2018 Brno World Superbike Race Two Results: High Temperature Low Grip

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.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
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
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Round Number: 
7
2018
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Total votes: 34

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Comments

No one in WSBK passes more aggressively and with less regard for the other rider than JR. His low regard for other riders coupled with his overblown ego add up to his spoiled brat approach to passing - others are not worthy and need to get out of his way. I am thrilled to see TS stand up to JR. TS clipped JR? Wasn’t JR behind TS when they touched? Maybe I saw and read that wrong, but frankly, I don’t care. I still remember watching JR take Melandri out before he was gifted the best ride in the paddock, when he was still on the Honda and not winning anything. Same guy then. 

Total votes: 49

Nobody believes you Sykesy. You took out your teammate who had podium pace and then fell off battling for sixth. You're not fit to clean JR's visor.

 

Total votes: 24

JR punted off plenty of racers on his Honda.  But I put that down to him overriding an underperforming Fireblade.  Still not cool, but understandable.  Has he really sent that many guys off since he's been on the Kawasaki?  

Total votes: 37

SBK not predictable or boring.

So good to see a new race winner ! Great for yamaha. Good to see Ducati back on the podium. I was worrying Chaz might have lost his mojo, happy to see he has got it back. 

Both Aprilias in the top five is a good result for them.

Total votes: 28