FIRST SUPERBIKE RACE
WSBK Qatar (1): Davies again winner, Rea again champion !
Unbeatable lately, Chaz Davies won his tenth race of the season tonight at Losail. Second in this first Qatari round, Jonathan Rea nevertheless retains his world title.
Departure : poleman Jonathan Rea got off to an excellent start but was beaten on braking by Chaz Davies and Nicky Hayden. "The ruthless JR", however, climbs into second position in the second corner of the Qatari circuit, passing Nicky on the outside !
Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli close the small hunting group. The peloton is led by Xavi Forés, Alex Lowes, Jordi Torres, Leon Haslam, Alex de Angelis, etc. Lorenzo Savadori gets off the track while Michael van den Mark is dropped from the Top 15.
Davies and Rea pull away from Hayden in the first round. The Honda rider kept a safe distance from Sykes and Guintoli who failed to take the Fireblade’s aspiration on the first pass through the long pit straight. Forés is slightly ahead of the trio Torres, Lowes and Haslam who are fighting for sixth place.
Sylvain overtakes Tom on the second lap and sets off in pursuit of Nicky: the American is just a second ahead of the "Frenchie". In front, the Welsh is put under pressure by the North Irish. "Chazie" slips from his outside footrest in the middle of a bend but remains in front of "the merciless JR"…
Obviously very comfortable behind Davies, Rea rides quietly – so to speak! – behind Ducati n ° 7. Our dear "Guinters" on the contrary, whips his Yamaha n ° 50 to get back on Honda n ° 69: in the third lap, Sylvain wins four tenths of a second !
Unable to keep pace with Guintoli, Sykes found himself isolated in fifth place, a second and a half behind our compatriot and a big second ahead of Xavi Forés. On his private Ducati n ° 12, the Spaniard cannot separate himself from Torres and Lowes, however turbulent !
At 2.5 seconds from Yamaha n ° 22, Van den Mark and Haslam completed the Top 10 wheel in wheel in this first round. Camier, De Rosa, De Angelis, Ramos and Savadori are in the points. But there are 10 laps to go: Giugliano and Brookes are in the wake of Aprilia n ° 32…
At the start of the 8th lap, Guintoli seized third place from Hayden! The overtaking in the straight line is clean and flawless, but Guinters who was turning a third of a second faster than the "Kentucky Legend" fails to escape in the following loop.
Always faster than our favorite No. 50 Yamaha, the No. 7 Ducati and "Number One" Kawasaki have a comfortable six seconds lead at the end of the 10th lap. Two seconds behind Guintoli and Hayden, Sykes sees his teammate disappear in the distance … and his world crown with !
Jonathan Rea is not, however, the fastest on the track: in front of him, Chaz Davies suddenly picks up the pace and takes his lead to just a second at the end of the 11th loop. Dominated by "Chazie", "Johnny" gives the gas in the next lap and gives an extra second to the leader.
Six short seconds behind Rea, Guintoli occupies a magnificent and solitary third place. The official Yamaha rider – for two more races … – is on track to give the new R1 its first World Superbike podium! His teammate Alex Lowes is eight seconds behind in eighth position.
Five men greatly animate the end of the race: Camier, Savadori, Haslam, De Rosa and De Angelis are fighting for tenth place, two seconds behind VDM. A little too demanding on the front end of his MV Agusta, Leon Camier finds himself in the gravel in the 15th lap.
In front, Davies takes his lead beyond four seconds! Rea maintains the good gap that separates him from Guintoli while Hayden, joined by Sykes in the final loop, cannot defend his fourth place … Forés rolls a few lengths in front of Torres and several lengths in front of Van den Mark.
Chaz Davies finally wins a new and majestic victory at the controls of his Panigale. For the Ducati official, this is his tenth success this season … against nine for Rea! Like last year, the # 7 Welsh rider has a thunderous end to the season and cuts a favorite suit for the next WSBK title…
Sylvain Guintoli takes a wonderful third place on the handlebars of his R1, almost six months after his nasty injury at Imola, two years after his coronation on the same Losail circuit … and six years after the double of the official Yamaha of Melandri and Laverty in Jerez. The French n ° 50 proves that he is one of the best riders on the Superbike field. He is always looking for a handlebar: to good hearing !
Second in this first round in Qatar, Jonathan Rea is certainly the happiest and proudest tonight: since the "King Carl" Fogarty, not a driver – not even Bayliss, Biaggi or Sykes! – had failed to keep his "Number One" plate. With 55 points more than his teammate in the provisional, it’s now done. Well done Johnny !
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