Australia's West charges to an impressive sixth in WorldSSP.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has taken his second win of the weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli after a scorcher of a race for round nine of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Race two provided a 21-lap thriller, with countless overtakes and the battle going down to the wire under the sunny skies. With all riders being forced to dig deep to hold their position to the line, it was Rea who came out on top, beating Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) with three laps to go.
Just one race away from a two month summer break and everyone eager to impress, the opening laps provided edge of your seat racing, which never stopped. Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) made a blistering run at the lights, flying into first place, but a technical issue ended the Spaniard’s race just two laps later.
Meanwhile, Rea jumped straight up to fifth, but was then caught up with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on the second lap. With van der Mark making the most of the open track ahead, Rea was left to fight through, with both factory Ducati bikes in his sights. Rea’s duel with Davies saw the defending champion coming out in front after an ambitious move through turn 14.
Then, with both Rea and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finding their way past Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), the pair engaged in an electric battle all through laps seven and eight, trading places several times for second.
Ultimately, Rea prevailed again, and began his hunt of the race leader, now over a second ahead and twelve laps around Misano to go. The Kawasaki rider finally caught van der Mark with five laps to go – and so did Melandri, hanging on to the ZX-10RR’s pace.
The trio went into the closing laps with less than half a second separating them. With the Ducati suddenly breathing down both their necks, Rea chose to make his move with three laps to go. A feint down Turn 1, a stunning pass down the inside through 2, and making it stick on the exit from the Variante del Parco: Rea first, and perhaps his hardest win of the season secured.
While he couldn’t fight back in the remaining turns, van der Mark had just enough left in the tank to defend his position from Melandri, taking second place at the flag and guaranteeing a fourth consecutive weekend with a Yamaha bike on the podium.
Melandri couldn’t repeat his phenomenal win from last season’s Race Two, but a return to the rostrum in third will have left both the Ducati rider and the home fans ecstatic after a few difficult races.
Davies finally crossed the line in fourth, not quite able to consistently match the front pace. A difficult end after a promising start for the Welshman, who now enters the summer break 89 points behind Rea. He finished ahead of Sykes in fifth.
After a race to forget yesterday, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) bounced back brilliantly in sixth despite having to start from the back of row four. He endured a late charge from Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in seventh, who managed to beat his teammate Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) this time around, with the Irish rider finishing eighth.
Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) came back from his early crash in yesterday’s event with a ninth position, with Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) closing the top ten. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) was the best independent rider in Rimini, taking 11th.
The excitement of the home crowds at the Misano round hit fever pitch on Sunday as Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took his first win of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship in brilliant fashion, ending a 12-year run with no Italian victors at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in WorldSSP.
The home delight was twofold, as Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) claimed his best finish of the season in second, with championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) completing the podium. Jules Cluzel (NRT) and Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) concluded the top five, while Australian Anthony West (EAB Antwest Racing) wound up an impressive sixth.
Manuel Bastianelli (PRODINA IRCOS Team) has scored a stunning first win in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, finding his way to the front near the end and just defending the top spot from a last-lap blitz by Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team).
Just 0.036 seconds separated the pair, with Manuel González (Pertamina Almería BCD Junior Team by MS) taking his first podium finish in third. Aussie contenders Tom Toparis (Motoport Kawasaki) and Tom Edwards (Nutec Benjan Kawasaki) – despite a fall – rode to 19th and 26th positions respectively.
The Superbike World Championship now heads into an extensive European summer break, where it will return to action on Portimão in Portugal on 14-16 September.