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Dogged Davies holds on for ‘Ring win

1 September 2013

CLICK HERE to view WSBK Race 2 Result

Chaz Davies has taken his third World Superbike Championship win of the season at the Nurburgring after a conveniently timed red flag prevented Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri from mounting a late challenge.

A race that would see the lead swap twice between Davies and Melandri – with Laverty always in the mix too -, Davies may have led into the penultimate lap, but he never under anything less than under intense pressure from his rivals behind.

However, the prospect of a grandstand finish would be scuppered when red flags were deployed due to a crash for Matej Smrz at the first turn, one that would leave oil on the circuit. Though a minor spill, following the spectacular crashes on oil at the end of race one, there was to be no risk of repeat this time around.

A race that began with a depleted grid following withdrawals for Loris Baz, who crashed in morning warm-up, and Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier, who fell in race one, the sprint down to the opening bend would go the way of Melandri, the BMW rider dipping ahead of Tom Sykes and the fast-starting Davies, while pole sitter Ayrton Badovini began his descent down the order in fourth.

Further back, Eugene Laverty – who had jumped from 12th to ninth on the grid thanks to the gaps ahead – was also straight into the mix in fifth.

The slightly fortuitous winner in race one after benefitting from count-back in the wake of a late red flag, Sykes had hoped he could mount a more convincing challenge in race two, but having been beaten by Melandri to the first bend, he would be quickly shuffled down by Davies and then Laverty by the end of lap three.

Indeed, while Sykes, Guintoli and Davide Giugliano would circulate in close company with the lead group from start-to-finish, the win only ever looked likely to come from the top three.

Hounding Melandri straight away, Davies certainly looked the feistier of the BMWs as he in turn fought to keep Laverty behind him, the Welshman eventually finding a way past on lap seven at the NGK Chicane. Not to be outdone, Laverty would also find his way through on lap ten into turn one, the Aprilia rider splitting the two BMWs.

Setting to work on Davies ahead, Laverty had numerous attempts into the tight first turn hairpin, but Davies's remarkable confidence on the brakes would repeatedly rebuff his rival.

Unable to nose in front, Laverty found himself back behind Melandri on lap 14 when he was overtaken into the chicane, the Italian immediately pouncing on Davies to pass for the lead at the start of lap 15.

Despite this, Davies would stay cool, lining up a re-pass a lap later through the NGK Chicane, while Laverty was also back through on the title contender at the start of lap 18.

With Davies now leading Laverty and Melandri, it was evident the latter riders were building up for a last lap battle with their rival, but – just as in race one – an ill-timed red flag for oil on the circuit would see the race ended and the results declared at the end of lap 18.

As such, Davies was left to celebrate his third win of the season, the Welshman giving BMW a long-awaited first victory on home soil in its final official appearance in Germany before it quits the series.

Twelve months after scoring his first WSBK win at the same circuit on the ParkinGO Aprilia, Davies's strong double podium means he has broken free in the fight for fifth in the standings and is only 26 points behind fourth place Laverty.

A positive result for Laverty that goes some way to mending the damage caused by his fall in race one, he remains in outside contention for the title 39 points off the lead, while Melandri – who was left annoyed by the late red flag – is also still in the mix, 29 points away.

Despite making a minimal impression on the lead in race two, fourth place for Sykes and fifth for Guintoli means the Kawasaki rider has actually nosed back into the lead of the standings by a mere point over his Aprilia rival.

Behind them, Giugliano completed a decent set of results for the day in sixth position, while pole sitter Badovini at least had the gratification of scoring his best dry weather finish of the year in seventh aboard the Alstare Ducati Panigale.

Michel Fabrizio, Carlos Checa and Max Neukirchner rounded out the top ten, ahead of Mark Aitchison and Markus Reiterberger, while Leon Haslam and Jules Cluzel recovered to 13th and 14th after a crash and technical issues respectively. Vittorio Iannuzzo picked up the final point in 15th.


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