Davies Delays Rea Title Glory at Sepang

Chaz Davies ensured Jonathan Rea’s championship coronation will have to wait until Jerez in September after snatching victory at the final corner of race two at Sepang. After the early demise of Tom Sykes, Rea simply needed victory to be crowned champion and looked set to deliver on the approach to the final corner, only for Davies to deny him in dramatic fashion.

Sykes started the race as the biggest obstacle in Rea’s pursuit of the championship but the polesitter was effectively eliminated at the first corner as Sylvain Guintoli sat up Max Biaggi, sending the Italian into the side of the Briton’s Kawasaki. Biaggi was unseated and retired on the spot and although Sykes continued, a bent brake lever would cause him problems thereafter and a fall at half distance saw him trail home in fourteenth.

With his teammate out of the equation, Rea now knew that victory would be enough to secure a first world title but Davies was looking supreme at the front. However, in shades of Sykes’ problems in race one, Chaz lost pace and a three second lead with three laps to go was reduced to virtually nothing halfway around the last lap.

Rea stayed patient and launched his attack on the approach to the final hairpin, slipstreaming past the Panigale, but Davies was latest on the brakes and with bravery, and a little bit of brute force,  Chaz pushed the Kawasaki aside to claim his fourth win of the year.

Behind the front two, Jordi Torres matched his career-best result in World Superbikes with third while Sylvain Guintoli matched his season-best result from race one, beating PATA Honda teammate Michael van der Mark to fourth. Leon Haslam brought his Aprilia home in sixth ahead of David Salom while Alex Lowes rode a sensational race to finish eighth after being relegated to last in the first corner confusion.