News 3 Aug 2015

Rea and Davies share Sepang WorldSBK wins

Kawasaki rider marginally falls short of clinching title.

Source: WorldSBK.

Source: WorldSBK.

Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the opening encounter at the Sepang International Circuit after a race of two halves, which saw Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) slip to fifth at the flag after leading for the first eleven laps.

The Ulsterman had a race-long battle with Davies that eventually came down at the last turn, when despite running wide the KRT rider was able to get on the gas early to retake the lead before the chequered flag.

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) claimed a historic 71st podium finish in third, the Italian extending his own record of being the oldest rider to ever stand on a WorldSBK podium.

Sylvain Guintoli claimed a season best fourth, after his Pata Honda appeared to be kinder to its tyres while poleman Sykes dropped to fifth after setting a blistering pace that saw him shatter the lap record in the early stages.

Alex Lowes was sixth aboard the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki ahead of Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team), Althea Racing pairing Matteo Baiocco and Niccolo Canepa, and Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team) who dropped from what looked like a safe fourth to tenth in the final few laps.

David Salom (Team Pedercini), Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) completed the point scorers. Michael van der Mark retired his Pata Honda after running inside the top 10. Alex Phillis (Grillini Kawasaki) finished 18th in his first encounter.

Davies won the second WorldSBK race of the 2015 Pirelli Malaysian Round after a spectacular last-lap battle with Rea, which saw the two riders separated by 0.091s at the line. This fraction of a second did not allow the series leader to clinch the title on Sunday at the Sepang International Circuit.

Unlike in race one, it was Welshman Davies who attempted pull to away from the rest of the field, with champion elect Rea giving chase. The factory Ducati rider managed to keep a fast pace until the last two laps, when series leader Rea began his final charge to the top.

After losing the lead in the last sector, Davies hit the brakes as late as he could at the final left-hander to get the better of his rival as the two touched mid-turn, before sprinting to victory in the run to the line.

Torres made the right changes to his RSV4 RF machine between the day’s two races, the Spanish WorldSBK rookie able to lap consistently in the 2.06s bracket for the duration of race two to claim his second podium finish of the season.

Guintoli scored another fourth position to complete his best weekend of the season so far ahead of teammate Michael van der Mark, who made up for his race one retirement with a fine fifth as he edged Haslam by a tenth of a second. Salom, Lowes, Baiocco and Ramos were seventh to 10th respectively, with Canepa, Camier, de Puniet, Sykes and Mercado completing the points positions. Phillis was 19th second time out.

Following his return to the podium in race one, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) found himself on the receiving end of a collision also involving the still-reigning WorldSBK Champion Guintoli as well as the aforementioned Sykes and Lowes. Unlike Biaggi, Englishman Sykes did not fall off his bike, although he lost several positions.

The ninth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, held at the Sepang International Circuit was won by PJ Jacobsen (CORE” Motorsport Thailand) after a race long, enthralling duel with Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) raged from start to finish at the 5.543km circuit.

From the start championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) surged to the front only to outbrake himself at turn one, dropping to seventh. The Turkish rider ended the opening lap fifth before setting about closing the gap to the leading duo who began to open a small advantage at the head of the field.

By half distance Sofuoglu had bridged the gap meaning the top three riders in the overall championship were in contention for the victory until the Turk began to lose touch, falling into the clutches of Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).

Jacobsen held his nerve despite the intense pressure from Cluzel to win for the first time in World Supersport by 0.091s at the flag. In doing so he becomes the first American rider to ever win a WSS race and he keeps himself very much in the title fight. Cluzel took second ahead of team mate Zanetti who overtook Sofuoglu at the final corner.

Behind the top four Pata Honda’s Kyle Smith finished a lonely fifth. Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) claimed two points for 14th, while Glenn Scott (AARK Racing Honda) was denied a season-best finish when his engine let go in the closing laps.

In the overall championship standings Sofuoglu still leads but by a reduced margin of 13 points over Cluzel, while Jacobsen is now 28 points shy of the top.

2015 World Superbike Championship
Round 10 – Sepang, Malaysia

Superbike race one results:
1. Jonathan Rea
2. Chaz Davies
3. Max Biaggi
4. Sylvain Guintoli
5. Tom Sykes
6. Alex Lowes
7. Leon Haslam
8. Matteo Baiocco
9. Niccolo Canepa
10. Jordi Torres
18. Alex Phillis (AUS)

Superbike race two results:
1. Chaz Davies
2. Jonathan Rea
3. Jordi Torres
4. Sylvain Guintoli
5. Michael VD Mark
6. Leon Haslam
7. David Salom
8. Alex Lowes
9. Matteo Baiocco
10. Roman Ramos
19. Alex Phillis (AUS)

Superbike championship standings:
1. Jonathan Rea 452
2. Chaz Davies 308
3. Tom Sykes 295
4. Leon Haslam 259
5. Jordi Torres 186
6. Sylvain Guintoli 162
7. Michael van der Mark 125
8. Davide Giugliano 119
9. Alex Lowes 112
10. Matteo Baiocco 107

Supersport race results:
1. PJ Jacobsen
2. Jules Cluzel
3. Lorenzo Zanetti
4. Kenan Sofuoglu
5. Kyle Smith
6. Roberto Rolfo
7. Martin Cardenas
8. Gino Rea
9. Christian Gamarino
10. Alex Baldolini
14. Aiden Wagner (AUS)

Supersport championship standings:
1. Kenan Sofuoglu 168
2. Jules Cluzel 158
3. PJ Jacobsen 140
4. Lorenzo Zanetti 113
5. Gino Rea 88
6. Roberto Rolfo 68
7. Kyle Smith 67
8. Alex Baldolini 50
9. Christian Gamarino 47
10. Ratthapark Wilairot 46
23. Glenn Scott (AUS) 8
25. Aiden Wagner (AUS) 7

Click here for detailed results