World Superbike race two took place on a hot track, with the track temperature five degrees celsius higher than yesterday, around 43ºC, causing a noticeable drop in grip and lap times.
Alex Lowes got off the line quickest but he lost the lead to Michael van der Mark after a turn. The Yamaha pair led Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. Lap two saw a change in the lead as Lowes took the top spot from van der Mark into turn one and convincingly held it, setting the fastest lap in the process.
Melandri and Laverty fought for third until Laverty missed the apex on turn ten and Melandri made his move. On lap three, Melandri tried to take second from van der Mark into the first turn, but the Dutchman him off until turn three where Melandri found a way through and he set the fastest lap chasing down the leader Alex Lowes.
Jonathan Rea, trying to take sixth place off Tom Sykes into turn twelve, passed his Kawasaki teammate, but on the exit of the corner, Sykes drove out of the corner and clipped Rea, sending him to the gravel and ending his weekend. Race Direction investigated the crash and found that it wasn't anyone's fault, but Rea thought differently, waiting behind the barriers until Sykes came back round before giving him sarcastic applause.
Lap four, and the leading five riders were a single group, Lowes, Melandri, van der Mark, Davies and Laverty, clear of Sykes and Savadori's battle for sixth. A lap later they spread out and the leading two of Lowes and Melandri cleared a bit of space from van der Mark who was over a second from Davies and Laverty who were joined by Sykes and Lorenzo Savadori.
Marco Melandri, the quickest man on track, made his turn one move stick again, taking the lead from Alex Lowes, only to have a glitch at turn three, possibly losing engine braking or hitting a false neutral, and he headed across the gravel at an air fence, but he managed to get his feet down, schoolboy no-brakes style, to avoid planting his Panigale in the furniture. He rejoined in nineteenth place. He wouldn't be lonely there as a lap later, he was joined by another championship hopeful as Tom Sykes dropped his Kawasaki by just losing rear grip and going down. Sykes held onto the bars of his bike as it ground the right footpeg into the tarmac, and he picked it up and rejoined ahead of Melandri in seventeenth place.
Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark held a comfortable lead over a lonely Chaz Davies with Eugene Laverty a second behind him having to deal with a fast-closing Michael Ruben Rinaldi who was dragging Lorenzo Savadori with him, filling the hole made by Sykes's absence.
As the fight for fourth became a three bike affair, Marco Melandri, back in eighteenth place, was the fastest man on track and closing on Tom Sykes. A lap later, he had closed the gap of a second to catch and pass the Kawasaki rider on lap twelve.
In the closing stages of the race, Lowes and van der Mark had four seconds of clear track behind them to Chaz Davies. This gap kept growing as Davies nursed his tyre to secure a safe podium. Lowes kept his pace up as van der Mark couldn't match his teammate's speed and Alex Lowes won his first World Superbike race and the pair gave Yamaha their first one-two since Marco Melandri beat Eugene Laverty in the closing race of 2011.
Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Chaz Davies made up the podium ahead of the Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori with Michael Ruben Rinaldi bringing the Ducati home for sixth place. Marco Melandri brought one point home ahead of the non-scoring Tom Sykes.
Michael van der Mark's second place put him in third place of the championship, ahead of Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri and only nine points off Chaz Davies, with Davies making the best of a weekend where he was clearly struggling with grip, closing up to within sixty-five points of championship leader Rea. Alex Lowes is just three points off Marco Melandri's fifth place.
The world was treated to a speechless Alex Lowes, a man not normally lost for words, while Jonathan Rea probably has plenty to say about today.
|1||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1|
|2||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||2.167|
|3||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||7.649|
|4||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||9.422|
|5||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||9.716|
|6||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale R||12.967|
|7||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||17.341|
|8||12||X. FORES||Ducati Panigale R||20.293|
|9||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||23.613|
|10||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||24.670|
|11||76||L. BAZ||BMW S 1000 RR||25.106|
|12||45||J. GAGNE||Honda CBR1000RR||25.212|
|13||99||P. JACOBSEN||Honda CBR1000RR||28.172|
|14||68||Y. HERNANDEZ||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||31.659|
|15||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||32.407|
|16||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||36.305|
|17||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||39.367|
|18||37||O. JEZEK||Yamaha YZF R1||44.976|
|RET||81||J. TORRES||MV Agusta 1000 F4||13 Laps|
|RET||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||16 Laps|