2015 Imola World Superbike Results
Jonathan Rea joined World Superbike in 2009, competing on Honda CBR1000RR machinery through 2014. During those six years, the Northern Irishman had mixed results; he achieved 15 wins, and finished a season-best of third (2014).
But things changed drastically for Rea after he joined the Kawasaki Racing Team squad for 2015. He completed dominated in the opening four rounds, earning six wins in eight races, which included doubles in The Netherlands and Thailand.
He was a favorite heading into Imola due to his 2015 SBK record so far, and the double earned at the Italian track last season. And Rea delivered; he once again piloted his Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja to the top place in both races, earning his third double of the season. This makes for eight victories in 10 races – more than half of the 15 wins he achieved with Honda in six years.
Taking second in both races was Rea’s teammate, the 2013 World SBK Champion Tom Sykes. The pole man – the returning Davide Giugliano on the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team Panigale 1199 R – claimed third in race one, and Aprilia Racing Team Red Devils’ Jordi Torres in race two.
Race one was shorted due to a red flag that resulted from a crash involving Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s David Salom; Rea finished the race 0.482 of a second ahead of Sykes. In race two, Rea crossed the finish line 4.399 seconds ahead of Sykes, confirming his dominance so far this season. Race two was also Rea’s 150th World SBK start.
Following his double at Imola SBK 2015, Jonathan Rea said “It has been incredible this weekend and I do not know what to say because this kind of run has never happened to me before. I am just enjoying the moment.
“The key to the weekend was working hard with Pere and Paolo Friday and Saturday to make sure we had a package we could fight with. I was honestly a little bit worried about the six lap first race because we were not really set up to be so strong in the beginning of the race but we were able to win. In race two I watched the gap behind and Arturo was giving me great signals from pit lane. When the gap got to one second I thought ‘keep going and no mistakes’.”
After five of 13 rounds, Rea now an almost perfect 240 points. He leads Aprilia’s Leon Haslam b7y 87 points, and Sykes by 112.
The series now breaks for two weeks before heading to Donington Park in the UK May 24.
Following are the official race recaps from World SBK:
SBK Imola 2015 Results, Race 1 Recap:
The opening race at Imola, the Acerbis Italian Round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship resulted in victory for championship leader Rea after a the race was initially red flagged and restarted because of crash involving David Salom (Team Pedercini).
Prior to the stoppage Giugliano had the packed grandstands all around the track on their feet, leading from the start before proceeding to take the fight to the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Sykes and Rea, the trio holding a comfortable ten second lead at the time the race was stopped.
The pace in the restart was electric, as the Kawasaki pairing of Sykes and Rea pushed each other to the limit. A lap record on lap 2 for Rea saw him pass his team mate only for Sykes to respond with an even faster lap to pile on the pressure.
A tense final lap saw Rea cling on to claim his 22nd career win ahead of Sykes with Davide Giugliano who produced a determined ride to claim 3rd and the final podium place on his return to the WorldSBK paddock.
Haslam made changes during the short delay, the British rider looked more comfortable finishing 4th ahead of the Pata Honda of reigning World Champion who overhauled 10 riders to jump from 15th on the original starting grid to 5th. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) scored a solid ten points in 6th.
Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) was part of a six rider group that was fighting for 5th, the reigning FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup winner taking 7th ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), and Michel Fabrizio who took a solid 10th position on his one-off ride, replacing the injured Nico Terol.
Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Santiago Barragan (Grillini SBK Team), Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) and Imre Toth (BMW Team Toth) rounded out the point scoring finishers.
Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) was running in 6th in the early stages of the first part of race 1 before a mistake dropped him down the order, the Spanish WorldSBK rookie re-grouped before crashing out unhurt with 11 laps to go. He along with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) were unable to take part in the restart.
SBK Imola 2015 Results, Race 2 Recap:
Unlike Sunday’s opening race which was shortened to 6 laps, Imola race 2 went the full 19 lap distance with the Kawasaki Racing duo once again in command, claiming their second 1-2 finish of the day with Rea once again getting the better of Sykes who finished 2nd, 4.399s behind the current Championship leader.
For Rea it was his 8th win from 10 starts this year, and his 150th WorldSBK race.
After a second technical fault for Davies, the final podium position went to Torres the Spanish WorldSBK rookie
Giugliano completed an impressive return to racing with 4th after the Italian was once again the top Italian rider.
Badovini backed up his impressive race one result with a strong 5th position, with Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven) finishing 6th and 7th.
Eighth and ninth positions were lonely rides for Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) and Michel Fabrizio (Althea Racing) both collecting their second top ten finishes of the day with Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) completing the top ten.
Santiago Barragan (Grillini SBK Team), and the BMW Team Toth pairing of Imre Toth and Gabor Rizmayer were the final riders to finish, claiming 11th to 13th positions.
Sylvain Guintoli and his Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark both crashed out before half distance as did Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils). A number of other retirements meant only 13 riders completed the race.
SBK Imola 2015 Photo Gallery: