Ducati’s Chaz Davies stops Kawasaki train
Chaz Davies took another incredible win at MotorLand Aragón in race two, crossing the line 6.4 seconds clear of the nearest bike on track after also winning race one on Saturday.
“This weekend feels like a dream. The bike was competitive from the get-go, and we only made small tweaks. The technical upgrades brought here have given us what we needed. In Thailand I could only stay in the slipstream, while here I’ve been able to pass my opponents also on the straight. In Assen, however, we will start from scratch. The season has just begun, and things can change quite quickly, but I’m really happy with our overall package. It’s my third year with Ducati, and I witnessed a constant growth. Now the list of things to improve is really short, and I want to thank everybody in the team and the factory for the amount of work put in.”
Kawasaki riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea completed the podium in Spain after being locked in another head to head battle.
“In terms of race position it was an improvement on yesterday and that is what we need to focus on. I think the gap to the front is bigger than it should be but it looks like yesterday, after the information we took from race one, our rear tyre was not performing to its best and today we did not have as much spin. We have more information now and I hope we can use this to our advantage. My guys are fantastic and I am lucky to have them but we could not close the gap to the win compared to yesterday. We cannot be downbeat because sometimes it happens that you have a circuit that is great for a certain package and Chaz is always on form here. We will come back in Assen and try to be stronger again.”
“It was a difficult race because straight from the off we did not have so much grip in the rear and I was having to pick the bike up. When I back-shifted going into turn one with a few laps to go the rear locked and I could not stop, that was end of the chance to fight for second position today. Being second or third today is not the issue it is being so far from the fight for the front. There were some areas where we were struggling today. We just need more time with the new bike and it is a step-by-step process. When a tough weekend is second and third it is not so bad!”
Home rider Xavi Forés took his Barni Racing Team Panigale R into fourth once again, equaling his best career result, gained in race one at MotorLand. Compatriot Jordi Torres achieved his best result of the year, crossing the line in fifth ahead of the Ducati of Giugliano, and proving to be the lead BMW by an impressive margin.
Giugliano recovered from a small incident on track to hunt down Honda rider Michael van der Mark and re-pass him, putting himself into P6 by the end of the race. Van der Mark, after an uncharacteristically difficult Saturday, kept his Honda in the mix in race two to grab another great haul of points, crossing the line in seventh after a good start from 11th on the grid, unable to hold off Torres and Giugliano by the end of the race.
Van der Mark’s teammate Nicky Hayden dropped down through the order with Yamaha’s Alex Lowes after an incident on track, with the 2006 MotoGP world champion out after suffering a mechanical problem late in the race.
Yamaha duo Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes, after starting from the front row, finished the race in P9 and P10 respectively after a difficult start to the race, with the new YZF R1 not yet able to match its one-lap pace over race distance.
“Today was ok actually. I’ve learnt a lot on the bike this weekend and feel I’ve made a step forward in terms of my riding the YZF-R1. The second race, apart from a few problems at the start – which as a team we need to learn from – I actually rode very well. We had some small goals in terms of lap times if the race was in similar conditions to Saturday, which it was, and I managed to reach those goals. My second half of the race performance was also much better than yesterday, so plenty of positives. Obviously the results are not where they need to be but we’re learning, it’s only our third race weekend on the bike and it only would have taken a couple of little things to go our way and it would have been a different result. It may not show on paper but really it’s the best weekend we’ve had and we’re a bit closer to the podium fight so I’m looking forward to Assen!”
“We tried a very different solution with the chassis and the electronics for race two but the end result was very similar. The end of the race we struggled a lot for pace, this time I was a little more conservative at the start but it just didn’t work out. So a very difficult couple of races for us, but the fact that Aragon is very hard on tyres highlighted the fact that we need to work to get more performance out of the bike with the used tyres. In Superpole with both the race and qualifying tyre we showed some very fast pace, so we have to try to match that now during the races with low grip. That’s the aim as we get back to work and look to make the next step.”
Aprilia rider Alex DeAngelis came home in 8th to make great progress after race one, with the San Marino rider recovering from recent surgery and surely happy with another top ten result. MV Agusta’s Leon Camier finished just outside the points, with the Italian factory hoping to get back up the grid when WorldSBK gets to Assen for the next round.
