Crash.Net WSS News
Davies ends title-winning year in style
16 October 2011
Chaz Davies has concluded his magnificent World Supersport title winning year in sublime style with a sixth victory of the season at Portimao.
Having favoured caution last time out at Magny-Cours in order to seal the 2011 WSS title, Davies used the final race of the season to prove exactly why he has been the year's dominant act by leading from start-to-finish.
Bursting into the lead from third on the grid, Davies was fairly untroubled throughout the race, his only real pressure coming from Sam Lowes, who was steadily chipping away at his countryman's leading margin when he was forced to retire from second place on lap 12.
Easing off in the final laps, Davies would cross the line just over a second up on David Salom, who prevailed in an exciting race-long battle with James Ellison, the latter scoring his second podium of the season just a week after scoring an identical result in the British Superbike Championship finale.
Crucially for Davies, who won half of the twelve races in 2011, his result sealed the WSS manufacturers' title for Yamaha, the first time a marque other than Honda has won in the last decade.
Second place for Salom would see him seal the runners-up spot overall and though it came despite him failing to win a race all season, it does mark Kawasaki's best riders' championship result since Andrew Pitt's title in 2001.
Salom's jump to second came at the expense of Fabien Foret, who struggled through the race and was mugged by a tight mid-pack gaggle that left him in 12th position at the chequered flag. Broc Parkes, meanwhile, could have been a threat, but was innocently eliminated on the opening lap when Gino Rea, having gone from ninth to second into the first corner, was launched in a spectacular high-side when rounding turn three. Though he remarkably kept the Step Honda upright, it sent him into the path of Parkes, the pair running off track and down the field.
Enabling Ellison to finish third, Luca Scassa, who began the season with two victories, ended his year in a fairly lonely fourth position, ahead of Ten Kate Honda's rookie Florian Marino.
A charging last few laps from Roberto Tamburini would see him past Massimo Roccoli for sixth place in the closing stages, the Lorenzini Kawasaki rider having to settle for seventh instead.
With the front of the field relatively stretched out, the battle for eighth kept the Portuguese fans entertained, with the crowd rewarded by local favourite Miguel Praia coming through to finish in that position, having been outside the points in the early stages.
He led Vladimir Leonov across the line, the former Moto2 rider giving a hint of what to expect in 2012 when he and the Yakhnich Yamaha team – which is also behind WSBK's foray into Russia next year – make their full-time debut.
Balazs Nemeth ended a fruitful season for Team Hungary Toth with his fourth top ten finish of the year, ahead of Vittorio Iannuzzo and a disgruntled Foret. Behind them, Alexander Lundh, a recovering Rea and Pawel Szkopek completed the points' paying positions.