World Superbike's last race in Europe before heading off to a new circuit was contested by twenty one riders on a fairly warm day.
The reverse grid put Lorenzo Savadori on pole position alongside Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri, but after a great fight at the front into turn one, Chaz Davies led Michael van der Mark, Marco Melandri and yesterday's winner Jonathan Rea, charging through from ninth place, once again making a mockery of the reverse grid. By the 180 corner, Jonathan Rea was in third place but Marco Melandri in fourth place had almost a second from Tom Sykes and Lorenzo Savadori.
On lap three, Chaz Davies was clear from dragging Michael van der Mark, Jonathan Rea and Marco Melandri in his wake. Rea took second place from van der Mark at the half kilometre long turn three but van der Mark took it back into the turn five hairpin, giving Marco Melandri a chance to push Rea back to fourth place. Rea took third back on the way to the 180 turn where he took second place back off van der Mark.
Once Jonathan Rea had got his Kawasaki in front of van der Mark's Yahama, he focussed on the second and a half to Chaz Davies's Ducati, closing the gap over two laps. With Davies and Rea charging at the front, van der Mark and Melandri were together for a few laps, two seconds clear of Tom Sykes and Lorenzo Savadori, but van der Mark pushed as hard as he did at the beginning of the race, apparently ignoring tyre life to close up to the leading two. Once the Dutchman had caught them, the leading trio were very close, everyone looking for passing opportunities, with Rea passing Davies a couple of times at turn five only to have Davies take the lead right back.
On lap twelve, Jonathan Rea tried turn five again, and as before, Chaz Davies took the lead back on the exit and into the chicane after the hairpin, but this time Rea was able to shuck Davies, getting into a gap that shouldn't have been there and take the lead in the 180 left-handed elbow-down hairpin. Rea then applied himself and built a small gap at the lead, leading by a second after two laps of hard work that pushed the top two free of Michael van der Mark.
Five laps from the end, there were gaps between first, second, third, fourth and fifth places, and only the gap between fourth placed Marco Melandri and fifth placed Tom Sykes had any movement in it, with Sykes breaking free of Lorenzo Savadori earlier and punishing him at almost a second a lap for a few laps. Sykes's pace put him in good stead to close up on Melandri, even though Melandri was a tenth quicker here and there than Michael van der Mark's podium spot. Sykes closed up on Melandri and started to make life difficult for him over the last three laps, and while Jonathan Rea took his fourth double win in a row convincingly from Davies and van der mark, Sykes caught and passed Melandri to take fourth place at the flag.
Jonathan Rea's fifty-third race victory for Kawasaki came in just one hundred starts, and keeps him on target to match or beat Doug Polen's record of seventeen wins in a year, set back in 1991 on a Ducati 888. Rea has fourteen victories with four races left.
Chaz Davies's hard-fought second place ups his championship lead over Michael van der Mark to twenty six points with Tom Sykes in fourth place on track consolidating his fourth place in the championship.
With two weeks before the championship resumes in Argentina, Jonathan Rea said that he would put today behind him and go back to yesterday to "party really, really hard" tonight to celebrate his title win.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||1.804|
|3||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||3.552|
|4||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||4.879|
|5||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||6.505|
|6||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||11.477|
|7||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||15.077|
|8||12||X. FORES||Ducati Panigale R||17.339|
|9||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||17.655|
|10||76||L. BAZ||BMW S 1000 RR||22.725|
|11||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||23.257|
|12||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||23.637|
|13||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale R||26.756|
|14||81||J. TORRES||MV Agusta 1000 F4||28.178|
|15||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||29.292|
|16||45||J. GAGNE||Honda CBR1000RR||38.534|
|17||99||P. JACOBSEN||Honda CBR1000RR||42.776|
|18||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||46.765|
|19||11||J. GUARNONI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||51.689|
|RET||96||J. SMRZ||Yamaha YZF R1||17|