2018 Motorland Aragon World Superbike Race Two Results: Are We Still Doing The Reverse Grid?

World Superbike race two took place on a 30ºC track, using the five kilometre configuration instead of the slightly longer one used by the FIA. 

Marco Melandri sat in pole position, thanks to the reverse grid, ahead of Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes. Tom Sykes got a terrible start, letting Melandri, van der Mark and Alex Lowes get away at the front, with Xavi Fores and Jonathan Rea getting through from the third row. At turn two, van der Mark found gap underneath Melandri to take the lead while several other passes happened behind him as the reverse grid was straightened out. By the start of the second lap, van der Mark led Melandri, Fores, Rea and Lowes with a gap back to Davies who was fighting to keep his position. Between turns eight and nine, more places were traded and by turn twelve, thanks to an error by van der Mark, Melandri ended up in the lead, Fores passed the Dutchman a turn later, dragging Rea with him. Van der Mark took third place back off Rea into the first turn and held third place until turn sixteen, the sweeping turn at the end of the long straight. 

By lap four, all the gaps that had appeared in the top nine places, with Tom Sykes at the back, closed up and anyone in the top nine looked like they could gain or lose a spot without too much effort. At the end of the lap, Xavi Fores set the fastest lap and held that honour for a fraction of a second as Jonathan Rea set an even quicker one. Fores made up for losing the fastest lap by taking the lead from Marco Melandri into turn one. 

Chaz Davies, having made short work of Alex Lowes and bringing Michael Ruben Rinaldi with him, locked horns with Michael van der Mark but van der Mark refused to give in and the pair rode side by side through four turns with van der Mark coming out back in front, strongly defending his fourth place.

Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies were the only riders who could make convincing passes at turn four this weekend and Rea continued this trend taking second place from Marco Melandri. As Xavi Fores and Rea charged down the fast straight, Melandri took advantage of the double slipstream to get a decent run, but the fast air enhanced his instability and his wobble returned with a vengeance. He stayed in third place. 

On lap eight, Xavi Fores crashed out taking a turn too fast, trying to maintain enough pace to keep Jonathan Rea from passing. Marco Melandri also had problems as Chaz Davies had clawed his way past the duelling Yamahas, again dragging Michael Ruben Rinaldi with him, and was looking for a way past his teammate. 

On lap twelve, the front three riders were all so close that it looked like any one of them could take the lead into turn one as they all lined up different trajectories through the complex, but they remained in the same positions, Rea, Melandri and Davies.

Chaz Davies then reminded us that he could make turn four passes as well and got past Marco Melandri in a pass that looked a little harder than one amongst teammates, but Davies gestured an apology or invitation to stay on his tail, indicating that he thought he had the pace to win and bring his teammate with him. 

Davies had found the pace he was lacking in the earlier laps.

As Chaz Davies probed for passes he could make stick, the front three all took completely different paths down the long straight, neither of the Ducatis seeking clean air. On lap fourteen, Davies found his spot, taking the lead from Jonathan Rea into turn one, but two corners later, Rea took it back only for Davies to once again stake his claim on turn five. Davies and Rea both rode in formation at a pace that should have ground out a lead from Marco Melandri in third place, but nobody told Melandri this and, having set the fastest lap on the penultimate lap, all three entered the last lap with the prospect for a win.

Chaz Davies maintained his fast pace and tried to break free from the other two, but Jonathan Rea managed to keep just outside of striking distance until turn twelve. Rea carried more entry speed and closed whatever gap remained to look like he was on a path to power out and pass Davies on the exit, but he was too quick and went wide, losing a fistful of tenths without losing second place to Marco Melandri.

All three contenders gave it their all, but the die had been cast and Chaz Davies took the win ahead of Jonathan Rea and Marco Melandri. Fourth place, some six seconds behind, was won by Alex Lowes, trading places with Michael van der Mark in a proper teammates battle, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi took sixth place and top independent rider. 

Jonathan Rea extended his championship lead, with Chaz Davies taking second place from Marco Melandri. Xavi Fores remains in fourth place, despite the lack of points, and Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark remain in fifth and sixth place ahead of Tom Sykes.

Leon Camier, recovering from fractured ribs and a lung contusion after yesterday's crash, is in both eighth place and a stable condition.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1.184
3 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 4.584
4 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 10.251
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 10.687
6 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 13.729
7 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale R 14.819
8 81 J. TORRES MV Agusta 1000 F4 15.215
9 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 19.812
10 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 20.272
11 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 25.604
12 45 J. GAGNE Honda CBR1000RR 25.745
13 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 27.973
14 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR1000RR 28.469
15 76 L. BAZ BMW S 1000 RR 32.094
16 68 Y. HERNANDEZ Kawasaki ZX-10RR 32.113
17 37 O. JEZEK Yamaha YZF R1 56.590
18 5 V. LEONOV Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'23.992
19 34 D. GIUGLIANO Aprilia RSV4 RF 1 Lap
RET 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale R 7
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Round Number: 
3
2018
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Total votes: 32

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