Motorland Aragon – The Green Meanies dominated the second round of the World Superbike series on Sunday at the Spanish circuit, taking 1-2 finishes in both Superbike races, as well as coming out on top in World Supersport. and with the best classified Evo rider in Race 2.
Both South African entries also rode Kawasakis to creditable finishes – Sheridan Morais finished 15th in Race 1 and 13th in Race 2, while David ‘McFlash’ McFadden was eighth in the Superstock 1000 contest.
Defending World champion Tom Sykes led from lights to flag, coming home just seconds ahead of team-mate Loris Baz, with Honda star Jonathan Rea completing the podium.
Ducati works rider Davide Giugliano crashed out of second on the final lap, but was rejoin and finish eighth. His team-mate Chaz Davies was fourth ahead of Eugene Laverty (Suzuki), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) and Toni Elias (Aprilia).
Twelfth place Leon Camier (BMW) was first home in the Evo category after a thrilling 17-lap race left the crowd enthralled in the Spanish sun, just ahead of local rider David Salom on a works-suported Evo Kawasaki.
The second race was a carbon copy of race 1, with Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz dominating in the Spanish sun.
Baz had been unable to stay with his team-mate in the earlier race but looked a lot more comfortable in the afternoon - as did works Aprilia rider Marco Melandri, who was incredibly fast at the end of the race, closing down the two green machines rapidly to put himself in the hunt for the victory.
The three riders swopped places a number of times in a spectacular final three laps with the deciding move coming at the final hairpin as Melandri went wide allowing Sykes and Baz to claim their second a 1-2 finish for the day.
Melandri finished 3rd, ahead of Guintoli, Rea and Laverty.
Race 1 Evo winner Camier got into a race-long duel with Ducati’s Niccolo Canepa and local hero Salom, with Salom taking the Evo honours after a last-lap mistake from the BMW rider dropped him to 12th overall, handing the class win to the local rider, ahead of Canepa.
Sykes commented: “Race 1 was very good and we had a good set-up that gave us consistent pace on a cold track. I thought Race 2 was going to be more straightforward in hot conditions so I went for the same set-up.
“The two guys behind me for sure had more grip than me but we were for sure able to put the ZX-10R on the pieces of tarmac those guys were looking for. I had a plan on the last lap to keep them behind me - and it worked.”
A typically close race resulted in Kenan Sofuoglu claiming his first win of the season for Kawasaki.
In the early stages a group of six riders swapped places with Australia winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) claiming a lap record in the process.
As the race continued the leading group split with Michael van der Mark (Honda), former champion Sofuoglu and Cluzel disputing the lead with Kevin Coghlan (Yamaha).
Cluzel and Coghlan collided at the end of the back straight on Lap 12; both crashed and only Coghlan was able to restart, handing Sofuoglu a comfortable lead over Van der Mark who slowed as the riders ahead fell. Florian Marino (Kawasaki) claimed the final podium position, with Coghlan fifth despite his fall.
Argentinian Leandro Mercado (Ducati) led from start to finish in a fast and furious race that saw four riders involved in the fight for second. Fabio Massei was lucky to walk away from huge crash on lap four, after his Ducati highsided and spat him off.
Behind Mercado, Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki) edged clear to claim a lonely second, Kyle Smith (Honda) and Christoffer Bergman (Kawasaki) to fight for third after Ondrej Jezek (Ducati) retired with a technical problem.
At the flag it was Smith who claimed a historic podium in his maiden Superstock outing, with Bergman having to settle for fourth. Federico D’Annunzio (BMW) and Matthieu Lussiana (Kawasaki) completed the top six.