Motorland Aragon, Spain - Ducati Team’s Chaz Davies finally managed to break Jonathan Rea’s run of five straight World Superbike race wins with a superb ride in Race 2 at Motorland Aragon, after crashing out almost within sight of victory in Race 1.
South African riders flew the flag with pride as Sheridan Morais missed out on his his first World Supersport win by just 14 thousandths of a second after a magnificent ride, and Dorren Loureiro finished a solid eighth in the first ever World Supersport 300 race.
Rea maintained his 100 percent record so far in 2017, taking advantage of a late crash for Ducati Team leader Chaz Davies, with Marco Melandri on the second works Ducati and Rea’s Kawasaki factory team-mate Tom Sykes completing the podium.
Rea made it five wins from five this year after putting pressure on race leader Davies for most of the race, until the Ducati rider crashed out on the second last of the second-last lap.
That promoted Melandri to second as he outpaced Sykes at the end of what had been a race-long battle for third. Alex Lowes came in an excellent fourth ahead of Yamaha factory team-mate Michael van der Mark, with BMW star Jordi Torres the best Spanish finisher in sixth.
Aprilia riders Leandro Mercado and Eugene Laverty, and Honda duo Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden made up the top 10, while Xavi Fores took the unofficial Piston Broke Award after crashing out of a battle for fourth with Sykes in Turn 1 on lap five, picking the bike and getting going again, only to have his Ducati burst into flames four laps from the end.
The second race went down to the last lap, with Davies making amends for his Race 1 crash as he got the better of world champion Rea in the final two corners.
The pair fought for the lead throughout, with Davies ultimately crossing the line half a second ahead of Rea, to end the Kawasaki rider’s five race winning streak. Melandri continued his solid comeback season in third place, abound 2.5s down from his winning team-mate.
Sykes finished fourth place after getting the better of Van der Mark on the final lap. Van der Mark equaled his best result of the season so far in fifth but there was frustration for his Yamaha factory colleague Alex Lowes on lap 11, as a mistake saw him run off track and drop out of podium contention as he resumed way down the field.
Lowes had started Race 2 at the front of the grid and held the lead for several laps; he eventually finished 13th.
Xavi Fores recovered from his Race 1 drama, which saw his race end with his Ducati in flames, finishing Sunday’s contest as the top Spanish rider in sixth – less than two seconds ahead of compatriot Jordi Torres – while Mercado, Laverty and Leon Camier (MV Agusta) rounded out the top 10.
Factory Yamaha star Lucas Mahias got the better of Sheridan Morais in the very last corner to win by 0.014s after a race-long battle, with PJ Jacobsen’s MV Agusta a further 0.139 down after an action-packed race.
Jules Cluzel (Honda) crossed the line three seconds behind the leading trio in fourth, just ahead of Michael Canducci (Kawasaki) in fifth.
Mahias, Morais and Jacobsen were left to fight for the win after several front-running riders crashed. Robin Mulhauser (Honda) crashed out on at Turn 7 on the first lap, Niki Tuuli (Yamaha) went down in Turn 9 on lap 5, with early leader Kyle Smith (Honda) falling at Turn 14 on the seventh lap.
There was more drama at the start of lap eight as Mahias’ factory Yamaha team-mate Federico Caricasulo was flipped over his bike and Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) was unable to avoid colliding with Caricasulo’s R6.
Defending world champion Sofuoglu, who missed the opening two rounds with a hand injury, was taken to the medical centre for check-ups, as was Caricasulo.
The top 10 was completed by Roberto Rolfo (MV Agusta), Christian Gamarino (Honda), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki), Hannes Soomer (Honda) and Luke Stapleford (Triumph Daytona 675).
WORLD SUPERSPORT 300
Scott Deroue (Kawasaki) made history with narrow victory in the first ever World Supersport 300 race, joined on the podium by two local riders Daniel Valle (Yamaha) and Mika Perez (Honda); the top four finished within a second.
Former Moto3 rider Deroue started on pole and used his Grand Prix experience to fend off his rivals, crossing the line just 0.047s ahead of Valle after a brilliant race. Perez led in the early stages and looked strong for several laps but would ultimately have to settle for third, 0.127s behind Deroue.
Armando Borja Sanchez (Yamaha) was in the mix for the win too, sitting at the back of the front group over the final two laps and finally coming home less than a second off the leader.
Angelo Licciardi (Yamaha) finished fifth, 10 seconds behind the leaders, with Paolo Grassia (Kawasaki), Giuseppe De Gruttola (Yamaha), Johannesburg’s Dorren Loureiro (Kawasaki), Paolo Giacomini (Yamaha) and another ex-Moto3™ rider, Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki) completing the top 10.
Troy Bezuidenhout from Port Shepstone finished a lap down in 25th and last place; Cape Town’s Jared Schultz suffered a mechanical issue in practice and wasn’t able to qualify.