Chaz Davies produced a crushing display of dominance to win the opening race of the weekend at the Lausitzring. The Welshman led from start to finish for his fifth win of 2016 but a crash for Jonathan Rea saw the championship race blown wide open again as Tom Sykes took second, closing the gap to 26 points.
Earlier on Saturday morning, Davies had beaten Sykes to pole position and with the Ducati rider so often faster over a race distance, the signs were ominous for his rivals. Chaz made no mistakes off the start line, leading Sykes into turn one while Rea, who had started the day in Qualifying 1, climbed from sixth on the grid to third on the opening lap.
It quickly became obvious that the factory Kawasakis had no answer to Davies’ pace, the no.7 machine opening up a four second lead within six laps. Sykes was still managing to keep Rea at arm’s length but the complexion of the race, and the championship, changed when the Ulsterman tumbled at turn ten on the seventh lap, sending him to a second consecutive DNF.
Rea’s exit promoted Lorenzo Savadori up to third but the Aprilia rider threw away his chance of a maiden WorldSBK rostrum when he crashed out a lap later. As a result, Nicky Hayden moved back into third, the same position he had started the race, and the Honda rider began eating into the distance between himself and Sykes’ Kawasaki.
Ultimately, Tom held on for twenty valuable points but no-ne had an answer for Davies who cruised to victory by over ten seconds. Hayden took third despite a late challenge from Jordi Torres while Leon Camier finished a superb fifth for MV Agusta.
Michael van der Mark was sixth after holding off the second Aruba Ducati of Davide Giugliano while Alex Lowes won the battle of the PATA Yamahas for eighth, pipping the returning Sylvain Guintoli.
WorldSBK 2016: Pirelli German Round – Race One Result
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