Jerez WSBK: Rea seals championship as Sykes takes win

Jonathan Rea was crowned 2015 World Superbike champion in the first race at Jerez after finishing fourth behind victorious Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes.

Jerez WSBK: Rea seals championship as Sykes takes win
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki
Race winner Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki
Chaz Davies, Ducati Team
Michael van der Mark, Pata Honda
Leon Haslam, Aprilia Racing Team

Starting from second on the grid behind poleman Sykes, Rea needed merely needed to finish 10th or higher to guarantee himself a title that had looked destined to be his since the early part of the season.

Initially, the Ulsterman ran second behind Sykes, who established a cushion of a second over his teammate after just three laps.

But as Rea slipped further back from the lead and towards third-place man Chaz Davies, the only man who could theoretically deny him the championship, it became apparent that the #65 Kawasaki was struggling badly with corner speed.

Davies duly passed at the Dry Sac corner on Lap 7, but by this stage was three seconds adrift of Sykes, who reeled off the remaining laps to secure a fourth WSBK victory of the season.

Ducati man Davies took second, 2.8s behind at the chequered flag, with Honda’s Michael van der Mark making his way past a fast-starting Leon Haslam, who surged from 11th on the grid to fourth in the early stages, and then Rea to seal the final spot on the podium.

Haslam looked like following through immediately, but despite what was at stake Rea was in no mood to give up the position, the duo becoming embroiled in a fierce battle during the second half of the race.

Although Haslam was able to edge his Aprilia past on several occasions, he could never make the move stick, meaning Rea held on for fourth and secured the necessary points to take the title with five races to spare.

Michele Pirro, the replacement for the injured Davide Giugliano aboard the second works Ducati, caught up to the back of the Rea/Haslam duel in the closing laps and took sixth.

Alex Lowes was the best of the Suzuki riders in seventh, ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Ducati), Leon Camier (MV Agusta) and defending champion Sylvain Guintoli (Honda).

Althea Ducati’s Niccolo Canepa squandered his front-row start with a crash at the third lap at Dry Sac, while Jordi Torres ran his Aprilia wide at the very first corner, dropping to 20th and recovering to 12th.

Race results:

Pos. Rider  Bike  Time/Gap
Tom Sykes Kawasaki 34'14.685
Chaz Davies Ducati 2.865
Michael van der Mark Honda 6.665
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 9.059
Leon Haslam Aprilia 9.318
Michele Pirro Ducati 10.466
Alex Lowes Suzuki 15.945
Matteo Baiocco Ducati 18.020
Leon Camier MV Agusta 18.654
10  Sylvain Guintoli Honda 19.510
11  David Salom Kawasaki 24.441
12  Jordi Torres Aprilia 29.247
13  Roman Ramos Kawasaki 35.768
14  Leandro Mercado Ducati 37.933
15  Ayrton Badovini BMW 40.147
16  Randy de Puniet Suzuki 40.275
17  Niccolo Canepa Ducati 45.846
18  Gabor Rizmayer BMW 1'15.451
19  Alex Phillis Kawasaki 1 Lap
20  Imre Toth BMW 1 Lap
21  Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki 3 Laps
22  Gianluca Vizziello Kawasaki 3 Laps


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