2016 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race Two: French Polish

World Superbike race two was twenty one laps of Magny-Cours on a dry track, but one that's a lot colder than it was on Friday.

Jonathan Rea led Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes, but some early work from Tom Sykes put him in front and Chaz Davies followed him through to second place. Leon Camier lost fourth place to Michael van der Mark but the two would not be separated for some time.

After a fastest lap on the second lap and a lap record on the third, Tom Sykes extracted a one second gap from Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea who in turn had over two seconds from Michael van der Mark, Leon Camier and Lorenzo Savadori.

On the fifth lap, Jonathan Rea tried a few passes on Chaz Davies, succeeding at the Imola chicane, staring at over a second gap to his teammate in the lead. Four laps later, Rea had closed the gap to Tom Sykes and had brought Davies with him, but once the Kawasakis were together, the pair stretched out a lead from the Ducati of Davies, peaking at a second and a half at half race distance. Davies just had to race his own pace and hope that the Kawasakis would start flagging. As the leading pair started losing a couple of tenths here and there, Davies retained his consistency and slowly reeled them in.

As this metronomic fight continued at the front, Leon Camier finally found a way past Michael van der Mark, passing in the last section and snatching fourth place before the line. Over the next three laps, he would break the Dutchman and spin out a second, then two, to secure his fourth place.

Jonathan Rea never lost sight of Tom Sykes after latching on to him, matching his teammate and maintaining a gap of under four tenths of a second for several laps, but unable to pass. Six laps from the end, Davies had caught Sykes and Rea. With only four tenths of a second covering the three bikes, something had to give. Rea would have to make a move on Sykes.

Chaz Davies had spent several laps knowing that there were only two ways to pass either bike and they were wait for a mistake or force a pass. Luckily, an opportunity arose.

Jonathan Rea passed Tom Sykes on the brakes into the hairpin but left enough of a gap for Sykes to force his way back. In doing so, the Englishman pushed the Northern Irishman wide and Chaz Davies saw the only chance he'd had to pass and he spent as much tyre as he could to pass both Kawasakis and to boldly take the lead from third place.

A lap later, as Davies was trying to break away, at the same location, the stretch into the Adelaide hairpin, Rea pulled alongside Sykes, the teammates touching knees as they entered the corner, and Rea matched Sykes on the brakes to take the inside line cleanly with second place as his reward. Davies continued his pace, his tyres not letting him down for the second race in a row, and crossed the line over two seconds clear of the championship battle behind him.

Chaz Davies took the double victory in France, ahead of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Leon Camier held on to fourth place, almost two seconds clear of fifth-placed Michael van der Mark. Jonathan Rea extended his championship lead to forty eight points over Tom Sykes but Chaz Davies remains in mathematical contention thirty three points further back, eighty one points from the title leader. One hundred points remain up for grabs.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R 2.091
3 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 2.586
4 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 9.154
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 11.020
6 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 16.062
7 81 J. TORRES BMW S1000 RR 18.242
8 50 S. GUINTOLI Yamaha YZF R1 18.951
9 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR SP 19.099
10 12 X. FORÉS Ducati Panigale R 24.627
11 25 J. BROOKES BMW S1000 RR 31.514
12 21 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 35.665
13 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 51.053
14 15 A. DE ANGELIS Aprilia RSV4 RF 54.239
15 76 M. LAGRIVE Kawasaki ZX-10R 59.954
16 17 K. ABRAHAM BMW S1000 RR 1'12.959
17 4 G. VIZZIELLO Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'18.008
18 56 P. SEBESTYÉN Yamaha YZF R1 1'19.245
19 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 1'27.462
20 57 A. PLANCASSAGNE Yamaha YZF R1 1 Lap
21 10 I. TÓTH Yamaha YZF R1 1 Lap
RET 11 S. AL SULAITI Kawasaki ZX-10R 8 Laps
RET 94 M. LUSSIANA BMW S1000 RR 11 Laps
RET 99 L. SCASSA Ducati Panigale R  

 

Round Number: 
11
2016
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Comments

... to see this kind of dominance arise from Davies. There's a sense that Chaz is steadily working his way into unassailable form along with Ducati Corse. 2017 ought to be interesting, but beware Aprilia.

Well said. And we can't say the same thing about the Yamaha R1 this year can we? I had higher hopes for the bike. And I bet Lowes did too. What happened for him way down the order today?

Anyone else thinking about future expectations for an all new Honda? Besides Van DerMark perhaps w his dice roll? A long awaited future Honda has my vote as a preferable bike to this Yamaha, wondering if poor patient all these yrs VDM has jumped ship at exactly the wrong time.

With the steady drop in sales of sports bikes for the last 10+ years now, I wonder what will happen with stock based series.  Honda have already said that they will discontinue the CBR600RR (which will mean the moto2 class will go to tender without Honda's bid), and I expect that the rest of the Japanese manufacturers will temper their mid class offerings.  How many years until this starts to really affect the big class?  The CBR1000 will be nine years old when it's finally refreshed - and we don't know what the new one will look like.  As you have pointed out, the R1 is lacking in this field. I don't remember the Suzuki being a serious contender in SBK since Haslam was battling with Biaggi.  BMW tried and gave up, and now are just a token effort.  Aprilia came in, dominated, then moved their focus to motoGP.

Is SBK destined to become a collection of boutique brands with the series being dominated by the one or two brands who can be bothered to put in the money?  Now that I think about it, has it ever really been anything other than that?