It’s the final race of 2016 and Jonathan Rea has already been crowned champion. But there’s still 25 points to play for and Tom Sykes is looking to keep his second place in the championship and keep Chaz Davies at bay.
Before the race had even begun, it was announced that Nicky Hayden would be starting from pit lane with a 5 second penalty due to exceeding his engine allocation. Earlier on, it was also announced that Davide Guigliano was unfit to ride due to a shoulder injury.
No sooner than they were off the line, Ioda Racing’s Lorenzo Savadori and Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes ran on. Both managed to re-join the race at the back of the pack.
For Jonathan Rea, it was a good job that he managed to wrap up the championship yesterday, as on lap two he suffered gearbox problems and dropped back into 13th.
With 11 laps to go, Josh Brookes crashed out. It was his last race with the Shaun Muir team and unfortunately, it ended in the gravel. Just one lap later, Pedercini Kawasaki’s Saeed Al-Sulaiti’s bike caught fire, bringing out the red flag due to safety conditions.
The race was declared a ten lap quick restart, with the grid positions based on the end of lap seven.
It was clear that Sykes was determined not to let Davies get away, but also not to let Rea past. If Davies finished the race in 1st, Sykes needed to finish 2nd to clinch his much needed second place in the championship. But Rea wanted to finish 2016 with a bang, and was pushing so hard to try and pass Sykes.
As soon as Rea passed him he was off, creating a gap of .8 of a second in just one lap. With only a couple of laps to go, Rea began to pull back allowing Sykes through to take 2nd in the race and 2nd in the championship.
In the end, Chaz Davies was victorious, and became the 1st rider to clinch 3 double consecutive wins in ten years.
WSBK race two results
Chaz Davies – 19:38.203s
Tom Sykes – + 5.855s
Jonathan Rea – + 6.376s
Sylvain Guintoli – + 8.493s
Leon Haslam – + 11.862s
Jordi Torres – + 12.232s
Nicky Hayden – + 13.599s
Xavi Fores – + 14.210s
Rafaella De Rosa – + 14.262s
Alex Lowes – + 14.414s
Michael van der Mark – +15.169s
That’s the 2016 World Superbikes season done and dusted. I think we can all agree that Jonathan Rea has put in a stellar performance this season, and well and truly deserves his second world title.
(photo credit: asphaltandrubber.com)