Spoiler Alert: 2017 Imola World Superbike results from race one listed below.Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies had mixed results in the two rounds ahead of Imola World Superbike.
The Welshman claimed two podiums and two DNFs–a DNF/third at Assen, and a DNF/Win at Aragon. The Ducati 1199 Panigale R pilot was determined to change things at round five of 13 in Imola near Ducati’s hometown of Bologna, and that determination surfaced Saturday.First Davies claimed the Superpole win, qualifying on pole ahead of the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, respectively. Davies carried this momentum into Saturday’s race one at Imola, winning the shortened 12-lap race ahead of Rea and the other factory Ducati pilot, Marco Melandri.“It’s been a perfect weekend so far,” Davies says. “I think this track really suits me and the Panigale R. We’ve made good steps forward under acceleration this year, and it was a big help here with the tight chicanes. Also, this layout helps me to take advantage of the strong points of my riding style. I kept controlling the gap from Rea, looking after the tires, and the bike felt really consistent.“It was a lonely race, but not an easy one. Tomorrow’s going to be different, starting from the back. We need to keep it clean and be patient. We can still improve something on the electronics side, but clearly we won’t make any big changes. Thanks to all the ducatisti for their amazing support today!”The WSBK race was shortened due to a red flag on lap 12 when Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty suffered a nasty crash at turns 17-18. Luckily the Brit walked away from the accident, but his RSV4 went up in flames, causing the red flag. Due to unsafe track conditions from Laverty’s crash, the race was called on lap 12 of 19.This allowed Davies to claim his second win of 2017 World Superbike (other at Aragon) by 6.696 seconds ahead of Rea, and 9.287 ahead of Melandri.Sykes finished fourth, followed by Barni Racing Team Ducati’s Xavi Fores and MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team duo of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes finished in seventh and eighth, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 were Team Kawasaki Go Eleven’s Roman Ramos and Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Stefan Bradl.As for the sole American in 2017 World Superbike, Bradl’s teammate Nicky Hayden was forced to DNF due to technical issues on the CBR1000RR SP2. Also, Althea BMW Racing Team S1000RR rider Jordi Torres didn’t start due to illness.Following race one at Imola WorldSBK, Rea now has 215 points, 61 ahead of Sykes, and 69 ahead of Davies.Race two is set for 1 p.m. local time Sunday at Imola.
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.