Nicky Hayden claimed his first World Superbike victory and his first at any level for ten years with a masterful performance in wet conditions at Sepang. The American coped best with a sodden track in race two to see off Ducati’s Davide Giugliano while Jonathan Rea finished third to extend his championship lead.
The heavy downpour which delayed the World Supersport race left the riders with an extreme challenge on the resurfaced track but Hayden had no issues finding grip, scything around the outside of polesitter Tom Sykes at turn five before diving past Jonathan Rea into the penultimate corner to grab the lead, Rea having also passed his teammate.
By half distance, Hayden was over three seconds clear but the late threat was coming from the Ducati of Giugliano who, having passed Rea and Chaz Davies for second, began to catch the Honda at a second per lap. Once the danger became apparent via his pit-board, Nicky responded though and ultimately took the chequered flag a second ahead of the Italian.
With second spot, Giugliano matched his career best in WorldSBK while Rea got the better of Davies in the closing stages to take third, increasing his championship lead to 42 points. Wet-weather specialist Anthony West finished fifth ahead of Michael van der Mark and Alex De Angelis while Sykes’ struggles in the wet saw him slip all the way back to eighth.
WorldSBK 2016: Fassi Malaysian Round – Race Two Result
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