Davies ‘brakes’ Ellison for fifth win
4 September 2011
Chaz Davies has put himself in a position to wrap up the 2011 World Supersport Championship title early as he notched up a fifth win of the season at the Nurburgring, though only after a superb display of defensive riding to fend off the attentions of James Ellison.
Davies had looked on course for a fairly comfortable victory after snatching the lead on lap six when he overtook Ellison, but while he extended his advantage initially, he was reeled in again with ten laps remaining by both Ellison and Gino Rea.
Not that Davies had endured an easy start to the race when he was sat up by his ParkinGO Yamaha team-mate Luca Scassa into the first bend, Davies shuffled down to ninth position as the order shook out.
Up front, Rea had snatched the lead from Ellison, who was enjoying a strong start from fifth on the grid, and Sam Lowes, while pole sitter Fabien Foret paid for a poor getaway in fourth.
Undeterred, Davies quickly worked his way up the order, meticulously picking off his rivals as he flexed his title credentials, eventually culminating in him taking the lead from Ellison – who himself had passed Rea – on lap six.
Davies's pass seemingly signalled the end of Ellison's victory bid, the Bogdanka PTR rider becoming unsettled enough to allow Rea, Foret and Lowes past him, dropping him to fifth.
Nonetheless, Ellison promptly gathered himself again, passing Lowes before capitalising on an error by Foret, one that would drop the Frenchman into the trailing group and out of victory contention. Overtaking Rea again on lap nine, Ellison promptly set off in pursuit of Davies once more.
It was a swift advance, with both Ellison and Rea catching Davies, as well as breaking Lowes behind them, the youngster now left in a lonely fourth place but doing his bit for a provisional British 1-2-3-4.
Unfortunately, hopes of a British lockout were ruined on lap 14 when Rea got crossed up at turn four and dropped the Step Racing Honda. Though unharmed, the bike itself would ignite, giving the Czech team a costly repair job.
With the battle lines drawn between Davies and Ellison, it was evident that the latter had particular strength mid-corner, Ellison repeatedly brushing the back wheel of the Yamaha ahead. However, while he was also occasionally able to pull alongside down the straights, Ellison was repeatedly being fended off by the YZF-R6's superior braking power.
Indeed, Ellison's strengths were being persistently negated by his inability to get the Honda stopped in time, preventing him from ever getting in front, despite never falling more than half a second adrift.
It was a frustration that would last until the chequered flag, with Davies showing remarkable defensive riding skills to hold off what remains arguably one of Ellison's best career performances.
Crucially for Davies, his closest title rivals all finished down the order, with David Salom only eighth and Foret in sixth. As such, Davies has 171 points to their respective 112 and 111 points, which means a third place finish next time out at Imola will be good enough to wrap up the title with two rounds remaining.
Despite Rea's retirement, Lowes completed an all-British podium with a solid ride to third position, comfortably ahead of Luca Scassa, who secured his best finish since Monza in fourth.
Satellite Lorenzini rider Massimo Roccoli flew the flag for Kawasaki on a difficult day for the manufacturer in fifth, ahead of Foret, Broc Parkes and Salom, while Florian Marino and Balazs Nemeth completed the top ten.
Behind them, the remaining points' positions were assumed by Roberto Tambruini, Vittorio Iannuzzo, Alexander Lundh, Imre Toth and Ronan Quarmby.