WSBK (Italy & UsA)

Bike India - - CONTENTS - RE­PORT: RAVI CHANDNANI

It was quite an ex­cep­tional win for Tom Sykes in race one and a glide to the top spot for Me­landri in race two in Misano.

RACE ONE

The first race of the Ital­ian round turned out to be a bizarre one thanks to last-lap crashes that saw the emer­gence of an un­likely win­ner. As the race got un­der way, Michael van der Mark of Pata Yamaha led for a good 13 laps, hav­ing taken the lead from Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea on lap two. Un­for­tu­nately, he ran out of luck on lap 15 as he crashed out due to tyre is­sues. This gave the lead to Rea, who main­tained it nicely for five laps be­fore Aruba.it Du­cati’s Chaz Davies made his move on lap 19. Davies took the lead only to lose it on the last lap after Davies low-sided in C13.

Rea was right be­hind Davies when the Welsh rider lost the front end of his Du­cati, leav­ing no space for Rea to go, which re­sulted in the Kawasaki rider col­lid­ing with the back of the Du­cati. With Davies and Rea down, the sec­ond Kawasaki rider, Tom Sykes, went on to lead the race from P4. He even­tu­ally fin­ished first, fol­lowed by Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes in sec­ond. Rea some­how man­aged to get back on the bike and take the fi­nal podium place. Post-race, in true sports­man spirit, Rea did check on Davies to see if his archri­val was all right. Davies was taken to the med­i­cal cen­tre as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

RACE TWO

The sec­ond event of the week­end was a come­back race for Aruba.it Du­cati’s Marco Me­landri who crashed out of race one on the very last lap. The race started with Xavi Forés of Barni Rac­ing Team lead­ing, fol­lowed by Jordi Tor­res of Althea BMW and the Kawasaki duo of Sykes and Rea. On lap six, how­ever, Forés re­tired due to me­chan­i­cal is­sues, hand­ing the lead to Tor­res. By now, Marco Me­landri, who was run­ning fifth ear­lier, had moved up to third after fight­ing with the Kawasaki duo. He was now chas­ing Tor­res for the lead. Their duel con­tin­ued for eight laps be­fore Tor­res re­tired due to a me­chan­i­cal fail­ure. This saw the Ital­ian lead the race and even­tu­ally win it with a mar­gin of 1.1 sec­onds. Me­landri’s win in Misano was also spe­cial as it was his first win since 2014 and that too on his home ground. The fi­nal two places on the podium were oc­cu­pied by Rea and Sykes re­spec­tively.

It was green ver­sus red in Amer­ica at the leg­endary Mazda Speed­way in La­guna Seca as the Kawasaki Rac­ing Team duo, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, went up against Aruba.it Du­cati rider Chaz Davies.

RACE ONE

After a dis­ap­point­ing week­end in Misano, Du­cati’s Chaz Davies made a su­perb come­back in the open­ing event. In his typ­i­cal style, Tom Sykes was the fastest from the lights, slip­ping into the lead. And fol­low­ing him was his team-mate and reign­ing cham­pion, Jonathan Rea, in sec­ond and Chaz Davies in third. On lap two, how­ever, Rea ran wide, which saw Davies pick up a place and slip into sec­ond.

It was on lap 11 that Davies made a bold move which pushed Rea wide, al­low­ing the Welsh rider to go through and take the lead. Rea also gained a place when his team-mate ran wide. After this, Davies de­fended his lead flaw­lessly. Rea tried his best to reel in the Du­cati rider and take the lead but, even­tu­ally, it was Davies who won the race in su­perb style. Rea was able to bring his Ninja home in sec­ond, a sec­ond be­hind Davies, whereas his team-mate, Sykes, com­pleted the podium by cross­ing the fin­ish line al­most six sec­onds later.

RACE TWO

After an in­ter­est­ing and ex­cit­ing race one, it was time for the fi­nal event of the week­end. As the lights went out, the Kawasaki duo went from the mid­dle of the pack to the front by the end of lap one. Race one win­ner Chaz Davies had some trou­ble nav­i­gat­ing through the traf­fic ahead, though. He was run­ning the same pace as Rea, but Davies took six laps to catch up with the Kawasaki duo. By then, Rea and Sykes were al­ready a cou­ple of sec­onds ahead of Davies. He tried his best but could not­bridge the gap. Even­tu­ally, Rea won the race, ex­tend­ing his cham­pi­onship lead. Tom Sykes brought his Ninja home in sec­ond and the fi­nal podium place went to Chaz Davies.

Me­landri’s win in race two was his first since 2014

De­spite the odds, Chaz Davies went on to win race one

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