WSB: Davies wins as Rea forced out
The chance of the glory of a double win was cruelly robbed from new triple champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) as eventual race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) took advantage of the Northern Irish rider’s bad luck.
Davies took his seventh race victory of 2017 after a brave front running show in what became tricky track conditions, fully deserving the 25 points in his fight for overall second in the championship with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who was seventh today.
The other podium places were taken by Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team).
The drama started early for Rea, after a collision with the fallen machine of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) saw him enter the pits with an injured right foot and a broken brake lever. He did not make it back on track.
With Davies out front and Lowes and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) behind in the early laps, the MV rider would have to retire for technical reasons, just as the rains that had started to slowly arrive, and then very gradually built up - from nothing at the start.
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The race continued on slicks as the rains had remained at a low enough level, with Davies five seconds up with 15 laps gone.
The Pata Yamaha duo of Lowes and van der Mark battled for the two podium places until Lowes asserted his pace, with the privateer Ducati of Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) in a lonely fourth.
A tough fight for sixth place took place between Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Leandro Mercado (IodaRacing Team Aprilia), with Melandri getting the upper hand - and finally fifth place - after Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) lost out on a top-five finish right at the end with a tech issue.
Sykes placed seventh, with the top ten rounded out by Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) and Raffaele De Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was 12th and Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 14th.
In the points, Davies is now only nine behind Sykes. Rea has 456, Sykes 336 and Davies 327.