Toil and trouble in the first few laps on the Riviera di Rimini
as chaos reigns before the calm, before the storm
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea has taken his first victory since Assen in a classic game of cat and mouse at Misano World Circuit, holding off intense pressure from teammate Tom Sykes throughout the Race to cross the line for another win in 2016 – ending his longest drought before moving to Kawasaki. Honda’s Michael van der Mark, after a storming start, completed the podium in P3 as the Dutchman moved back up the grid to where he belongs after a more difficult Superpole 2.
A drama filled first part of Lap 1 saw Lorenzo Savadori fall foul of a tussle just behind the front few bikes, with the Aprilia sliding off into the gravel and sadly seeing the Italian rookie unable to finish his first WorldSBK Race in Misano.
Chaz Davies was pushed down outside the top ten as Torres, Camier and Savadori got caught up in chaos, and the biggest winners off the line were undoubtedly Honda’s Michael van der Mark and Pedercini’s Anthony West, with the Australian moving well into the top ten.
Van der Mark, who pulled through the field with a stunning launch and first lap to cross the line at the end of Lap 1 in P5, then saw Ducati rider Davide Giugliano lowside off the track in front of him, before Honda teammate Nicky Hayden suffered a spectacular trip through the gravel at the final corner.
Davies was left with a fight back after having needed to sit up, and Aruba.it teammate Giugliano got going again to also face the uphill battle through the field at the Ducati team’s second home Race of the year, with the Italian eventually coming home in P14. Head down and focused, Davies fought back into the top 5 by lap 11, on course for a good haul of points to salvage from what had seemed a disastrous start and hunting down Jordi Torres to end Race 1 just off the podium in P4.
Torres ended Althea BMW’s Race 1 in P5 for the team at home, just ahead of Althea teammate Markus Reiterberger, who debuted as a wildcard at Misano last year and crossed the line in P6 in another good rookie showing, competing a fantastic first Race of the home round for the Althea BMW team.
Pata Yamaha’s Niccolo Canepa, riding in place of recovering Sylvain Guintoli, crossed the line in P7 at his and Pata’s home race in an impressive showing, ahead of MV Agusta rider Leon Camier, who after getting tangled up at the start rode a solid recovery for MV at their home Round.
Roman Ramos put in an impressive performance to take P9 for Team GoEleven, ahead of Anthony West on the Pedercini Kawasaki who rounded out the top ten. Milwaukee BMW’s Josh Brookes crossed the line in P11 in a solid performace, ahead of Aprilia’s Alex De Angelis at his closest circuit to home.
The second Pata Yamaha machine of Alex Lowes crossed the line in P13 after the Brit suffered a run off early on, an impressive showing nonetheless as the former British Champion recovers from a broken collarbone, with Giugliano in P14 ahead of Pavel Szkopek competing the points in P15.
Race 2 will reset the grid once again on Sunday, as lights go out for the final showdown in Misano at 13:00 local time (GMT +2).
WorldSBK Race 1:
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team
3. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +0.090
3. Michael van der Mark Honda World Superbike Team +3.093
Championship Standings after Race 1
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 318
Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 257
Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati 244