WorldSBK: Aragon – Chaz Davies takes Race 1 to get title challenge back on track
With clear blue skies and warmer temperatures, the stage was set for another classic WorldSBK showdown as the grid headed out on the Sighting Lap for Race 1. Sykes got the best getaway from pole as teammate Rea also shot away from fifth on the grid, with the reigning Champion up into P3 behind Guintoli on the chase as Sykes led them away.
The two Ducatis of Davies and Giugliano set upon Rea as the three battled over third and Giuntoli and Sykes pulled away, however Davies soon pulled the gap back once free of the fight and with 15 laps remaining took the lead from Sykes, intent on taking another win in Aragón and adding to his tally as the most successful WorldSBK rider at MotorLand.
Yamaha pairing Guintoli and Alex Lowes had mixed fortunes on the getaway, with Lowes dropping down the order after a difficult start and finding himself fighting back from just outside the top ten. Teammate Guintoli, after initially challenging race leader Sykes with impressive pace, then started to struggle slightly and dropped back slightly to 9th as Yamaha look to keep improving the all new YZF R1. Lowes had an impressive comeback to P8 at the chequered flag, keeping both bikes with a good haul of points.
Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden, who started 10th and 11th respectively after a crash for van der Mark in Superpole 2 led to Hayden needing to take avoiding action, both got away well and were in the thick of the action. Van der Mark sadly suffered a crash at with around 15 laps to go, leaving Hayden to go on the attack as he chased down the Yamaha of Guintoli and Ducati of Giugliano, with the American coming home in P6 at the flag.
Xavi Forés was the fastest home rider on his 1199 Panigale R and took the fight to fellow Ducati runner Davide Giugliano to clinch P4, with Jordi Torres also making fantastic progress up the grid and fighting his BMW into 7th place just behind Honda’s Nicky Hayden. GOELEVEN’s Roman Ramos also scored points at home after a great battle with Torres’ Althea teammate Markus Reiterberger, eventually taking 12th position.
MV Agusta rider Leon Camier suffered a technical problem to end his first Race of the weekend at MotorLand early. With the Italian manufacturer having scored points in both Races in 2015 at the aragonese track, that will surely be the goal for tomorrow. Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis took their IodaRacing machines to two more points finishes in P10 and P11 respectively as the team look to keep improving in their first year in WorldSBK. De Angelis is recovering from recent surgery and will surely be encouraged by a good result in Race 1.
Race 2 gets WorldSBK back on track once again on Sunday at 1pm local time (GMT +2), with Davies now aiming for another MotorLand double to chase down Jonathan Rea’s Championship lead.
Pirelli Aragon Round – Race 1 Results
1. Chaz Davies (GBR) Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team +4.168
3. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team +4.948