Race of the Year: 5th - Misano WorldSBK
After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike reporter) sat down to discuss their favourite races of the year across MotoGP, World Superbike, British Superbike and road racing.
It’s been a year of huge action across all classes – and it wasn’t an easy decision to cut down the 120-odd races we’ve seen this year to a mere five. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
5th – World Superbikes Race 1 Misano
Some people say World Superbikes is boring, but the opening race at Misano certainly wasn’t. Multiple race leaders scrapping it out tooth and nail as well as big drama made this one of the most nail-biting encounters of 2017.
The race was initially led by PATA Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark, who looked solid at the front for the first time of the year. Could he have taken Yamaha’s first win since they left the series in 2011?
That itself would have made this an awesome race, but drama would strike as the closing stages of the race drew near. Van der Mark came under some pressure from Jonathan Rea, but we’d be robbed of the battle with the Dutchman cruelly ruled out of the race after his rear tyre suddenly deflated and flicked him from the machine.
This left Rea and arch rival Davies to scrap it out for the win, and some battle it was with Marco Melandri also desperate to catch up the battle at the front. The Italian would crash out of third place as he tried to chase down Davies and Rea, but the drama was far from over.
Pushing hard, Davies crashed at turn 14, the Welshman slid off and with Rea so close behind the Kawasaki rider could not avoid bike and rider and was too knocked off.
Rea got restarted for third but Davies stood up, could not restart, and was taken away from medical attention at trackside after a hard impact in the accident.
Sykes, who had been fifth, came past to win his second race of the year, with Alex Lowes second – Rea finished third.
Davies fractured a lumbar vertebrae in the incident and would be forced to miss the second race, but returned next time out in Laguna Seca where he won the first race.