WorldSBK, Imola: Saturday roundup – World Superbike, World Supersport, WorldSSP300
At the Motul Italian Round on Saturday Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took a runaway victory in a race which was shortened due to a red flag, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also featuring on the podium.
Davies made a brilliant start from pole and was untouchable, leading by well over six seconds when the race ended early due to a red flag, after a big crash for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) at turns 17 to 18 – which meant track conditions were not safe for racing to continue. Laverty walked away from the incident which saw his Aprilia RSV4 RF go up in flames and he was taken immediately to the medical centre for a check up after the high speed incident.
With 12 of 19 scheduled laps having been completed at the time of the crash the rider placements at that stage were taken as the final race results, with Davies therefore claiming his second win of the season. The ever-consistent Rea picked up more important championship points in second, whilst Melandri made it a good day for Ducati on home territory in third place on the podium.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was fourth, the Englishman trailing Melandri by less than a second, whilst Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) continued his good form in fifth.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) produced a good ride in sixth, whilst Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and his teammate Alex Lowes were seventh and eighth respectively. Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top ten.
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) crashed out at turn 7 early in the race, with Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) pulling into the pits shortly afterwards due to a technical issue.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) was unable to participate in Race 1 due to illness. The WorldSBK riders will be in action again on Sunday with their second race taking place at 1pm local time at Imola.
In excellent weather conditions at the Motul Italian Round on Saturday PJ Jacobsen took pole for the fifth race of the season with a 1’51.611 lap around the 4.936km Imola track. He will be joined on the front row on Sunday by Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and top Italian qualifier Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
At his team’s home Round MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jacobsen registered his third pole of 2017 and he will strive to record his first race win of the season in Sunday’s 17 lap race.
Championship leader Mahias was delighted to finish in second place in the Tissot Superpole 2 session and celebrated with a big ‘endo’, whilst Gamarino will be pleased to line up on the front row for his home race.
Taking their places on the second row will be another Italian Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Turkey’s WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and South African rider Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing).
Two Brits in seventh and ninth respectively, meanwhile, Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), sandwich eighth placed
Frenchman Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) on row three.
The fourth row is set to feature Japanese rider Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Belgian Loris Cresson (SC Racing-RPM84) and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Zaccone was taken to the medical centre for a check-up after crashing towards the end of SP2. Ryde and Cresson were the two riders to have made it through from SP1.
The WorldSSP riders will race at 11am local time on Sunday at Imola in front of the Italian fans.
Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) has secured pole position ahead of the third round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola circuit.
Paolo Giacomini (Team Trasimeno) sailed through from Superpole One in the usually hectic opening session alongside Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) as the pair were over half a second ahead of the rest of the field.
Spanish rider Perez dominated the Superpole Two session, taking pole position with a lap time of 2.10.115 and putting him a second and a half ahead of his rivals. Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) secured a front row start at his home round, meaning raceday will provide a lot of emotion for the young rider.
Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) continues to impress in the competitive series and will round out the front row onboard his Yamaha machine. Giacomini had a stunning Saturday and after progressing through SP1, will start the race from the second row.
Jacopo Facco (Bierreti By 2R) suffered a crash at turn six at his home round with just over four minutes of the session remaining, and he will start the race from 11th on the grid.