Josh Brookes claimed another 13th place finish while compatriot Josh Hook retired due to acute shoulder pain.
WorldSBK 2016 -Aragon – Race Two Results
1 Chaz Davies Ducati GBR 33’36.606
2 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 00’06.471
3 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki GBR 00’09.161
4 Xavi Fores Ducati ESP 00’11.436
5 Jordi Torres BMW ESP 00’15.969
6 Davide Giugliano Ducati ITA 00’18.278
7 Michael van der Mark Honda NLD 00’20.931
8 Alex De Angelis Aprilia SM 00’24.790
9 Alex Lowes Yamaha GBR 00’25.246
10 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 00’25.548
11 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia ITA 00’27.675
12 Román Ramos Kawasaki ESP 00’29.364
13 Joshua Brookes BMW AUS 00’31.749
14 Karel Abraham BMW CZE 00’34.314
15 Markus Reiterberger BMW DEU 00’34.333
16 Leon Camier MV Agusta GBR 00’34.777
17 Matteo Baiocco Kawasaki ITA 00’41.449
18 Mattieu Lussiana BMW FRA 01’16.542
19 Dominic Schmitter Kawasaki CHE 01’22.960
20 Peter Sebestyen Yamaha HUN 01’25.830
21 Saeed Al Sulaiti Kawasaki QAT 01’28.363
22 Imre Toth Yamaha HUN 1 lap
World Supersport: ESS riders get in on the action and home hero hits the podium
Reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu took a commanding victory at MotorLand as the FIM Europe Supersport Cup riders joined the WorldSSP grid for the first European race of the season, with 7 nationalities in the first 8 positions as the flag dropped at the end of the race. Turkish Puccetti rider Sofuoglu cut the Championship lead of his Swiss teammate Randy Krummenacher as fellow contender Jules Cluzel struggled slightly to find pace, crossing the line in P4 just behind home rider Nico Terol, who gained his first podium in WorldSSP.
Pole sitter Kenan Sofuoglu got away in the lead, with Honda rider PJ Jacobsen his closest immediate challenger after a great start for the American. He then attacked for the lead after Sofuoglu ran wide, unfortunately losing the front and sliding early out of the race.
A high rate of attrition in the first few laps saw Roberto Rolfo first forced to leave his 11th place grid spot before the getaway, before a multi-rider incident at Turn 1 saw debris litter the run off area. Wagner, Licciardi, Rea and Orellana all found themselves suffering the same fate as Jacobsen. MV Agusta rider Lorenzo Zanetti was then unfortunately forced to pull off the circuit with a technical problem, as Sofuoglu began to pull away in the lead ahead of Cluzel, Krummenacher and Baldolini. The number 25 of the Italian then pulled off the racing line along the start-finish straight as a plume of smoke from the back of his MV Agusta announced an early end to his race.
San Carlo Team Italia riders Bassani and Zaccone were the key players from the new FIM Europe Supersport Class as they challenged the regulars in the top 5, with Schmidt Racing’s local rider and former 125 Champion Nico Terol getting past both and able to get himself into podium contention before pulling away to find a margin to breathe, crossing the line for his first rostrum of the year.
Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who had begun the race from 17th after a problem with the foot rest on his Orelac Racing VerdNatura machine in Tissot-Superpole, made progress up into the top 5 before finally crossing the line in 8th for a great haul of points, with teammate Nacho Calero also coming home in the points.
Randy Krummenacher retains his points lead in WorldSSP after MotorLand, with the Swiss rider adding another 20 and forcing teammate Sofuoglu to play catch up. The action will get underway again in two weeks in Assen as Cluzel and Jacobsen look to bounce back and Sofuoglu looks to keep cutting that gap.
Glenn Scott did not start the race and will be out of action for a number of weeks after breaking his tibia and fibia on Friday. Aiden Wagner also had a weekend to forget after getting caught up in a multi-bike accident, while Lachlan Epis finished 21st.
Mercado won the Superstock 1000 bout from Rinaldi and De Rosa made it an all European brand podium. Bryan Staring finished 12th on the Agro Kawasaki.