News 12 Jun 2018

Rea and Lowes trade WorldSBK wins amid Brno drama

Cluzel claims WorldSSP race win as West scores seventh position.

Image: Supplied.

The Brno round of the 2018 Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) delivered a mixed bag of results, as Jonathan Rea became the winningest rider of all-time in the series and Alex Lowes broke through for Yamaha.

Defending world champion Rea scored his 60th WorldSBK victory in Saturday’s restarted race ahead of Marco Melandri ( Racing Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).

The rostrum was finally just not close enough for the Pata Yamaha riders, with Michael van der Mark beating Lowes to fourth place across the line.

A thrilling battle for sixth midway through the race saw Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) emerge triumphant, getting the best of teammate Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), who still managed to beat Ducati’s Chaz Davies in the final laps for seventh.

Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) netted himself another top 10 finish in ninth at the flag, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in P10, the first independent rider.

On Sunday it was Lowes who took his first-ever WorldSBK win in a 1-2 for Yamaha, leading teammate van der Mark and Davies after Rea, Sykes and Melandri all encountered troubles on Sunday afternoon.

The early laps saw three dramatic, almost unbelievable twists. First, championship leader Rea went down at turn 12, apparently after coming in contact with teammate Sykes and retiring for the first time this season. If yesterday his lead seemed almost unsurmountable, after Sunday there was more than a glimmer of hope.

Next, Melandri, having just passed Lowes for the race lead, couldn’t control his Ducati barely a couple of turns later and rode through the gravel, immediately dropping the Italian to the back of the field and denying Melandri a return to the top of the rostrum when he was the fastest man on track.

And then Sykes slipped in lap six, leaving all of yesterday’s podium off the rostrum in race two. In four seasons together, never had both factory Kawasaki riders left a race empty-handed. At least Melandri managed to scrape a point in 15th.

Behind them rostrum riders, Laverty took fourth, his best result of the campaign, with his teammate Savadori also a season-best in fifth. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing Junior Team) had a career-best of sixth, above Camier Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), Razgatlioglu and Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki).

In World Supersport it was Jules Cluzel (NRT Yamaha) who captured victory ahead of Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha, with Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) completing the podium. Anthony West (EAB West Racing) finished in seventh.

The World Supersport 300 race was won by Galang Hendra Pratama (Yamaha) ahead of Walid Khan (Kawasaki) and Borja Sánchez (Kawasaki). Of the Australians, Tom Toparis (Kawasaki) was 19th on debut, while Tom Edwards (Kawasaki) crashed out on the opening lap.

Detailed results