2016 Imola Superbike Results
For the first time this season, the 2016 World Superbike Championship headed to the historic Imola’s Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for round five.
The circuit is considered a “home” track for the Borgo Panigale-based Ducati, and the 1199 R did nothing but impress all weekend. Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies completely dominated the Italian round, topping free practice, earning the Superpole, and claiming both 18-lap races on Saturday and Sunday.
En route to the race-one Imola SBK win, the Welshman also posted a new lap record – 1:46.700 around the 3-mile circuit containing 22 corners, ousting Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes’ 2015 record by 0.007 of a second. Joining Davies on the podium in both races were Kawasaki Team Racing’s Jonathan Rea and Sykes, respectively.
Davies, who led every single lap of both races, has now earned seven podiums in five rounds, which includes doubles at Imola and Motorland Aragon. Davies now has 186 points, and is second, 35 points behind the reigning World SBK Champion Rea.
“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,” Davies says.
“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 9 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.”
Rea challenged Davies for much of race one, but but with 10 laps to go, the Northern Irishman ran wide, allowing Sykes through. Rea regained his rhythm and was able to finish second, 3.406 seconds behind Davies. Sykes finished third, 3.729 seconds behind.
The podium finishers were nearly 10 seconds ahead of the remaining riders; earning fourth-10th were Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres (-13.631 seconds); Davie’s teammate Davide Giugliano; MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier; Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark; IodaRacing Team Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori; Honda World Superbike’s Nicky Hayden – the only American in 2016 World SBK; and Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavier Fores.
Race two was similar as Davies once again got to turn one first, followed by Rea and Sykes. Davies continued his dominance, and was not challenged. He earned the win 4.262 seconds ahead of Rea, and 4.604 seconds ahead of Sykes.
Again, the rest of the riders were far behind; Giugliano finished fourth, 13.093 seconds behind, followed by Camier. Rounding out the top 10 were Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes; Torres; Hayden; van der Mark; and Fores.
The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round six of 14 at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.