World Superbike’s Saturday race would be twenty laps, without Tom Sykes due to his crash this morning. The wind was still very noticeable and the temperature was up to 22ºC.
The lights went out and Eugene Laverty looked like he would take the lead from Jonathan Rea into the first turn, but Rea on the outside was better on the brakes and he held the lead, beating Laverty to the apex. Marco Melandri hounded Laverty for a few corners and took second place from the Aprilia man cleanly.
Later round the first lap, with Jonathan Rea clearing off into the distance, Marco Melandri made a mistake and dropped back to fifth place, behind Eugene Laverty, Lorenzo Savadori and a hard-charging Chaz Davies, making the best of a ninth-place start. At the end of lap one, Jonathan Rea had a lead of over two seconds, having recorded an astounding 1’43.608 lap from a standing start.
Pirelli tested their tyres in their mobile lab and found an issue with one of the tyres. Unfortunately for Jonathan Rea, this was the tyre he was planning to use in the race. On the second lap with his replacement choice, he set the fastest lap, within half a second of Tom Sykes’s 2013 record. At the end of the fastest lap, Rea had a lead of over three seconds.
On lap three, as Jonathan Rea cemented his lead, Chaz Davies, in the group of four bikes fighting for second place, made a clean move on Lorenzo Savadori, the first of two Aprilias in front of him. Marco Melandri followed him a few turns later to take fourth place.
Five laps in, with Jonathan Rea over four seconds clear of the second-place battle, Chaz Davies finally got past Eugene Laverty with a tidy move into turn one as Lorenzo Savadori dropped off the back of Marco Melandri, reducing the battle for second place to three riders. Further back, Leon Camier had made his way to seventh place and was fighting Jordi Torres for sixth while trying to clear off from Michael van der Mark in eight place. Camier made short work of Savadori and Van der Mark dispatched Fores, leaving him in the clutches of Alex Lowes. Melandri, however, struggled to get past Laverty for third place while Davies left the two to it.
Eight laps in, Melandri found a way past Laverty, powering past him down the straight and into turn one, but Laverty kept the pressure on him, practically leaning onto his Ducati in an effort to get the place back, but Melandri held his nerve and the line to take third place.
At half race distance, Chaz Davies was over five seconds behind Jonathan Rea but almost three seconds clear of his teammate Marco Melandri. Melandri was over a second in front of Eugene Laverty. While these gaps were increasing, the one between Laverty and Leon Camier was shrinking, closing to under a second as Camier’s bike, as has been a feature of the trellis-framed MV Agusta, found its pace in the latter part of the race while Laverty’s Aprilia started losing its pace, as has also been customary. By lap twelveCamier had caught Laverty and was able to pass him without trouble. Camier faced a gap of almost three seconds to Melandri, but his bike was in its happy place.
As the laps ticked down, Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies were both comfortable in first and second, neither in trouble of losing their place, but Leon Camier had Marco Melandri in his sights. Melandri was running high 1’44 laps while Camier was doing low 1’44s. The gap between the two, naturally, was falling. With three laps left, there was just over a second of fresh air between Melandri and Camier and both of them knew it.
Marco Melandri started recording laps around 1’44.4 seconds from lap fifteen, but Leon Camier was quarter of a second quicker every lap. On the penultimate lap, however, with very little between them, both riders set almost identical times, setting up a last lap fight.
As Jonathan Rea won the race, in his most dominant performance of the year, over seven seconds clear of Chaz Davies, Leon Camier had closed the gap to four tenths of a second to Marco Melandri at the end of the first sector. A slight mistake by Camier cost him a few tenths of a second by the second sector, but the last half of the track was where Camier made up the most ground in previous laps and this lap was no different. With only a few corners to go, Camier was within three tenths of Melandri. Melandri didn’t flinch though, and narrowly held off Camier to the last spot on the podium. Leon Camier was just over a third of a second off securing the MV Agusta’s first podium.
Jonathan Rea’s victory puts him ninety five points ahead of Tom Sykes in the championship, with one hundred and seventy five points remaining this year. Chaz Davies, with twenty points, climbs to within fifteen points of Sykes. Marco Melandri’s third place keeps him sixty two points off his teammate while Alex Lowes didn’t finish the race and he remains in fifth place, with Xavi Fores only sixteen points behind him. Leon Camier will start race two in pole position tomorrow.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||6.189|
|3||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||10.166|
|4||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||10.508|
|5||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||13.739|
|6||81||J. TORRES||BMW S 1000 RR||16.816|
|7||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||18.786|
|8||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||22.090|
|9||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||28.430|
|10||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||38.746|
|11||35||R. DE ROSA||BMW S 1000 RR||43.181|
|12||86||A. BADOVINI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.212|
|13||13||A. WEST||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.325|
|14||84||R. RUSSO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.412|
|15||72||T. TAKAHASHI||Honda CBR1000RR||54.303|
|16||37||O. JEZEK||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||59.880|
|17||121||A. ANDREOZZI||Yamaha YZF R1||1'04.441|
|18||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap|
|RET||36||L. MERCADO||Aprilia RSV4 RF||4 Laps|
|RET||6||S. BRADL||Honda CBR1000RR||18 Laps|