Superbike World Championship Round 7 - Race 1:
After taking his first race win of the season at Donington Park in the previous round Tom Sykes (KRT) secured his second today at Misano, despite starting the final lap in fourth position. Jonathan Rea (KRT) fell after colliding with the last-lap race leader Chaz Davies, just before Jonathan was set to make a final move to try re-take the lead he had held on two separate occasions in a dramatic 21-lap race.
In a race full of incident and close competition Rea took the lap one lead, only to be passed by Michael van der Mark who worked was in a leading position for the next 13 laps. Rea had to take avoiding action and lost time to the riders behind after van der Mark suddenly fell, but Rea still re-took the lead, until lap 19, when Davies passed him.
Tom’s race had seen him drop back from his pole position start to spend most of the race in fifth position; then fourth after van der Mark’s crash. When the then third-placed Marco Melandri fell on the last lap Tom moved into a podium position - which suddenly became a winning position after the collision of Davies and Rea.
Alex Lowes took second, passing Jonathan, who nonetheless got going again for a podium place. In finishing in third place Jonathan took his career podium total to 100.
Sykes had set new track best lap of 1’33.662 to win Superpole earlier in the day, with Rea just one place behind on the race one grid. It was Sykes’ 40th Superpole win and his second of the season, although he was unable to regain his optimal pace through the race, despite strong and consistent performances all through practice.
In the championship, with one more Misano race to go on Sunday 18th, Rea has 276 points, Sykes just 46 behind, on 230.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “In racing it is all circumstances. Like in Donington we had great speed but also starting with the reverse grid. In the end the circumstances meant we were able to win today and finally for this I am happy. We will take the 25 points and nothing more to ask for. For tomorrow we need to improve the bike settings. Already in race one I was thinking about tomorrow but all of a sudden other riders had problems. In racing you have to accept things like this and I only hope that Chaz is OK after I saw some footage of his crash on the slow-down lap. It looked a nasty incident so I hope Chaz is going to be OK and will be fit to race tomorrow. In this moment we will take the 25 points and get them under my own steam tomorrow.”
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “The plan was to just release the brake and go up the inside of Chaz on the last corner, but unfortunately for both of us it did not get that far. Especially for Chaz. He made a mistake and tucked the front and I am super-sorry that I hit him but I had absolutely nowhere to go. I hope he is OK. I can’t remember ever being on the podium in a race I have fallen in, maybe in a wet race but probably not, to be honest. In van der Mark’s crash earlier in the race I had to go off track. I was so close to almost hitting him and then his bike almost hit me. It was certainly eventful. It was a shame for me and Chaz as we were fighting for the victory.”
Superbike World Championship Round 7 - Race 2:
Jonathan Rea (KRT) and Tom Sykes (KRT) both reached the second race podium at the Misano round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, with Jonathan finishing second and Tom third. They continue to sit 1-2 in the championship, with 50 points between them after the seventh intense weekend of the season.
Under the new championship rules in allocating grid places for race two, race one winner Sykes and third placed Rea had to start today’s 21 lap contest from ninth and seventh places respectively. The KRT riders moved forward with determination in the first corners, to put Tom third and Jonathan fourth after just one lap.
Up front Xavi Fores and Jordi Torres were doing the early front-running but neither would ultimately finish, in a race that was eventually won by local rider Marco Melandri. Only 12 riders were classified after seven others failed to make the finish in the hot conditions today.
With Torres a late retiree Rea ended up with 20 points for his second place over the line, having passed Sykes on lap 15, but he was unable to get quite close enough to challenge for the win. Sykes finished very close to his team-mate at the end of the 21-laps, with all top three riders covered by just 1.285 seconds after another intense Misano race.
Rea leads the championship as it passes into the second half of the season after this round, with 296 points to Sykes’ 246. With Chaz Davies ruled out of the second Misano WorldSBK race after suffering an injury in race one, he is now 61 points behind Tom.
After the completion of the Misano weekend the championship now heads to the ever-popular Laguna Seca circuit in the USA for the eighth round of the championship, with racedays on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): “I am really satisfied with the results today but unfortunately we could not challenge for the win because I felt we were struggling a little bit, as the rear tyre was completely out of balance. I was having a lot of rear vibration and chatter. That was really difficult to manage. I focused on trying to pass Tom for many laps and when I went through I tried to hunt down Torres in second place but, unfortunately for him, he had a problem and could not finish. We have to be very satisfied with the result and go back into the garage now to understand exactly why we struggled more today. Yesterday’s bike felt much better but the set-up was virtually the same each day. In the championship standings we are in a good position right now. I al so wish Chaz Davies a speedy recovery from injury.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I basically expected more from the beginning of the race. I had a good start and made some nice early passes but unfortunately I was not able to take the best from the tyres or the bike. The first five laps were the downfall of my chances to win the race. Apart from that, towards the end we had good speed but like I explained to the boys in the team, my bike stayed consistent but it was not enough in the beginning. I feel it really affected the race result in those early laps when there was no way to challenge Jordi Torres and Xavi Fores. We have something to work on Laguna. I feel really sorry for Chaz Davies and all I can do is wish him a speedy recovery. The points are opening up behind and that was a big bag of points Jonathan and I took away this weekend.”
2017 Superbike World Championship Points after Round 7:
- JONATHAN REA 296 KAWASAKI
- TOM SYKES 246 KAWASAKI
- CHAZ DAVIES 185 DUCATI
- MARCO MELANDRI 163 DUCATI
- ALEX LOWES 141 YAMAHA
- MICHAEL VAN DER MARK 115 YAMAHA
- XAVI FORÉS 110 DUCATI
- LEON CAMIER 89 MV AGUSTA
- JORDI TORRES 85 BMW
- EUGENE LAVERTY 79 APRILIA
- ROMÁN RAMOS 65 KAWASAKI
- STEFAN BRADL 54 HONDA
- LEANDRO MERCADO 50 APRILIA
- LORENZO SAVADORI 49 APRILIA
- RANDY KRUMMENACHER 44 KAWASAKI
- NICKY HAYDEN 40 HONDA
- RAFFAELE DE ROSA 27 BMW
- ALEX DE ANGELIS 27 KAWASAKI
- LEON HASLAM 20 KAWASAKI
- MARKUS REITERBERGER 19 BMW
- AYRTON BADOVINI 14 KAWASAKI
- ONDREJ JEZEK 12 KAWASAKI
- RICCARDO RUSSO 8 YAMAHA
- JAKE DIXON 7 KAWASAKI
- JOSHUA BROOKES 4 YAMAHA
- JULIAN APRILIA 4 SIMON