Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea's World Superbike lead is cut as Davies denies NI rider an Aragon double


By Roy Harris

Chaz Davies avenged Saturday's defeat to Jonathan Rea in Aragon to close the gap at the top of the World Superbike Championship standings.

Welshman Davies secured a narrow victory in Sunday's second race on the Spanish circuit.

Northern Ireland's world champion Rea (Kawasaki) pressed the Ducatis of Davies and Marco Melandri in the early stages and moved in front after Xavi Fores (Aruba) slipped off.

But Davies took the lead with five laps left to win by 1.184 seconds and deny Rea his first double of the season after his Saturday race one win.

Melandri was third and Alex Lowes finished a distant fourth ahead of his Yamaha team-mate Michael van der Mark.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) came sixth after recovering from a poor start which saw him lose five places at the first turn.

Rea's lead at the top of the championship is cut to 12 points, with Davies replacing Melandri in second place.

Race one had been red flagged after a horrible collision involving Leon Camier, Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori that saw Red Bull Honda rider Camier taken to hospital with chest and rib injuries.

After the restart, Rea was again on top leading the first half of the new race bar one lap, before Xavi Fores (Ducati) made a move to hit the front with nine laps to go. However, Rea fought back, re-took the lead a couple of laps later and raced away to a one and a half second victory over three duelling Ducati's with Davies getting the better of Fores and Marco Melandri for his second win of the season.

Yesterday, starting from row three, Rea was soon into a battle for the lead with Fores and Melandri and Davies making ground from his third row starting position.

Fores crashed out of the lead uninjured leaving Rea in front under pressure from Davies and Melandri with the Welshman hitting the front on lap 14 of 18, the pair getting very close together with Davies holding onto the lead. On the final lap, Rea ran wide going into the chicane and lost any chance he had of challenging in the final bends, 1.184secs behind at the chequered flag with Melandri dropping back on the final lap with brake problems some three seconds behind Rea.

After the race and his fourth podium of the season Rea said: "I threw everything into that last lap, but overcooked it into turn 12 and lost any chance of catching Chas. It was a fun race and the set-up was good, although I did struggle to stop a little bit after the rear tyre had dropped off a little, costing me reduced corner entry traction.

"It seemed that Chas, who rode a brilliant race, had the same problem, but when he made mistakes he could keep the same lap time. It seems we have to be very precise all through the race and the rise in temperature from Saturday didn't help our tyre choice. I didn't know what to expect. Now we move to Assen next weekend and one of my favourite tracks."

Carrick's Andrew Irwin had his best race to date in World Supersport, finishing in 20th position as he gets to grip with a new bike, new circuits and a new team.

World Superbike Championship rd 3, MotorLand Aragon, Alcaniz, Spain

Leading Positions after Race 2: 1 Chaz Davies (Gbr) Ducati 33mins 29.519secs, 2 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Kawasaki 33:30.703, 3 Marco Melandri (Ita) Ducati 33:34.103, 4 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Yamaha 33:39.770, 5 Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 33:40.206, 6 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 33:43.248, 7 Michael Rinaldi (Ita) Ducati 33:44.338, 8 Jordi Torres (Spa) MV Augusta 33:44.734, 9 Topak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Kawasaki 33:49.331, 10 Lorenzo Savadori (Ita) Aprilia 33:49.791

Leading World Championship Standings

Riders: 1 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Kawasaki 114pts, 2 Chaz Davies (Gbr) Ducati 102, 3 Marco Melandri (Ita) Ducati 96, 4 Javier Fores (Spa) Ducati 76, 5 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Yamaha 70, 6 Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 67, 7 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 63, 8 Leon Camier (Gbr) Honda 42, 9 Topak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Kawasaki 32, 10 Loris Baz (Fra) BMW 27

Manufacturers: 1 Ducati 140pts, 2 Kawasaki 123, 3 Yamaha 76, 4 Honda 50, 5 Aprilia 32, 6 BMW 27, 7 MV Augusta 22

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