Sykes. As the race pro­gressed, Davies started to pull away from the rest of the pack, build­ing a huge lead in the process. Jonathan Rea tried his best to catch up with Davies; how­ever, it was too late for the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

Un­for­tu­nately, the race was stopped abruptly when Mil­wau­kee Aprilia rider Eu­gene Laverty col­lided with PATA Yamaha’s Alex Lowes and lost the front fender of his bike. Laverty then ran off the track and jumped off the bike as the Aprilia went straight into a con­crete wall and burst into flames on im­pact. Although Laverty es­caped un­scathed, the same could not be said of the bike.

The race was de­clared af­ter lap 12 and it was Davies who had won with a mar­gin of 6.6 sec­onds. Jonathan Rea fin­ished sec­ond, bag­ging valu­able points to ex­tend his cham­pi­onship lead. Com­plet­ing the podium was Me­landri who fin­ished 9.2 sec­onds be­hind Davies.

RACE TWO

The sec­ond race of the Ital­ian round saw some more drama when, on the open­ing lap, Ayr­ton Badovini’s Grillini Kawasaki’s en­gine blew up, spilling oil on the track. The race was in­stantly stopped and af­ter a de­lay of 35 min­utes, the rid­ers were back on the grid for a sec­ond at­tempt. As the lights went out, pole-sit­ter Tom Sykes rock­eted ahead, tak­ing an early lead. Be­hind him was Leon Camier, who, un­for­tu­nately, suf­fered a crash on lap three which re­sulted in Davies slip­ping into P2, fol­lowed by Rea in P3. But the Welsh­man seemed de­ter­mined to get a dou­ble vic­tory as he quickly made his way to P1 by lap seven and started pulling away.

Be­hind Davies, Sykes and Rea were slug­ging it out and on lap 12, Rea fi­nally made his move and over­took Sykes to slip into P2. By the time Rea got into P2, it was too late for the North­ern Ir­ish rider to chal­lenge Davies as the Welsh­man had built a size­able lead by then. In the end, Davies crossed the fin­ish line 3.7 sec­onds clear of Rea, claim­ing his first dou­ble vic­tory of the sea­son. Davies also be­came the first rider in seven years at Imola to win a race start­ing off the front row.

RE­PORT: RAVI CHANDNANI

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