After a manic weekend at Assen, the World Superbike circus descended on the historic Imola circuit in Italy (or Ducati’s back garden) for the next chapter in the currently Brit-dominated series. It may not have been the mental racing we were hoping for, but we saw some impressive rides and a real emergence of an Italian stallion in the championship race.
Excitement factor: 5/10 – Great news for the championship, but fairly processional…
With the curbs painted red, white and green, there is only one place in the world we could be as those Aruba.IT racing Panigales line up first and second on the grid… yet a hefty crash on the warm-up lap means a red flag and quick restart before the lights have even gone out. This is all after an interesting qualifying saw some blistering pace and even former champ Guintoli having a monumental highside, which put an end to his weekend on the Pata Yamaha. With everything cleared though Davies got the perfect getaway with Rea on the pipe in his shadows in second. This went on lap after lap, until a small moment from the KRT Rider gave Davies all the advantage he could need, as he cleared of in the distance for a commanding win. Not saying we taught him anything we took him out a few months back, but our boy Chaz is doing good!
The second Kawasaki of Tom Sykes did give Rea a good go, but just couldn’t quite match his teammate and had to settle for a third place, in front of a hugely impressive fourth for Jordi Torres in his best result of the season. Giugliano suffered later on in the race rounding out the top five, followed by Camier on that MV Agusta he is becoming ever more comfortable on. Van Der Mark brings home his Honda in seventh in front of Salvadori, Hayden and Fores, who bring in the top ten in a widely strung out result.
Lights out and once again it was Davies who got an absolutely cracking launch, followed by team-mate Giugliano until he slipped back in the first chicane. The two Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R’s of Rea and Sykes gave everything in their quest to stop the Italian stallion, but Davies nailed lap after lap to pull out a commanding and hefty lead. Repeating his Aragon efforts, Chaz brought home a commanding double in front of Rea and Sykes reminiscent of race one – even though they gave it a massive go to catch that flying Ducati.
Talking of which, Giugliano managed to muster up a fourth place, in front of Camier who grabbed another top five on the MV Agusta in its home country. Lowes grabbed his best result of the season so far in sixth, with Jordi Torres managing to bring home his BMW in seventh by holding off the Hondas underneath Hayden, who this time got the better of his team mate van der Mark, with Fores completing the top ten once again.
Overall: Hugely impressive riding from the top lads, may not have been as action packed as Assen but a real eye-opener for the championship!
Good day: Davies, Camier, Lowes – Double win, consistency, best finish this year
Bad day: Guintoli, Salvadori, Giugliano – huge crash and no points, didn’t achieve potential, can’t match teammate