WSBK Qatar (1): Torres wins his first race
The rookie Jordi Torres shone in the spotlight of the Losail circuit! The "Spanish Elvis" takes his very first World Superbike victory after a magnificent duel against the 2015 world champion Jonathan Rea.
The rookie Jordi Torres shone in the spotlight of the Losail circuit! The "Spanish Elvis" takes his very first World Superbike victory after a magnificent duel against the 2015 world champion Jonathan Rea. Tom Sykes completes the podium.
First Superbike race
Jonathan Rea shouts courtesy to poleman Tom Sykes in the first corner but is passed in quick succession by Tom and then by Chaz Davies! Alex Lowes hoists his Suzuki in front of the Aprilia of Haslam and Torres. The Top 10 completed by Fores, Van den Mark, Guintoli and Mercado. De Puniet is 11th. Ponsson, forced to start from the pits, finds himself dead last.
Sykes completed the first lap in the lead, chased by his great rival in the championship Davies. Rea is a few lengths behind the leading duo, chased by Lowes. The two Aprilias are already a good second behind the leader. De Puniet wins a place at the start of the 2nd round.
The ruthless "JR" climbed on "Chazie" on the 2nd lap and passed the Welshman on the last corner, attacking the straight half a second behind "Major Tom". Davies tries to recover on the first brake and brakes so late that he almost lost the front !
The Ducati n ° 7 lost contact with the Ninja n ° 65 which swooped down on the n ° 66 installed in the lead, while the Suzuki n ° 22 remained firmly anchored to the factory Panigale. Both Aprilia Red Devils # 91 and 81 follow at half a second but fail to take Lowes’ suction.
At the start of the 4th lap, Alex and his "Gex" go inside for Chaz and his Panigale! Randy’s teammate – still 11th just behind 2014 world champion Sylvain – thus climbs on the podium! Suzuki rider’s attack benefits Haslam and Torres who find themselves in the aspi ‘of the Panigale…
Housed in Davies’ rear wheel, Haslam shifts into the straight and overtakes the Welshman when hitting the brakes. The Englishman pulls aside slightly, opens the door for Davies … and the rookie Torres who leaps into fourth place !
One lap later, Alex Lowes suffered a technical problem with his Suzuki and pulled straight off the end of the straight. Torres wedges into Davies’ backsplash and waits for the next straight to climb to third. Chaz Davies widens slightly in the first curve and gives up fifth place to Leon Haslam.
Far from all this uproar, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea maintain their two seconds lead. But the "Spanish Elvis" and his RSV4 n ° 81 cut the gap by half a second on the 8th lap … Haslam and Davies are dropped more than three seconds behind Jordi on the following lap !
Jonathan performs a muscular blockpass on his teammate in the hairpin (turn 10), apologizes with a wave of the hand during acceleration but keeps the lead of the race. Jordi Torres takes advantage of this maneuver to come back in the wake of the two Kawasaki and pick them up in the straight line !
At the 11th passage in the straight line, Sykes deviates on Rea’s right while Torres chooses the left … The northern Irishman brakes the latest and stays in front, but the Spanish gets rid of the English and chases away now the 2015 world champion…
One lap later, Aprilia n ° 81 dislocates Kawasaki n ° 65 in the middle of the straight line! Johnny tries to respond under braking, goes up to Jordi … but this devil of "beginner" holds good on the outside of the first curve and comes out in first position !
Jonathan Rea glances over his shoulder and realizes that his teammate is left behind … The champion can therefore concentrate on the leader without closing his trajectories! Davies is six seconds behind the leading duo, Van den Mark has moved up to fifth position.
Haslam is 12 seconds behind his teammate, Fores is in a lonely 7th place. Salom, Guintoli, Mercado and Badovini are fighting for 8th place. De Puniet is just a second from this group, on the lookout for the slightest error from his opponents. Ponsson is 15th.
Up front, Torres can’t get rid of Rea! The No. 65 Kawasaki was a third of a second behind the No. 81 Aprilia in attacking the last lap. Jordi swerves slightly in the first hairpin (turn 6) but Rea cannot pass in front.
The Kawasaki rider attacks the Aprilia at the entrance of the second hairpin bend (turn n ° 10) and still cannot maintain the advantage! The official Kawa ‘does not let go and remains glued to the rear tire of the Aprilia, triggering a new braking attack on the last corner.
Carefully kept inside, Torres forces Rea to pull away. The pilot only has to open the throttle of his RSV4 wide to fly to his first World Superbike victory while the n ° 65 Ninja laboriously comes out of the last curve and is content with second place..
Tom Sykes climbed on the podium and took three points from Chaz Davies, fourth in this first round in Qatar. Michael van den Mark completed the Top 5, thirteen seconds behind the winner. Sylvain Guintoli takes 10th place, De Puniet 12th and Ponsson 14th.
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