Race 1 at the Gaerne Spanish Round saw Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) decimate the field by over three seconds, while a podium for the Kawasaki Racing Team duo was enough for the Japanese marque to secure the Manufacturers Award.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) led into the first corner from P2 on the grid, with teammate Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) close behind. However it wasn’t long until Davies moved in on Lowes to begin his hunt for the win. Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) didn’t get an ideal start after a wheelie off the line slowed him considerably, however the Kentucky Kid made up for it by setting a fastest time on lap 3 as he worked his way up into the top five.
The early laps saw many riders end their races prematurely with the first victims of the Circuito de Jerez being Luca Scassa (VFT Racing) and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing) on the opening lap. Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) were next when they both crashed out at turn 1 on lap two. On the next lap Lowes crashed out at turn 5, before Ant West (Pedercini Racing) slid out but the Australian was able to rejoin at the next corner.
Once Davies got in front it was impossible for the Kawasakis to match his pace. Sykes, who finished second, gained important Championship points to help close in on his title leading teammate Jonathan Rea, who finished third.
Hayden worked his way up to finish in fourth ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark who rounded out the top five. Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finished in sixth with MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Leon Camier taking seventh. The first Spaniard home was Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) who finished in eighth ahead of his teammate Markus Reiterberger in ninth.
Further down the order it was a four-way fight to place in the top 10 involving Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW), Alex De Angelis (Ioda Racing Team) Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) and Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing). Eventually, Brookes won the battle to finish in tenth with De Angelis in P11, Ramos in P12 and Savadori in P13. Ant West came home in P14 while Peter Sebestyen (Team Toth) picked up his first point of the season in P15.
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship could be decided in Race 2 on Sunday the 16th of October when the WorldSBK field take to the grid for a second time at the Gaerne Spanish Round.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) set a blisteringly fast pace in Tissot-Superpole 2 to secure the top spot and set a new lap record. His teammate Randy Krummenacher qualified close behind in second.
The final minute of the session saw a battle at the top of the timesheets play out again between the two Kawasaki riders with Krummenacher being the fastest. However, Sofuoglu showed his experience and prowess to beat his teammate just before the clocks timed out in the last ten seconds.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel set the third fastest time to lock out the front row of the grid, after graduating from Superpole 1 in the earlier session. Kallio Racing Team’s Niki Tuuli kept a consistent pace to finish in fourth ahead of Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) who secured fifth, despite a light crash at the end of the session at Turn 6.
The first qualifier of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup was Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia) who set the sixth fastest time ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s PJ Jacobsen in seventh. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. Honda Racing) finished eighth, while DS Junior Team’s Illia Mykhalchyk locked out ninth on the grid.
ESS leader Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia) crashed out of the session with three minutes remaining; he was able to secure P10 on the grid. It was a frustrating result for the young Italian who will need to work harder from further back on the grid on Sunday, if he intends on winning the ESS Cup. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the second rider to move through from Tissot-Superpole 1 and will be starting from P11 on the grid in Sunday’s race.
Ninth in Superpole 1 was Lorenzo Zanetti who manned Gino Rea’s GRT Racing MV Agusta machine after the Brit was injured at the end of FP2 on Friday. The Italian will replace the Brit at GRT racing and will be starting from P19 on the grid.
WorldSSP will fight it out in the penultimate Round of the FIM Supersport World Championship on Sunday 16th of October at 11:20 local time (GMT+2).
STK1000 took to the warm, sunny Circuito de Jerez at 14:15 local time to decide the grid positions ahead of the season finale that will decide the Cup winner at the Gaerne Spanish Round on Sunday.
A rush of activity in the final minutes of the session saw Maximilian Scheib (GRAPHBIKES Easyrace SBK Team) shoot to the top of the timesheets to secure pole position in only his second outing in the Cup. Roberto Tamburini (Nuova M2 Racing) set the second quickest time, while PATA Yamaha Official Stock Team’s Ricardo Russo ended the session in third to lock out the front row of the grid.
Cup contender Raffaele De Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) will be starting from the second row on the grid in fourth, while PATA Yamaha Official Stock Team’s Lucas Mahias starts from fifth, ahead of Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi in sixth. Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) headed the third row of the grid in seventh with Alessandro Nocco (Nuova M2 Racing) in eighth. Cup leader Leandro Mercado (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) will have to work hard on Sunday to finish ahead of his rival De Rosa, as he finished ninth on the grid. Kevin Calia (Nuova M2 Racing) rounded out the top 10.
The end of the session was red flagged after a five rider crash at turn 12 involving Andrea Tucci (Berclaz Racing by MotoXracing), Andrea Mantovani (Guandalini Racing Yamaha), Gregg Black (MTM / HS Kawasaki), Luca Salvadori (Team Motozoo by Motoxracing) and Jack Kennedy (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki). The crash saw Black and Kennedy suffer injuries, ruling them out of the race on Sunday.
Mercado leads the standings by 7 points and will be doing everything he can to win the Cup on Sunday 16th of October in what will be the final outing of 2016 for the FIM Superstock 1000 category.
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