WorldSBK, Lausitzring: Saturday roundup – World Superbike, World Supersport
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies won Race 1 at the Pirelli German Round with a 10.5 second lead in a flawless performance, beating Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes into second ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden completing the top three.
Davies led from pole into the first corner, before charging ahead to create a gap to his nearest rival Sykes. By lap five Davies was 3 seconds ahead with Sykes, teammate Jonathan Rea and Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team) fighting for second position.
“I didn’t think it would go like that to be honest, I thought it would be a bit of a lottery in the opening laps,” revealed Davies after the race. “I didn’t know with this harder tyre that we all had to run due to the conditions, well I didn’t put a lot of time on it yesterday. I had to just feel it out. Then when I saw the lap time from the first flying lap I was quite impressed with myself. Then I just kept the hammer down. I wanted to try and break away from the other guys nice and early and that’s pretty much how it went. The bike was mint for the whole race, it has really felt pretty dialed in since the test here.”
“For the championship it is awesome, so we’ll see,” said Sykes after the race results. “Today we rode in tricky conditions, yesterday we had great pace when the track was bedded in nicely with a lot of rubber. But today it was fresh again and Chaz had great pace in this condition. There was no way we could fight with him. His bike was turning so well and he was riding really well, so it wasn’t to be. Second is acceptable. We had a lot of pressure from some guys, especially Nicky all race, so it was a really nice race from this point of view. For tomorrow we need to try and improve. If we can close the gap to Chaz then that is fantastic but there are certainly a few little problems to iron out. Overall it is an acceptable Saturday. Now we can have a long time to socialise and find a better set-up for the ZX-10R for tomorrow.”
“Racing can be like that, up and down in the same day,” exclaimed Hayden after his third position. “You start the day on the ground and with the mechanical (issues), but the team did a great job. Also they came here and tested and made a big effort. I got pushed a little wide in turn 1 and got roughed up and got dropped back. But I had a good pace, the bike was really good on the brakes, so I could make some passes. I really wanted to beat Tom, I saw the fans and I thought lets give them something, so I tried to push after him but he had enough in reserve.”
Drama struck early when reigning Champion Jonathan Rea crashed out on lap 8. The Northern Irishman walked away uninjured, but furious after a tough weekend so far. Rea’s retirement means the gap in the overall standings stands with only 26 points separating him from Championship rival and teammate Tom Sykes. Friday’s fastest Lorenzo Savadori crashed out of podium contention just after Rea, and local hero Althea BMW’s Markus Reiterberger was forced to retire early on lap 9 due to technical problems. With Rea and Savadori out, Hayden was able to focus on chasing down Sykes but couldn’t catch him and had to settle for third.
Davies crossed the finish line 10.5 seconds ahead of Sykes. The dominant win making him the third rider in WorldSBK history to win with three different manufacturers in the same country; Davies won in Nurburgring with BMW and Aprilia and can finally cross the Lausitzring off the list on a Ducati.
Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres came home in fourth after battling with Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) for the finish. After battling it out for some laps, Camier and van der Mark finally finished in fifth and sixth place.
Davies’ teammate Davide Giugliano finished in seventh position ahead of Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes, who came home in eighth after starting from P12 on the grid after crashing out in the morning’s warm up and sitting out Tissot-Superpole 2. Lowes’ teammate Sylvain Guintoli gave a solid performance in his first race back from injury, leading Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) and Anthony West (Pedercini Racing) home to ninth position. Alex De Angelis brought his Aprilia home in P12 ahead of Roman Ramos on Team GOELEVEN in P13. Australian Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) and Luca Scassa (VFT Racing) rounded out the top 15.
The WorldSBK field will hit the track again on Sunday 18th of September at 13:00 local time (GMT+2).
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu showed strong form on Saturday in Germany, dominating the entire Tissot-Superpole 2 session to start from pole position in Sunday’s race. Sofuoglu improved his combined time of yesterday by two tenths. Finnish wildcard Niki Tuuli from Kallio Racing seriously impressed the field and proved he’s a strong contender for the podium this weekend by securing a first row start in second position. GRT Racing’s Gino Rea came home in third to lock out the front row of the grid.
“This morning I was worried about the rain,” said Sofuoglu after the qualifying. “But in the wet we did a good time. It was getting dry step by step, but I didn’t think we could reach the lap time of yesterday. Then I improved again with the lap record of the track. It looks like things are going very well. My team have done a good job, they made a really good package with the suspension and it helped me to get a good result.”
“I’m quite surprised,” exclaimed Tuuli. “I have only raced in Finland this year in small races. This weekend has been perfect for me. Yesterday I had a big crash but the second practice was better and now I’m quite surprised. I have a good feeling and I think the race tomorrow could be good.”
“That is what we are aiming for ultimately, a front row start,” said Rea. “I was a little bit frustrated with myself in the session because it took me too long to get back to grips with the bike. It was a very small adjustment but obviously with the wet this morning I had my head in ‘wet mode’. It took me a bit too long, but I just stayed out there because I knew I had more to give and more to find in my riding. The tyre started to go down on the last few laps and I wasn’t able to improve my time on the last lap or the lap before, but the pace is really good.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Christoffer Bergman took fourth position to head the second row of the grid ahead of Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Randy Krummenacher. MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel filled out the second row of the grid in sixth position.
Tissot-Superpole 1 graduate MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Lorenzo Zanetti finished the session in seventh ahead of GEMAR Balloons – Team Lorini rider Ayrton Badovini in eighth with PJ Jacobsen for Honda World Supersport Team locking out the fourth row of the grid. Profile Racing’s Luke Stapleford made it home in tenth with Federico Caricasulo of BARDAHL Evan Bros. Honda Racing coming in P11. Bergman’s teammate Kyle Smith was the other Tissot-Superpole 1 graduate to finish the decisive second Superpole 2 session in P12.
Ilya Mikhalchik was the first European Supersport rider home for the DS Junior Team in Tissot-Superpole 1 and will start from P14 on the grid ahead of Sunday’s race.
Racing will officially recommence for WorldSSP tomorrow at 11:20 local time (GMT+2).