The first of the two WSBK races after the summer break at the German Lausitz EuroSpeedway circuit, a track where the factory derivative World championship has not raced since 2007, finished with Ducati’s Chaz Davies claiming the Race One win.
The Welshman’s domination of the race was a crushing blow to the Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Johnny Rea, winning with a gap of more than ten seconds ahead of his nearest rival Sykes, posting the best lap time and snatching pole in the morning.
Davies got off the line well, followed by the trio of Sykes, Rea and Italian Lorenzo Savadori on the IodaRacing Team bike, with Davide Giugliano, Nicky Hayden, Jordi Torres and Michael Van Der Mark squabbling for honours in the second pack.
The first surprise of the race came in the seventh lap when Jonathan Rea, in third place at the time, crashed after going long on a corner and was forced to retire to pit lane. The Ulsterman later admitted that a false neutral had caused him to crash, an issue which has blighted his title defence, costing him a whole host of valuable points.
Lorenzo Savadori (riding in a provisional podium position) then joined him a lap later, retiring after losing the front end of his bike and ending up in the gravel.
Lap nine saw the race lose one of its protagonists, with local hero Markus Reiterberger forced to retire because of a technical problem with his BMW.
In the meantime, Davies continued to ride undisturbed at the front, stretching out his advantage over his nearest rival, Tom Sykes to six seconds.
The second part of the race had no more exciting surprises in store for the leading riders, and Davies crossed the line first with more than ten seconds on the second place finisher, Tom Sykes, and eleven ahead of the third place rider, Honda’s Nicky Hayden.
The victory gives the Welshman his fifth win of the season after his double wins at Aragón and Imola and strengthens his hold on third place in the overall standings.
If the weather conditions were fair on Saturday, Race 2 was almost wash out. In fact, just a few moments before the start, light but persistent rain began to fall on the track, forcing race direction to delay the start no less than twice before deciding on a reduced, 16-lap race.
At the start, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes got off the line well, overtaking Chaz Davies on the Ducati to move into the lead. A few corners later, Jonathan Rea also managed to get past the Welshman. Unfortunately, Sykes was unable to finish even the first lap, sliding to the ground before completing it, but managing to remount and rejoin the race in penultimate place.
The race lead went to his teammate Jonathan Rea, ahead of the Ducati pair of Davide Giugliano, in second place, and Davies in third.
On the fourth lap Davide Giugliano suffered a heavy crash, followed quickly by Lorenzo Savadori, Anthony West and Jordi Torres. The wet conditions were wreaking havoc, and on Lap 11 Yamaha’s Alex Lowes fell, as did Honda’s Michael van der Mark four laps later. The Dutchman’s bike took a proper beating but he was able to remount and rejoined the race in eighth place.
Towards the end of the race, Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli, who was returning to racing following a lengthy injury lay-off, overtook Davies to move into fifth place, but it was Rea who prevailed, crossing the line an astonishing 13 seconds ahead of Italian Alex De Angelis on the IodaRacing Team bike, and 15 seconds ahead of Xavi Forés on the Barni Racing Team machine in third place. Leon Camier piloted his MV Agusta to fourth place ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies.