Misano WSBK: Sykes wins as top three crash on final lap

Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes took his second win of the 2017 World Superbike season, inheriting the lead on the last lap as the top three all crashed.

Misano WSBK: Sykes wins as top three crash on final lap
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Chaz Davies, Ducati Team
Chaz Davies, Ducati Team
Marco Melandri, Ducati Team

Sykes had started from pole but ran virtually the whole race off the podium, only to take over in the lead with two laps to go after a late crash involving teammate Jonathan Rea and race leader Chaz Davies.

Off the line, as Rea stormed past Sykes on the run down to Turn 1 to take the lead, Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark made a dazzling getaway, finding his way past the two Ducatis and then pulling off a spectacular round-the-outside move on Sykes at Turn 2.

The Dutchman then stopped Rea from making a gap out front and was through at the very start of the second lap, keeping ahead of the championship leader to record his first lap led since his off-season switch to Yamaha.

Rea was soon shuffled down to third, picked off by Davies at Turn 8, while teammate Sykes had slipped behind another Ducati in Marco Melandri and began to drop off from the top four.

Having cleared Rea, Davies ran right behind van der Mark for several laps, but could not sustain the pressure.

As the halfway point approached, the Yamaha rider finally managed to put some space between himself and the Welshman – and, at the start of lap 11, he now had to worry about Rea instead, the points leader clearing Davies at Turn 1.

Van der Mark had been as much as 1.4s ahead after Rea's overtake on Davies, but the Northern Irishman made quick work of the Yamaha rider's advantage.

He was just a couple of tenths off when van der Mark high-sided off his bike at Turn 14, forcing Rea to run wide in the process as the Kawasaki man had to navigate between the falling Dutch rider and his out-of-control Yamaha.

The incident was enough to bring the Ducatis of Davies and Melandri right to Rea's rear wheel. On lap 19 of 21, Davies lunged down the inside of Rea at Turn 1 and their bike made contact, with Rea forced wide and Melandri following his teammate through on the Nothern Irishman.

But there was nothing to split the trio still. On the very same lap, Rea lunged down the inside of Melandri at Turn 14 but ran wide, only to finally complete the pass in the final corner.

The leading trio's formation was broken up at the start of the final lap as Melandri crashed, with Rea now focused on reeling in Davies, trying to line up a late overtake.

Davies entered the Turn 14 Carro hairpin with only a narrow lead over Rea and fell over on the apex, with the Northern Irishman hitting his Welsh rival with his front tyre at low speed and falling over as well.

As Rea remounted his bike, he could only coast home to third, passed by Sykes and the Yamaha of Alex Lowes.

Davies, having taken a hit to his back from the Kawasaki's front tyre, was briefly back on his feet and sprinted to his bike, but couldn't carry on and was stretchered off to receive medical attention. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up, with Rea, who'd checked up on him on the cooldown lap, saying post-race that the Welshman "seemed okay" but had a sore back.

Off the podium, Althea BMW rider Jordi Torres led the highest-placed Ducati of Barni privateer Xavi Fores and Aprilia's Eugene Laverty.

Randy Krummenacher, Roman Ramos, Lorenzo Savadori and Raffaele De Rosa made up the top 10, with Melandri going on to finish 15th.

UPDATE: Ducati rider Davies will be transported to the Rimini hospital for "further medical assessment" after the incident, the series has confirmed.


Race results

1 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes Kawasaki 21 33'44.269  
2 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes Yamaha 21 33'48.820 4.551
3 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 21 33'52.395 8.126
4 81 spain Jordi Torres BMW 21 33'55.119 10.850
5 12 spain Xavi Fores Ducati 21 33'57.918 13.649
6 50 ireland Eugene Laverty Aprilia 21 34'04.777 20.508
7 88 switzerland Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki 21 34'06.767 22.498
8 40 spain Roman Ramos Kawasaki 21 34'10.598 26.329
9 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 21 34'13.234 28.965
10 35 italy Raffaele De Rosa BMW 21 34'16.440 32.171
11 2 united_kingdom Leon Camier MV Agusta 21 34'22.583 38.314
12 15 san_marino Alex de Angelis Kawasaki 21 34'24.098 39.829
13 86 italy Ayrton Badovini Kawasaki 21 34'34.747 50.478
14 37 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek Kawasaki 21 34'39.477 55.208
15 33 italy Marco Melandri Ducati 21 34'46.914 1'02.645
  6 germany Stefan Bradl Honda 14 7 laps 7 laps
  7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies Ducati 20 1 lap 1 lap
  60 netherlands Michael van der Mark Yamaha 14 7 laps 7 laps
  84 italy Riccardo Russo Yamaha 12 9 laps 9 laps
  36 argentina Leandro Mercado Aprilia 12 9 laps 9 laps
  61 italy Fabio Menghi Ducati 3 18 laps 18 laps


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