Chaz Davies doubled-up as he took the second World Superbike race win at Magny-Cours after a calculated ride at the French track.
The Aruba Ducati rider picked up where he left off yesterday as he scorched to the win by 2.091 seconds over Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, who managed to better his team-mate and championship rival Tom Sykes to stretch his points lead.
After yesterday’s rain, blue skies and sunshine greeted the riders today and once again it was polesitter Rea who got his green machine off the line first to lead into the first corner. Davies also got a good start and was second behind Rea with Sykes just behind, as MV Agusta Reparto Corse man Leon Camier was up to fourth.
But Sykes, with his championship chase in mind, wasn’t prepared to hang around and when Davies tried to pass Rea up the inside, Sykes capitalised and rode around the outside to pass them both and take the lead.
The Yorkshireman led over the line at the start of the second lap as Davies settled into second with Rea behind. Camier meanwhile, was busy trying to fend off Honda’s Michael van der Mark, who passed the Brit on the second lap.
Sykes was looking comfortable and fast out front, setting a new lap record on the third lap as he smashed his own record from 2013 as he clocked a 1’37.864.
But if he thought he was going to keep it all going his own way, he was wrong. Rea made a move to pass Davies for second on the fifth lap and steadily cut Sykes’ lead over the next six laps.
By Lap 15 the top three were inches apart, with Davies right up to Rea who was in turn all over the back of Sykes. The trio stayed bunched up for another two laps until Rea decided to bite the bullet on Lap 17 and made a block pass on his team-mate.
As the pair tripped over each other, Davies was straight on them, passing both around the outside to take the lead. From that moment he was off, stretching himself a little lead as the Kawasaki boys fought for second.
Rea had passed Sykes in the melee but Sykes quickly got it back. However, a lap later Rea out-braked his rival to move ahead. He managed to stay ahead for the final three laps to follow Davies over the line and extend his championship lead even further over Sykes who took third.
Camier proved to have the measure of van der Mark as he crossed the line fourth ahead of the Dutchman to make it a Brit 1-2-3-4 as Lorenzo Savadori’s IodaRacing Aprilia finished sixth.
Althea BMW’s Jordi Torres passed the Pata Yamaha of Sylvain Guintoli on the final lap to take seventh ahead of the French favourite, as America’s Nicky Hayden was ninth on the second Honda World Superbike Team machine with Barni Racing’s Xavi Fores 10th.
Brit Alex Lowes, on the second Pata Yamaha, had to make do with 19th after he crashed out from 11th position on the 12th lap.