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Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Du­cati’s Chaz Davies have an an­i­mated con­ver­sa­tion in Thai­land and Spain

Bike India - - CONTENTS - RE­PORT: RAVI CHAND­NANI

The 2018 WSBK Sea­Son is al­ready wit­ness­ing a tus­sle be­tween Kawasaki and Du­cati with both their rid­ers fin­ish­ing on the podium in Thai­land and aragon.

THAI­LAND

Race One

The first race saw reign­ing cham­pion Jonathan Rea fight it out with Tom Sykes, Xavi Fores, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, and alex Lowes, all of whom were run­ning quite close while chas­ing P1. The race started with Tom Sykes tak­ing an early lead, fol­lowed by the rest of the front-run­ners. In the open­ing stages of the race, both the Kawasaki rid­ers kept trad­ing places. On lap three, Rea fi­nally over­took Sykes and slipped into the lead. The de­fend­ing cham­pion then con­tin­ued to pull away from the chas­ing pack for a com­fort­able lead that saw him win the race by over 1.5 sec­onds.

Sykes also fell vic­tim to a bril­liant over­tak­ing move by Red Bull honda’s Leon Camier, who slipped into P2 on lap three and stayed there for 10 laps. as the race pro­gressed, Xavi Fores of Barni Du­cati had inched closer to Camier and, fi­nally, on lap 13, he over­took the honda rider to even­tu­ally fin­ish sec­ond.

The con­clud­ing stages of the race wit­nessed an in­tense duel be­tween

Davies and Camier. With just two laps to go, Davies made his move and held on to it, tak­ing the fi­nal podium place. Rea’s vic­tory in Thai­land marks his sixth win.

Race Two

The sec­ond race proved even more ex­cit­ing be­cause all the ac­tion was wit­nessed dur­ing the first six laps. It started with Michael van der Mark of Pata Yamaha tak­ing an early lead, fol­lowed by his team-mate, alex Lowes, and Marco Me­landri in sec­ond and third re­spec­tively. how­ever, as the ac­tion in­ten­si­fied, both the Yamaha rid­ers kept switch­ing places and, ow­ing to this duel, Davies and Rea had caught up with the Yama­has. It was Du­cati’s Davies who made a bold move and over­took Me­landri and Lowes by the sixth lap to move up to P2. Davies con­tin­ued his blis­ter­ing pace and by lap eight he had taken the lead from Michael van der Mark. af­ter this, the Welsh rider de­fended his lead quite well, even­tu­ally win­ning the race. ARAGON

Race One as the 2018 WSBK sea­son reached Spain for the first Eu­ro­pean round, the bat­tle be­tween the Du­cati and Kawasaki rid­ers in­ten­si­fied with Jonathan Rea lock­ing horns with three Du­cati rid­ers dur­ing the first race at aragon. The ini­tial race was red­flagged fol­low­ing a nasty low-side crash that saw Leon Camier be­ing rushed to the med­i­cal cen­tre. Re­ports sug­gest that Camier is re­spond­ing well to med­i­cal treat­ment. This in­ci­dent forced race di­rec­tion to restart the race.

Soon af­ter the restart, Kawasaki Rac­ing Team’s Jonathan Rea slipped into the lead, fol­lowed by alex Lowes of Pata Yamaha in sec­ond. The two con­tin­ued to be be­hind each other for two laps be­fore Lowes slipped into the lead on lap three. how­ever, the de­fend­ing cham­pion re­claimed the lead on the fol­low­ing lap. The race con­tin­ued with no drama bar­ring an in­ter­est­ing duel be­tween the aruba.it Du­cati team-mates and the Barni Rac­ing Du­cati rider, Xavi Forés. Rea ex­pe­ri­enced mo­men­tary an­guish when Xavi slipped into the lead from P2 on lap nine. how­ever, the for­mer re­gained the lead on lap 12 and went on to win the race. On the fi­nal lap, Davies man­aged to slip past Fores to take P2, rel­e­gat­ing Forés to the fi­nal step on the podium.

Race Two

The sec­ond race was an­other ex­cit­ing one thanks to aruba.it Du­cati’s Chaz Davies who rose like a phoenix to take the win. The race started with Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark tak­ing the lead just to lose it to Du­cati’s Me­landri on lap two. a few laps later, Xavi Forés took the lead and led for three laps be­fore crash­ing out on lap seven, hand­ing the lead to Jonathan Rea who was run­ning in the top three. By lap eight, Davies had moved up four places and was now run­ning third be­hind Rea and Me­landri. on lap 12, Davies zipped past his team-mate to chal­lenge Rea for the lead and, on lap 14, the Welsh rider over­took Rea and blocked him to re­tain the lead.

Davies did not look back af­ter this bold move and was the first to cross the che­quered flag with a mar­gin of 1.1 sec­onds. Rea had to be con­tent with a sec­ond-place fin­ish that helped him main­tain his lead in the cham­pi­onship. Me­landri was the fi­nal rider to com­plete the podium, earn­ing valu­able points for Du­cati’s con­struc­tors’ ti­tle hopes in the process.

Aruba. it Du­cati’s Chaz Davies cel­e­brat­ing a well-de­served win in Aragon

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