This just in from WSBK
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took an excellent victory in Race 2 at the Pirelli French Round, seizing control in the opening stages and not looking back from there to eventually cross the line three seconds ahead of nearest challenger Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). Completing the podium in third was Lowes’ Yamaha colleague Michael van der Mark after a great battle between the pair.
Coming from 11th on the grid Davies charged through the field to register his 27th WorldSBK win in tricky conditions as rain fell sporadically over the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit during the race. Behind him Lowes and Van der Mark contested second place and the Englishman ultimately beat his Dutch teammate by 1.55s after an intriguing duel between the Yamaha duo.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) crossed the line fourth, followed by fifth placed Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) all featured in the top ten.
Early in the race Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed at turn 16 and in the aftermath of his accident Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) appeared to clip Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 RF. The newly crowned triple champion Rea then went back into pit lane and would retire from the race, whilst Laverty picked up his machine to finally finish the race 17th.
A technical problem at turn 15 for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ended his race at the halfway point, when the British rider was in contention for an elusive podium finish. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was an unfortunate last lap crasher.
Follow the remainder of the WorldSBK season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the next race set to take place at the Pirelli Spanish Round over the 20th -22nd October weekend, the penultimate round of 2017.
P1 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“We had our ups and downs this season, we were miles off Tom and now we’ve closed up a bit. We have definitely closed the gap to be something we can catch, so we are looking forward to the last four races. I think everything is wide open so I’m very much looking forward to it.”
P2 – Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
“This weekend has been a bit strange, with the weather conditions yesterday and today with the mental rain. I think it shows the progress of the Yamaha, we have been chasing the Kawasaki and Ducati and whenever we are thrown with different situations, we are there to take advantage of it. And I’m really happy to share the podium with Michael.”
P3 – Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
“It’s our second podium this year, and I am so happy. Yesterday we had some bad luck but today I got a good start, and we fought our way to the front. It was hard because of the drops of rain, and when I got to the front and found my pace, we were able to run up at the front. However, I made a small mistake and in the end just didn’t have the pace to fight with Alex.”
At the Pirelli French Round on Sunday Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) followed up on his first WorldSSP pole result on Saturday by winning the race at the 4.411km Magny-Cours track by 0.875s from second placed Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). The podium was completed by American rider PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Tuuli rode superbly on his Yamaha YZF R6 over the course of the 19 lap race in front of the French fans and although he came under pressure from fellow Yamaha-equipped rider Caricasulo in the final stages he held his nerve to take a career-first win in the series.
Jacobsen also performed well from ninth on the grid, making his way through the field for his third podium of the year on his MV Agusta – ultimately crossing the line 5.692s adrift of winner Tuuli.
Finishing the race in fourth place Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) moved to the top of the WorldSSP championship standings by nine points from the absent Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with two rounds remaining.
After Mahias in fourth his compatriot Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was the second best French finisher in fifth place. Cluzel just beat Italian pair Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag) and Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) to the line, whilst race-winner Tuuli’s Kallio Racing colleague Sheridan Morais was eighth.
Britons Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Defending World Champion Sofuoglu unfortunately missed the race following a crash in Superpole at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours on Saturday. Suffering fractures to his hip, the Turkish rider was declared unfit at the Pirelli French Round and it was announced he would have to miss the race as he flies back to Turkey for surgery.
Follow the remainder of the WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the next race set to take place at the Pirelli Spanish Round over the 20th -22nd October weekend, the penultimate round of 2017.
P1 – Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing)
“I didn’t expect to win but ts been a really difficult season, until we got our new bikes , my riding was able to improve. I like this track and we were able to get a really good setting and we took the right tyre choice. I was able to ride consistent laps and I’m really happy. Thanks to everyone who has supported me”