News 31 Oct 2016

Davies does the Qatar double to conclude WorldSBK season

Kawasaki team orders enable Sykes to seal runner-up in the series.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The final race of the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship had it all as Ducati dominated proceedings, a Pedercini Kawasaki flaming inferno and an admirable show of team spirit by the current world champion.

Chaz Davies ( Racing- Ducati) shattered the competition from beginning to end, even after the race was restarted. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki racing Team) was given a ray of hope when his teammate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) let him pass on the final corner to take second and the overall runner-up.

Rea and Davies dragged each other off the start to thr first corner, as Davies got ahead, but Rea was quick to retake control. Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) ran wide into the first corner together, while Honda’s Nicky Hayden had to start the race from the pit-lane after an engine change exceeded his season’s allocation.

Entering the first corner of the second lap, Rea ran into trouble running off track as Davies got ahead, setting the fastest laps. The Kawasaki rider rejoined in P13 and immediately began attacking to recover positions. With the Welshman away in front, Sykes made a dash to catch Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who was promoted to second after Rea ran off.

Leon Haslam (Pedercini Racing) had a good pace, reaching a respectable fifth place from 16th on the grid, before Saeed Al Sulaiti’s Pedercini Kawasaki caught fire, just as the Qatari had reached P15. The race was red-flagged while the track marshals cleaned up oil spilled from Al Sulaiti’s bike.

After 15 minutes, the race restarted for a 10-lap dash to decide the final victor of 2016. Davies and Sykes shot to the front maintaining their first and second positions, while Rea recovered his poor restart, to set a new lap record on his hunt towards the front.

Before long it was a KRT battle for second as the teammates pushed each other and overtook each other at every opportunity. On the final lap, Rea put on an incredible show of team spirit and slowed right down to let Sykes, who had fallen three seconds behind, to catch up and take second, to secure the runner-up spot in the championship.

Further behind, Guintoli brought his Yamaha home in fourth ahead of fifth-placed Haslam. Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) finished in sixth with the Kentucky Kid picking up seventh. Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) came home in eighth, while Raffaele De Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) picked up a solid collection of points in ninth, with Lowes rounding out the top 10.

Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) finished in 11th, Savadori came home in 12th, while Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) locked out 13th. Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) picked up the final points. Australia’s Josh Brookes crashed out of his final appearance with Milwaukee BMW.

The final WorldSSP race of the season was an edge-of-seat thriller that saw Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) come out victorious over current world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) by just six-thousandths of a second, while Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished in third.