Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took an excellent victory in Race 2 at the Pirelli French Round, seizing control in the opening stages and not looking back from there to eventually cross the line three seconds ahead of nearest challenger Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). Completing the podium in third was Lowes’ Yamaha colleague Michael van der Mark after a great battle between the pair.
Coming from 11th on the grid Davies charged through the field to register his 27thWorldSBK win in tricky conditions as rain fell sporadically over the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit during the race. Behind him Lowes and Van der Mark contested second place and the Englishman ultimately beat his Dutch teammate by 1.55s after an intriguing duel between the Yamaha duo.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) crossed the line fourth, followed by fifth placed Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) all featured in the top ten.
Early in the race Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed at turn 16 and in the aftermath of his accident Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) appeared to clip Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 RF. The newly crowned triple champion Rea then went back into pit lane and would retire from the race, whilst Laverty picked up his machine to finally finish the race 17th.
A technical problem at turn 15 for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ended his race at the halfway point, when the British rider was in contention for an elusive podium finish. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was an unfortunate last lap crasher.
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P1 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“We had our ups and downs this season, we were miles off Tom and now we’ve closed up a bit. We have definitely closed the gap to be something we can catch, so we are looking forward to the last four races. I think everything is wide open so I’m very much looking forward to it.”
P2 – Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
“This weekend has been a bit strange, with the weather conditions yesterday and today with the mental rain. I think it shows the progress of the Yamaha, we have been chasing the Kawasaki and Ducati and whenever we are thrown with different situations, we are there to take advantage of it. And I’m really happy to share the podium with Michael.”
P3 – Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
“It’s our second podium this year, and I am so happy. Yesterday we had some bad luck but today I got a good start, and we fought our way to the front. It was hard because of the drops of rain, and when I got to the front and found my pace, we were able to run up at the front. However, I made a small mistake and in the end just didn’t have the pace to fight with Alex.”
#FrenchWorldSBK at Magny-Cours: Race 2
1. Chaz Davies Ducati
2. Alex Lowes Yamaha +3.006
3. Michael van der Mark Yamaha +4.556
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 11
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (456 points)
2. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki (336 points)
3. Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (327 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl