This weekend the World Superbike grid headed to Imola in Italy, for the 5th round of the championship.
SP1 saw the Honda of Stefan Bradl and the Aprilia of Lorenzo Savadori make it through to SP2. Only one rider was missing, Jordi Torres on the BMW due to gastroenteritis – his condition will be assessed ahead of the race tomorrow.
SP2 was straight forward. Davies led for the majority of the session, setting a 46.6 before coming in to change to the Pirelli qualifying tyre. He managed to keep his competitors at bay and jumped into to the 45’s, taking pole position ahead of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea.
Davies got a fantastic start off the line and effortlessly led throughout, with his team mate Marco Melandri well behind him, coming under attack from championship leader Jonathan Rea. It didn’t take Rea long, and he managed to get past the Ducati just 4 laps in.
The Honda’s have had a terrible weekend so far, and that translated into a retirement from Nicky Hayden. The American has already suffered two crashes so far, and it seems it is only getting worse for him.
An otherwise dull Superbike race was brought to an abrupt halt with 6 laps remaining, due to an incident involving Eugene Laverty. He had been battling with Lowes for a couple of laps, and as Alex made a move there was contact between the Yamaha and the Aprilia which caused the front mudguard of the Aprilia to come off and get caught in the brakes. With nowhere else to go, Laverty bailed and sent the bike hurtling into the gravel towards the concrete fence, with the bike bursting into flames on impact.
The incident between #22 and #50 was swiftly put under investigation but no further action was taken. With no race restart, the results stood as they were with 7 laps to go, which saw Davies take the effortless win, followed by Jonathan Rea and Marco Melandri.
World Superbike race 1 results:
Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati – 21:21.371s
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team + 6.696s
Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Ducati + 9.287s
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team + 9.913s
Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team + 16.142s
Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse + 21.914s
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team + 24.638
Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team + 25.792s
Roman Ramos, Team Kawasaki Go Eleven + 34.035s
Stefan Bradl, Red Bull Honda WSBK + 34.585s
Image: cyclenews.com, photographer unknown.