Panigale R

WSBK – Rampant red dragon destroys the field in Imola


Imola is the home race for the red bikes from Borgo Panigale and another crushing performance from Chaz Davies gave the Ducatisti something to cheer about.

After dominating Race One, the Welshman was once again on the top step of the podium in Race Two, scoring an impressive double win for Ducati and closing the gap to series leader Jonathan Rea.

Thanks to another ‘holeshot’ at the start, Davies managed to impose his rhythm and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, posting the race’s fastest lap with a 1:42.240 in Lap Six and then increasing his lead to five seconds, a margin he administered until the finish line, preceding Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.

He said: “It’s just been an incredible weekend, from start to finish. The latest upgrades Ducati brought for the Panigale R in Aragon allowed us to compete for the win in each race. To seize a victory here in Imola, Ducati’s backyard, is special. To do a double, is unbelievable.

“Today the conditions were different, but we were able to create a gap since the first few laps. I made a couple of mistakes in Lap Nine that made me lose a second, but also helped me stay focused until the checkered flag. We head to Sepang with confidence, as we have a more competitive package than last year, when we still left Malaysia with a second place and a win. Our goal is to keep the momentum and further cut the gap in the championship.”

The Ducati pilot now lies second in the overall standings with 186 points, 35 behind Rea who, thanks to his two excellent second place finishes in the Imola races, remains firmly at the top of the rankings with 221 points. The other Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Tom Sykes, is in third place with 154 championship points.

With Davies’ double, Ducati also closes the gap behind Kawasaki in the Manufacturer Standings: the manufacturer from Akashi leads with 230 points, but Ducati is close behind with 196.

In Race Two the two Ducatis ridden by Davies and Giugliano got off the line well, but already in the third lap the situation had changed. The Welshman stayed in the lead all the way to the chequered flag, whereas the Italian was forced to give way to the two Kawasaki riders, Rea and Sykes who, like yesterday, would finish in the exact same order behind Davies and ahead of Davide Giugliano.

Race 2 standings:

1) Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati)

2) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

3) Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)

4) Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati)

5) Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)

6) Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)

7) Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)

8) Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)

9) Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)

10) Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team)