Sykes wins opening race at Jerez, Rea clinches title

Published: 20 September 2015

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) became the 2015 FIM Superbike World Champion by finishing fourth in race one at Jerez. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the race by 2.865 seconds, with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati WSB) second and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda WSB) third.

From the start of the race Sykes piled on the pressure, running away to a 1.5 second lead after five laps, his team-mate and soon-to-be World Champion Rea second and Davies third at this quarter race point.

Rea had set a new lap record on the second lap, of 1’41.136, but had set a high 1’42 on lap seven, as Davies passed, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) and van der Mark right behind.

Sykes, like Rea on a brand new ‘A’ front tyre in this race, was 3.3 seconds up by lap eight of 20.

Haslam and VDM were having a re-run of some of their earlier season tussles in the fight for fourth as halfway approached.

Michelle Pirro (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati WSB) was proving to be a good substitute choice for the injured Davide Giugliano, in a clear sixth at half race distance then closing later on.

The pace of all the top riders had dropped off after halfway, with Sykes still maintaining his lead of 3.4 seconds to Davies.

VDM had won his battle with Haslam and Rea to ease out ahead of the pairing, chasing Davies for second, with slightly superior pace for a time.

It was not to last, as VDM took third.

Behind Rea, in fifth place, was Haslam, Pirro placed sixth, Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) seventh, with Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSB) completing the top ten.