Following a three-week break, the 2017 World Superbike Championship headed to the Adriatic coast of Italy for round seven of 13 at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.The early favorites were the only three riders to claim wins so far this season: points leader Jonathan Rea, his Kawasaki Racing Team teammate Tom Sykes, and Aruba.it Racing Team’s Chaz Davies.
All eyes were on Sykes as he claimed his sixth-straight pole at Misano. The Kawasaki ZX-10RR pilot was able to capitalize on this, along with three major crashes, to take Saturday’s race-one win. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion was joined on the race-one Misano podium by Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes and Rea.Come Sunday’s race two, though, and Sykes would have to settle for third as home favorite Marco Melandri claimed his first win of the season aboard the Arbua.it Racing Ducati 1199 R Panigale. Rea would finish second, his 13th podium in 14 races so far in 2017 SBK.With his double-podium finishes, Rea now has 296 points, 50 ahead of Sykes. Davies is in third with 185 points, and Melandri fourth with 163.Following are the race reports:
2017 Misano World Superbike Results, Race 1 Recap
Three huge crashes caused some drama during Saturday’s race one at 2017 Misano World Superbike.The first was a final-lap crash involving the 1-2 riders, Chaz Davies and Rea. This allowed pole-man Sykes a clear opening to secure his second win of the season (his first arrive at Donington Park, race 1) with Alex Lowes in tow, the YZF-R1 pilot finishing 4.551 seconds behind.Rea remounted his Kawasaki ZX-10RR to take the final podium position, 8.126 seconds behind his teammate.As for Davies, he suffered a broken vertebra and thumb contusion, and was declared unfit to compete in Sunday’s race two. Also crashing before the Davies/Rea incident was Davies’ teammate, Marco Melandri. Regardless, the Italian was able to finish the race 15th.Another huge crash occurred with seven laps. While leading, and feeling much pressure from Rea, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) crashed out at turn 13.Althea BMW’s Jordi Torres finished fourth, ahead of Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavi Fores.Behind Sykes, Lowes and Rea the top five also featured Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team).Rounding out the top 10 were Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team).Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) all suffered DNFs, and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed late on but remounted to finish 11th.
2017 Misano World Superbike Results, Race 2 Recap
Seeking redemption from his race-one crash, Melandri held nothing back during Sunday’s second race at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.Melandri came from 10th to finish the race by 1.113 seconds ahead of Rea, and 1.285 ahead of pole-man Sykes. This was Melandri’s first WorldSBK win since 2014, and his 100th in the premier SBK class.Starting from pole due to the grid switchup for this season, Torres had held the lead for eight laps but he was hugely frustrated to drop out of the race with a technical problem with just three laps to go when riding in second place.The top five was completed by van der Mark and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), with the Dutchman crossing the line fourth and the Irishman fifth.Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top 10.Only 12 riders finished the race at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”; Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) all retiring with technical problems.With 10 laps to go Lowes went down at Turn 2 and he was unable to finish the race.The 2017 World SBK Championship now breaks for three weeks ahead of round eight, the GEICO US Round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
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.