SBK Aragon Race One: Davies Profits As Favourites Fall Out

by Louis Suddaby

Chaz Davies romped home to his first World Superbike win in BMW colours after his two main challengers for victory dropped out with mechanical problems early in the first race at Aragon. The Welshman took full advantage of misfortune for Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty to lead home Sylvain Guintoli who took the outright championship lead with second place.

Sykes and Laverty had dominated the weekend through Friday and Saturday and the Aprilia rider moved into an early lead from Sykes although Davies was looking racy in third, piling the pressure on the Kawasaki of Sykes down the long back straight. On lap four, their fight became one for the lead as Laverty sat up as he came into the tight infield section with an apparent problem. Sykes’ joy was short-lived though as his ZX-10R slowed too within half a lap of Laverty’s problem. Davies couldn’t believe his look and eased into a comfortable lead with Guintoli cut adrift in second.

The Frenchman had enough to worry about with the second GoldBet BMW of Marco Melandri who reeled him in by lap thirteen before diving through into turn eight. Marco undid all his hard work though with an error at turn twelve which promoted Guintoli back into second which he would maintain until the finish while Melandri was forced to fight his way back past Davide Giugliano and Jonathan Rea to claim the final spot on the podium, assisted by the power of the S1000RR.

Giugliano should have followed Melandri across the line in fourth but his Althea Aprilia ran out of fuel within sight of the flag, handing the thirteen points to Rea. Loris Baz salvaged fifth for Kawasaki after the disappointment for his teammate with Jules Cluzel a fine sixth and a pain-stricken Carlos Checa who opened his points account for the year with seventh.

Michel Fabrizio recovered from his awful grid position to finish eighth ahead of Leon Haslam with Ayrton Badovini getting the second Ducati Panigale into the top ten and while Eugene Laverty did return to the track late in the race, he didn’t complete enough laps to be classified in fifteenth, thus missing out on the final point.

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