Following a two-month summer break, the 2016 World Superbike Championship continued with round 10 of 13 at Eurospeedway Lausitz in Lausitzring, Germany. The German round was not held at Lausitz since 2007, and the only rider who had experience at the circuit before was Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW S1000RR) – and that’s while Brookes was in the Supersport class.Heading into WSBK at Eurospeedway, the reigning World Superbike Champion, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, held the points lead with 368 points, 46 ahead of teammate and 2013 SBK Champion Tom Sykes, with Aruba.it Racing Ducati Team’s Chaz Davies in third, 108 behind Rea.
A fresh track not only challenged the grid, but also rain, which plagued Sunday’s second race. But when round 10 wrapped up, two repeat winners emerged – Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies in race one, and Rea in a wet race two.In race one, Davies, who claimed his second pole of the season, started strong and led the entire 21-lap race.[Visit the Ultimate Motorcycling World Superbike Page]Davies, who earned his fifth win of the season—along with doubles in Aragon, Spain, and Imola, Italy—finished 10.561 seconds ahead of Sykes, with the American Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) third, 11.536 seconds behind. As for Rea, he crashed out.“After such a long break, I was a bit apprehensive before our first race, but today everything worked out perfectly since Superpole,” Davies said. “The two tests done during the summer proved to be crucial, because we found once again the feeling I had missed in a few races this year. Thanks to my team and Ducati, we now have a package that I feel ‘mine’ again.“I was confident about my pace, but honestly I’m surprised with the gap. It’s not impossible to cut our deficit in the championship, we saw that everyone can make mistakes so we’ll try to win as many races as we can until the end of the season, without worrying too much about the standings.”Race two was shortened to 16 laps due to delayed starts from heavy rains. But when it was complete, Rea would return to the top of the podium.The Northern Irishman dominated aboard his Ninja ZX-10R in the rain, taking the checkered flag ahead of two-new podium finishers: IodaRacing Team Aprilia’s Alex de Angelis and Barni Racing Team BMW’s Xavier Fores.Speaking after the race, Rea, who earned his ninth win Sunday of 2016 SBK, said: “It feels like probably the most important win of my career so far. I felt that after yesterday and Laguna our backs were against the wall. In morning warm-up I began to feel good with the bike again after we had made some positive set-up changes. When we saw the rain coming on the grid we had to completely change to a wet set-up.“It was one of those positions that with me leading the championship I had a lot to lose – but a lot to gain as well. I took my chance and put my head down from the start. I really felt good with the bike so I have to thank all my crew because last night my bike was not in a great way. They worked really late, and meticulously, to make sure the bike was perfect. To reward them with this result means I am really happy. So this is for my mechanics that have worked so hard and also for Pere and Paolo, who gave me such a good wet bike set-up.”With his win, Rea now has 393 points with three rounds (a total of 150 points) remaining. Sykes chases by 47, and Davies by 98. The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round 11 at Magny-Cours, France.Following are the official race recaps:
2016 German World Superbike, Race 1
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies won Race 1 at the Pirelli German Round with a 10.5 second lead in a flawless performance, beating Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes into second ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden completing the top three.Davies led from pole into the first corner, before charging ahead to create a gap to his nearest rival Sykes. By lap five, Davies was 3 seconds ahead with Sykes, teammate Jonathan Rea and Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team) fighting for second position.Drama struck early when reigning Champion Jonathan Rea crashed out on lap 8. The Northern Irishman walked away uninjured, but furious after a tough weekend so far. Rea’s retirement means the gap in the overall standings stands with only 26 points separating him from Championship rival and teammate Tom Sykes. Friday’s fastest Lorenzo Savadori crashed out of podium contention just after Rea, and local hero Althea BMW’s Markus Reiterberger was forced to retire early on lap 9 due to technical problems. With Rea and Savadori out, Hayden was able to focus on chasing down Sykes but couldn’t match his pace, so had to settle for third.Davies crossed the finish line 10.5 seconds ahead of Sykes. The dominant win making him the third rider in WorldSBK history to win with three different manufacturers in the same country; Davies won in Nurburgring with BMW and Aprilia and can finally cross the Lausitzring off the list on a Ducati.Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres came home in fourth after battling with Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) for the finish. After battling it out for some laps, Camier and van der Mark finally finished in fifth and sixth place.Davies’ teammate Davide Giugliano finished in seventh position ahead of Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes, who came home in eighth after a disappointing morning. Lowes’ teammate Sylvain Guintoli gave a solid performance in his first race back from injury, leading Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) and Anthony West (Pedercini Racing) home to ninth position. Alex De Angelis brought his Aprilia home in P12 ahead of Roman Ramos on Team GOELEVEN in P13. Australian Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) and Luca Scassa (VFT Racing) rounded out the top 15.The WorldSBK field will hit the track again on Sunday 18th of September at 13:00 local time (GMT+2). Will we see Davies win again or will Rea find redemption? Be sure to watch live on WorldSBK.com.
2016 German World Superbike, Race 2
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea found redemption in Race 2 on Sunday at the Lausitzring in a dominant performance, seeing him win by a 9.3 second margin ahead of newcomers to the WordSBK podium IodaRacing Team’s Alex De Angelis and Barni Racing Team’s Xavi Fores.Rain began to fall during the German National Anthem as riders were lined up on the grid, delaying the start of the race twice as the rain gradually came down heavier after every warm up lap attempt. Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes got the holeshot and lead into the first corner ahead of Race 1 winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Sykes’ teammate Jonathan Rea. Sykes ran wide allowing Rea to take advantage and shoot ahead. Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) got off to a bad start with a wheelie off the line before he got caught up in the first corner and dropped back to P17.Sykes was the first victim of the weather and crashed out before the end of the first lap, leaving Rea to extend his lead ahead of both the rest of the field and in the overall standings. Sykes later rejoined and was able to salvage four points, finishing in P12. IodaRacing’s Lorenzo Savadori, and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, closely followed by MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Leon Camier and De Angelis all had good pace in the wet and were all hunting down Davies. Giugliano charged ahead into second before a highside saw his chances of a podium finish disappear on lap five, one lap after Savadori crashed out after setting the fastest lap time.Even though Sykes was out of podium contention, the reigning World Champion continued to charge ahead to secure the important 25 points to add to his title defence campaign. Leon Camier put in another incredible ride into the top four for MV Agusta Reparto Corse, trying to catch Fores for P3 before crossing the line just off the podium and equalling his best result of the year once again. Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli showed he’s back in form after battling with Chaz Davies to finish ahead of him in fifth.Milwaukee BMW rider Josh Brookes showed his wet weather quality by finishing the treacherous race in seventh. After sliding out of the race in the closing laps, Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark rejoined in an impressive push to the line on his battered Fireblade in eighth, ahead of Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) in ninth and his teammate Nicky Hayden finishing in tenth.VFT Racing’s Luca Scassa overcame the slippery conditions to finish in P11, while Grillini Racing Teams’ Gianluca Vizziello finished in P13. Team Toth’s Pawel Szkopek looked hopeful moving into the top ten before a minor crash relegated him to P14 ahead of Milwaukee BMW’s Karel Abraham who picked up one point in P15.Pedercini Racing’s Anthony West, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes, both Althea BMW riders Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger, Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team) and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team) were all wet weather casualties, not finishing the race.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.