Lausitz, Germany – South African Sheridan Morais took his maiden World Supersport victory in Round 9 of the World Superbike series at the Lausitzring with a storming ride from pole (also his first in the series) in which he was never headed.
Dorren Loureiro from Gauteng put in another solid ride to finish 11th out of 36 starters in the World Supersport 300 race, while Capetonian Jared Schultz battled home 27th on an uncompetitive Kawasaki.
Chaz Davies pulled off a superb double in the headline World Superbike races to make it three wins from four starts at the Lausitzring, with top-ranked Kawasaki riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, and his Ducati Team-mate Marco Melandri sharing the podium spots.
Ducati Team star Chaz Davies produced a superb ride to take the win by 1.834s from Kawasaki’s defending title-holder Jonathan Rea, with team-mate and former champion Tom Sykes completing the podium. Repeating his Race 1 victory from Lausitzring in 2016, Davies controlled the race from the front after starting from third and taking the lead on the second lap.
Sykes had set a new pole record earlier in the day but could not match Davies’ race pace and crossed the line third, 3.25s down on the race winner.
Marco Melandri on the second Ducati Team machine came home a distant fourth, 16 seconds down on team-mate Davies, with Leon Camier (MV Agusta) half a second further back for a creditable fifth, while factory Yamaha rider Alex Lowes put pressure on Camier, but missed out by 0.186s as the highest Yamaha finisher.
Lorenzo Savadori was the top Aprilia finisher, with Ducati privateer Xavi Fores, Jordi Torres (BMW) and Eugene Laverty and the second Aprilia rounding out the top 10.
Wild card Markus Reiterberger, on his return to World Superbikes, was running a solid eighth on a privately entered BMW until he ran into the gravel at Turn 10 and dropped down the order to finish 13th.
With light rain falling during the final laps the riders had to focus hard in order to avoid any mistakes and Davies did just that, coming from the third row of the grid to beat Rea across the line by 2.29s, with Melandri a little more than two further seconds back, having led early in the race.
Despite setting pole Sykes couldn’t stay with the front three this time, finishing fourth after starting Race 2 from seventh on the grid.
The results saw World champion and standings leader Rea open up a 70-point gap over team-mate Sykes with four rounds to go.
Lowes just beat Camier to fifth by 0.237s, with five Britons finishing in the top six. Just behind them on the finish line was Savadori, again the first Aprilia rider home, just 0.115s behind Camier. Torres, Reiterberger and Fores completed the top 10.
The red flags came out on the penultimate lap, after a crash in which Yamaha factory riders Federico Caricasulo and Lukas Mahias go down. Mahias was able to remount and was therefore included in the final race results while Caricasulo was taken away by the medics for an immediate check-up.
Race standings were taken from the riders' positions at the end of lap 17, with the win going to Yamaha privateer Morais, from world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) and Mahias.
Morais pulled a perfect start from pole and led every lap of the race, with Caricasulo, Jules Cluzel (Honda), Sofuoglu and Mahias in hot pursuit. In the closing stages Sofuoglu and Mahias pushed Cluzel down to fifth, but he was till only a second behind the leader when disaster struck two laps from the end, and with Caricasulo out of it, Cluzel was promoted to fourth while Mahias, was gifted a podium finish.
Second place for Sofuoglu moved him to within one point of the championship lead, which was still just held by Mahias, who picked up 16 valuable points for third despite his crash.
Morais’ team mate Niki Tuuli, Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta) Kyle Smith (Honda), veteran Anthony West (Yamaha), Thomas Gradinger (Yamaha) and Luke Stapleford (Triumph Daytona) made up the top 10.
WORLD SUPERSPORT 300
Alfonso Coppola (Yamaha) took a hard-fought win ahead of Marc Garcia (Yamaha) and Mika Perez (Honda). Perez got a stunning start off the line and took the lead into the first corner ahead of Coppola and Guiseppe De Gruttola (Yamaha) but, as usual in this class of racing, that didn’t last long.
Front row starter Garcia shot up into the lead on the opening laps, heading a lead group of seven riders. An overcast sky didn’t stop the riders from attacking and pushing until the end and, with six laps to go, a front group of 10 riders developed, with Coppola and Perez leaving the way.
The podium positions chopped and changed all the way throughout the race, leading to a last-lap battle broke out between Coppola, Perez and Garcia, that resulted in a photo finish, with Coppola taking the win by just 0.018s from Garcia, and Perez half a hundredth of a second further adrift.
Robert Schotman (Yamaha) took fourth ahead of early championship leader Scott Deroue (Kawasaki), with Daniel Valle (Yamaha) rounding out the top six.