The first of the scheduled to WorldSBK races at Jerez this weekend saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) register his first victory as the recently crowned 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Champion, taking advantage of a late technical issue for provisional race leader Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), following a restarted Race 1, with Davies and Sykes joining him on the podium.
On his way to equaling Carl Fogarty’s career podium record of 109 rostrum results in WorldSBK Rea, took over at the front after Melandri pulled off with a problem with four laps to go. Rea had taken control of the restarted race in the early stages and led for several laps before Melandri made a move with 13 laps to go at turn 9 up the inside of the Northern Irishman. Davies then followed Melandri through to overtake Rea, but Rea soon responded to retake the Welshman and slot back in behind the Italian.
As Melandri chased his second race win in 2017, since his return to WorldSBK at the start of the year, cruel luck saw him pull off towards the end of the race, leaving Rea to take the glory.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) – P1
“So, so nice to tick that box for a Jerez race win. I was trying to manage the race a little bit in the beginning because I did not get a long run in yesterday, after my big crash, so I was not sure how the tyre choice we made was going to play out. I went all in to that race. With the position we now have in the championship I went in over my head – but it was fun to ride like this.”
Sykes produced a solid ride in third place as he continues to recover from wrist and finger injuries sustained in Portugal in September, with Davies crossing the line just under 0.5s ahead of him in second.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) – P2
“It was cat and mouse between me and Tom, I could see them behind and I knew he was catching me and I tried to pull away a little bit. After missing FP2 I felt it was a really good ride, it was hard because we missed an hour of track time and I felt like I was learning as I was going. It was a a tough race and I’m really happy with the result.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) – P3
“The pace stayed very consistent and it was quite nice at the end. Unfortunately at the beginning of the race there was a little bit of stop-start so I could not set my usual rhythm and I lost some time. In the first three laps I had a small issue with gear selection, and then missed a gear coming onto the straight. I lost some track positions but regrouped and then the pace was acceptable. We were just not able to bridge that gap to the guys in front.”
It was another strong performance from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) as he collected more good points on the Yamaha YZF R1, crossing the line fourth, 3.677s ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark who was fifth.
2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli’s return to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR saw him finish a creditable sixth, in the first of four races he will ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final two rounds of the season.
The top ten was rounded out by Milwaukee Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and
Eugene Laverty and Spanish pair Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) – in seventh to tenth places respectively.
Turn 13 proved to be unlucky for Takumi Takahashi (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) as he lost the front end of his Honda CBR1000RR, though he picked it up to finish 16th. Takahashi’s Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team colleague Davide Giugliano was an unfortunate late retiree.
In the initial race start a turn 6 crash on the first lap involving Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) brought out the red flags.
After a short break the race was recommenced with a quick restart procedure with the riders keeping their focus in the clear conditions in Andalusia on the resurfaced Jerez track, though neither Badovini nor De Rosa made it back onto the grid.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – DNF
“Today we probably rode our best race of the year, I felt as strong as ever. With a less bumpy track, we didn’t struggle with stability under acceleration and thus we were able to use a setup tailored towards corner speed. I was able to push to the limit without going past it. I can’t say whether we would have won or not, because it wasn’t over, but for sure we were ready to have a go at it until the very end. It’s a shame we lost such a great chance, but tomorrow we’ll give our best to take back what we’ve lost today.”
Race 2 for the WorldSBK riders at the Pirelli Spanish Round takes place at 1pm on Sunday.
WorldSBK Race 1 Standings
J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
S. Guintoli (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
X. Forés (BARNI Racing Team)
R. Ramos (Team Kawasaki GoEleven)
L. Mercado (IODARacing)
L. Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
J. Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
A. Andreozzi (Guandalini Racing)
O. Jezek (Grillini Racing Team)
T. Takahashi (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
R. Russo (Pedercini Racing SC-Project)
WSSP – Caricasulo takes pole, Westy sixth
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) secured pole position in Tissot Superpole 2 for the WorldSSP class at the Pirelli Spanish Round on Saturday afternoon, recording a 1’43.285 lap around the resurfaced Jerez track.
In clear and sunny conditions at the iconic venue in Andalusia Caricasulo outpaced nearest rival Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) by just 0.049s for pole, with Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) finishing third in the session by 0.356s.
PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) is to start from fourth on the grid after a dramatic ending to the session which saw him hold on to that spot as championship contender Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) sought to challenge the frontrunners on the grid in the final minutes. Following a heavy crash on Friday at the 4.423km Circuito de Jerez Mahias went down again in the final two minutes of SP2 at turn 5 – and had to settle for fifth on the grid.
The Yamaha rider looked confused as to what had caused the crash, but in the absence of the injured defending champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias still has a good chance of wrapping up the title on Sunday.
Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rounds out the second row, ahead of Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI) who qualified seventh.
Anthony West – P6
“The bike is starting feel better and I am starting to ride the bike properly. The more I ride the bike the better I feel. I am a lot happier than yesterday afternoon. I am getting more used to riding a 600 again after riding a 1000cc bike. We made some changes to the rear suspension, which made the biggest difference. That really helped for qualifying, which was perfect. All I wanted to do was make it into Superpole so I am happy to make the second row of the grid. Qualifying is not usually my strong point so I am looking forward to the race. I was having a lot of fun today riding the Kawasaki.”
Canducci will be joined on the third row by compatriots Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), despite a late fall for Gamarino at turn 13 on his final flying lap.
Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) will get away from the fourth row.
WSSP300 – Marc Garcia takes pole in Jerez
World championship leader Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) has taken pole position in a scintillating FIM World Supersport 300 Superpole session, with a lap time of 1.54.947 as he begins his hunt for the world title ahead of the final race tomorrow.
2017 race winners Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) and Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) shot through the opening Superpole one session, as the sun shone down on the 4.4km circuit. The Spanish duo ended the session over half a second ahead of the rest of the field, with Carrasco leading the remainder of the session.
World title elect Garcia came out fighting in Superpole Two as he set the first fastest lap in the 15 minute session, sitting just 0.2s ahead of his competitors. However heading into the final five minutes, the competition began to heat up and the Spaniard faced a lot of competition.
Daniel Valle (Halcourier Racing) ended the session in second position behind his team-mate, ahead of the one event rider Omar Bonoli (Team Runner Bike) in a tense end to the session. Despite putting up a strong battle, Scott Deroue (MTM KS Kawasaki) will head the second row ahead of Portimao race winner Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing). Wild card entry Manuel Gonzalez (Halcourier Racing Viajes 2000) completes the second row, as he is 0.807s behind the pole position man.
Championship contender Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) will head the third row as the Yamaha rider struggled with his pace in Southern Spain.
Australia’s top placed WSSP300 rider heading into race day is Tom Edwards in 16th, with Reid Battye 27th having faced technical issues during practice, where he ran as high as 22nd.
SKT1000 – Reiterberger takes pole, Jones P2
At the Pirelli Spanish Round on Saturday afternoon a delayed – and ultimately curtailed – final session of the day saw one event rider Markus Reiterberger (Van Zon Remeha BMW) secure a start from pole position in Sunday’s final race of the Superstock 1000 European Championship. The German rider is joined on the front row by STK1000 regulars Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team).
Mike Jones – P2
“Awesome progress at Jerez! Qualified 2nd on the front row of the grid for the race, missed pole position by 0.023 and gave the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Junior Team a bit of extra work to do after sending it over the fence, sorry guys! Can’t wait to fight in the race!”
Former WorldSBK man Reiterberger registered a pole lap of 1’42.113 shortly before the session was ended two minutes early due to a red flag.
There was also drama earlier in proceedings when midway through QP Jones crashed at turn 5 and did not reappear. He held provisional pole at that point but was eventually outpaced by Reiterberger by just 0.023s. Tamburini took third place on the grid with a lap time 0.068s off that of Reiterberger on a tightly contested front row.
Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team) qualified fourth despite also crashing in QP and he is to be joined on row two by Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) and Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing).
Florian Alt (Team Yamaha MGM), Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing) and Alejandro Medina Mayo (Cardoso School Racing) are on the third row, with Federico D’ Annunzio (FDA Racing Team) heading row four – having completed the top ten.
The session was red flagged two minutes before the scheduled finish after Glenn Scott (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) ran off track and into the gravel.
The three riders in contention for the title on Sunday are fifth placed grid starter Marino, Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Rinaldi, who leads the standings by eight points from Marino, will start in 14th on the grid, whilst Razgatlioglu starts from 12th with a six point deficit to Marino in third place in the championship ahead of the final race.
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