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.
1st – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“I got a mega start and hit the first corner hard and went from there really. I just set my pace, hit the first few laps and tried to stay consistent, to see where we were at. I think I still had a little more left in the tank as I stretched the gap on the closing laps, when things are working so good I have to say a huge thank you to the team.”
2nd – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“Honestly it was a good day for me, the best position I could have hoped for really. The race, we had some issues, I dont think we could have won the race but we have some changed for tomorrow. We’re really happy and congratulations to Chaz and Ducati.”
3rd – Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It was a great result for me but I did struggle with the bike, like I have for the whole weekend its not been how I wanted. It was tough to fight with Tom and after 5-6 laps I was starting to have some issues but we need to do better.”
#ItalianWorldSBK at Imola Circuit: Race 1
1. Chaz Davies Ducati
2. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki +6.696
3. Marco Melandri Ducati +9.287
Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 5
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (215 points)
2. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki (144 points)
3. Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (136 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl