Tag Archives: WSBK

A massive rivalry is growing between Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies

Jonathan Rea is dominating the 2017 World Superbike Championship but his results don’t tell the full story. There have been 8 races this year and in 5 of them Rea has fought wheel-to-wheel against Chaz Davies in the final laps. The entertaining rivalry between the two riders is starting to get nasty and tensions boiled over at Assen last weekend.

2017 TITLE FIGHT
As per the summary below, the large 84 point gap between Rea and Davies in the championship doesn’t reflect how close their battle has really been. The winning margin in the first two races of 2017 was just a few hundredths of a second!

  • Race 1 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by just 0.04 seconds.
  • Race 2 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by just 0.02 seconds.
  • Race 3 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by 6 seconds.
  • Race 4 : Rea wins. Davies crashes whilst fighting for the lead.
  • Race 5 : Rea wins. Davies crashes from the lead near the finish.
  • Race 6 : Davies wins. Rea 2nd place by just 0.4 seconds.
  • Race 7 : Rea wins. Davies breaks down whilst fighting for the lead at the finish.
  • Race 8 : Rea wins. Davies 3rd place.

Davies has only taken one victory but has been in contention for six. He sits third in the championship right now but will seemingly be Rea’s closest challenger for the 2017 title. Chaz will be well aware that it’s gradually slipping out of reach.

BAD BLOOD AT ASSEN
An incident during qualifying at Assen has added plenty of heat into the rivalry. Davies was held up by Rea on his hot lap and proceeded to physically remonstrate on the track. That was very surprising. The two continued the argument in parc-ferme afterwards and both moments are captured in the videos below.

In a 1400 word statement published after the weekend (and not in the heat of the moment) Davies made his feelings very clear. He suggested that Rea had been waiting for the opportunity to baulk him and “took it way too far”. Davies, who never referred to Rea by name, said “#65 was looking over his shoulder with intent from early in his in lap … it was clear for all of us to see. #65 knew I was coming and endangered both of us with his underhand games. Of course he will deny this, but the facts, video and Race Direction penalty prove otherwise.”

For his part, Rea said the incident was completely unintentional and Davies had no business “punching” him on track. Rea also explained that he was trying to diffuse the situation afterwards. He could probably try harder next time by being less defensive, but he did offer a hand of apology. In his personal column for Motorcycle News, Rea said “I prefer to keep my opinions about Chaz to myself” so there is clearly bad blood on both sides.

The top two riders in the championship are consistently fighting each other in last-lap thrillers and now there is plenty of personal aggro between them as well. It’s compelling to watch.

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There was a bizarre finish to the World Supersport race at Phillip Island

Not only did the leaders collide as they crossed the finish line, but the timing screens indicated the result was a dead heat. Officials went to the photo and awarded Roberto Rolfo victory by one thousandth of a second (which is probably fair enough given he got pushed onto the grass).

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World SSP: Moments like this make sport great.

Khairuddin

Zulfahmi Khairuddin is a Supersport World Championship rider who hasn’t had a lot of great results, but last weekend he was brilliantly fighting for victory at his home race in Malaysia. Local organisers had used Khairuddin in publicity for the event but could not have expected how well he actually performed. With one corner to go, and thousands of screaming fans lining the track, Khairuddin ignored the safe option in second place and made one final lunge for the win. It didn’t work out, but at least he had a go and won’t be left wondering what might’ve been. Khairuddin’s ride sent the crowd into a frenzy and sparked celebrations you wouldn’t usually see for 2nd place in a Supersport race. Just like Rocky Balboa, you don’t always need to win to earn huge respect.

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Chaz Davies helped make the Australian WSBK round a thriller

Jonathan Rea won both World Superbike races at Phillip Island on the weekend but Chaz Davies made the fight for top spot a real thriller. Davies tried to snatch victory from Rea on the last lap of both races, and although neither of his efforts were successful, it’s always exciting to see a rider take a risk for victory rather than just settle for second.

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ATC: The Asia Talent Cup is producing some incredible races

ATC4

The Asia Talent Cup was created in 2014 with the aim of helping young riders on the path towards MotoGP. The championship is organised by Dorna so features on the support card for most of the Asian MotoGP and World Superbike rounds (including this weekend’s WSBK race in Malaysia). The riders are all in their mid-teens, the low capacity bikes are closely matched, and the races can get a little bit crazy.

In addition to the incidents and unorthodox manoeuvres that you’d expect from a field of young riders, the competition is incredibly close. At the most recent race in Qatar the top 7 riders were separated by just 4 tenths at the finish. That would be mighty close after qualifying, let alone a 30 minute race. Incredibly, the previous race was even closer. A photo finish was required to split the first four riders past the chequered flag because there were only 43 thousandths of a second between them. Where else can you finish 0.043 behind the winner and not get a podium!?

Yuki Ide led most of last year’s championship but lost the title when he crashed in the final race. He entered 2015 as favourite but is only 11th in the standings at the moment. That helps show how competitive the series is so if you catch the live stream on YouTube this weekend, be prepared for some wild racing.

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WSBK: The moment that made Troy Bayliss feel young again

WBSK

Troy Bayliss made a surprise comeback to the Superbike World Championship on Sunday. The 45 year old, who hasn’t raced for 6 years, said his return was good fun and it made him “feel young again”. Perhaps this was most evident during Troy’s short battle with Sylvain Guintoli.

Bayliss made a great start to the first race and on lap 4 he was holding position ahead of Guintoli, the reigning World Champion. Guintoli out-braked Bayliss down the inside of the hairpin, but Troy got back ahead on the exit when he pulled alongside and forced the champ to sit his bike up. It was assertive stuff, and although Bayliss slipped backwards later in the race, it showed his killer instinct hadn’t disappeared in retirement.

When you’re racing a superbike at age 45, pushing around the World Champion is definitely the sort of moment that would make you feel young again.

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