This weekend we head to Magny-Cours in France for round 11 of the World Superbikes championship. Day one is already over, and this is how it panned out.
Jonathan Rea looked really strong in Superpole this morning, and he went through to the race in pole position – his first one of the year, ahead of team mate Tom Sykes and Aruba.it Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
Race one was a wet one, and it was very much a battle of the tyres. Everybody headed out into the race with their wet tyres on, apart from Davies who had decided to gamble on an intermediate rear. In the opening laps, it appeared to be a gamble that was definitely not paying off, as he tumbled down the standings to thirteenth place.
In the beginning, it seemed to be only the Honda team of Michael Van der Mark and Nicky Hayden who could threaten the Kawasaki duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. It looked as if it was going to be yet another predictable KRT one-two, but apparently I was so very wrong.
Hayden was the first of the pack to go into the pits to change his wets to slicks, and this was just the beginning of a series of tyre changes. Team mate Van der Mark came in just a few laps later, followed by both of the Althea Racing riders – Jordi Torres and Marcus Reiterberger, Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes and eventually, when it seemed like it might be too late, the two KRT’s.
Towards the end of the race, the battle for the lead was ever growing. Leon Camier proved that his MV Agusta could be just as competitive as he led the race for a few laps. But it wasn’t his for long, as Lorenzo Savadori on the Ioda Racing Ducati snatched the lead from him.
But it was Chaz Davies who shocked everyone the most, as it appeared that his tyre gamble really was paying off. He was one of the very few riders who didn’t have to go in for a tyre change, and as people dipped in and out of the race to pit, he flew back up the standings to challenge the top three. With his main contenders battling outside of the top five, Davies breezed through to victory with an effortless nine and a half second lead.
It didn’t stop there. Both Sykes and Rea made it work for them, and in the closing laps managed to pick up third and fourth place respectively.
Race one results
Chaz Davies – 38:51.392s
Michael Van der Mark – + 9.871
Tom Sykes – + 10.218
Jonathan Rea – + 18.031
Lorenzo Savadori – + 19.974
Matthieu Lagrive – + 24.661
Leon Camier – + 25.743
Xavi Fores – + 27.409
Sylvain Guintoli – + 49.455
Alex De Angelis – + 52.570
Coverage of World Superbikes continues tomorrow on Eurosport.
(photo credit: www.motorbox.com)