WSBK: Assen and Imola

Ac­tion-packed 200th WSBK race for Jonathan Rea, and a con­tro­versy



Rac­ing Team rider and de­fend­ing cham­pion, Jonathan Rea, who claimed his third dou­ble vic­tory at Assen; how­ever, it came with a huge con­tro­versy. Dur­ing Su­per­pole 2, Rea man­aged to break the lap record and take P1 for the race. On his cool-down lap, how­ever, the two-time WSBK cham­pion blocked Du­cati rider Chaz Davies, who was on his fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing lap. Davies had to abort the lap be­cause of Rea, which did not give the Welsh rider any scope for im­prove­ment. Davies even­tu­ally stayed put in P3.

A heated ar­gu­ment en­sued in Parc Ferme where the Du­cati rider con­fronted the Kawasaki man. The in­ci­dent was then picked up by Race Di­rec­tion, who handed Rea a penalty that saw the north­ern Ir­ish rider start on the sec­ond row, in P4.


With Rea in P4 and Davies in P2, it was go­ing to be an in­tense bat­tle be­tween the two. As the lights went out, it was clear that Davies was go­ing to be tough to beat. The Welsh rider quickly slipped into the lead with Rea fol­low­ing closely in P2. Rea kept chal­leng­ing Davies through­out the race, but the two hardly traded po­si­tions. Mean­while, be­hind the fight­ing duo, a cool and calm Tom Sykes was busy de­fend­ing his po­si­tion from the sec­ond Du­cati of Marco Me­landri.

The top four places re­mained prac­ti­cally un­al­tered right un­til the penul­ti­mate lap, when Davies ran wide, hand­ing the lead over to Rea. Davies tried hard on the last lap but his Pani­gale lost power, sig­nalling the end of the race for the Du­cati rider. With Davies out, it was Rea who claimed his sixth win of the sea­son. Sykes and Me­landri also ben­e­fited from Davies’ mis­for­tune as both of them fin­ished on the podium.


Af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing race one, Davies was all set to re­tal­i­ate and emerge vic­to­ri­ous in race two, or so he hoped. As the race got un­der way, Sykes, Rea, and Davies made quick progress, with Rea and Sykes lead­ing the pack within the first three laps. Davies, who had started on P10, strug­gled a lit­tle be­fore mak­ing it to P3 on lap seven. By then the Kawasaki duo had al­ready built up a size­able lead.

With Davies out of con­tention, the bat­tle be­tween Rea and Sykes in­ten­si­fied. In fact, both the rid­ers took it down to the wire, cross­ing the fin­ish line to­gether. Nev­er­the­less, it was Jonathan Rea who claimed his third con­sec­u­tive dou­ble vic­tory by 0.025 sec­onds. Rea won his 200th WSBK race in style and ex­tended his cham­pi­onship lead by 64 points. Sykes’ sec­ond place gave him enough points to re­tain his num­ber two po­si­tion on the cham­pi­onship ta­ble, and in third place was Davies, who fin­ished the race five sec­onds be­hind Rea.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.