The opening lap saw pole man Jonathan Rea rush ahead to lead into the first corner, with Chaz Davies right behind. Tom Sykes swooped around on the second corner to steal the lead and pull away while Davies took second. With a three way English fight out the front, MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Leon Camier and Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark were left behind to fight it out for fourth.
Sykes was unbeatable setting a new lap record early on as he took his Kawasaki to its limit, putting seconds between Davies and teammate Rea. But it wasn’t long before Rea slipped passed Davies to begin the hunt for Sykes.
The last five laps of the race saw an intense battle break out between the two Kawasakis as the lead alternated between Rea and Sykes, with many tight overtaking moves keeping French fans on the edge of their seats. An almost impossible overtake attempt by Sykes on Rea saw Davies take advantage of the opening and shoot ahead with a couple of laps to go. Once in front the Welshman didn’t look back until the chequered flag saw him secure his second win at the Fassi French Round.
Leon Camier eventually beat van der Mark to fourth with the Dutchman taking fifth ahead of IodaRacing Team’s Lorenzo Savadori. While further down the order PATA Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli tried to hold off Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden, Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) and Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres in a battle of their own, but eventually lost the fight and finished in eighth. Torres finished ahead of the Frenchman in seventh. Hayden ended the battle in ninth with Fores rounding out the top ten.
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) came home in P11 with Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) drastically improving his weekend to finish in P12. Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) picked up important points in P13 with Alex De Angelis (IodaRacing Team) and Frenchman Matthieu Lagrive (Pedercini Racing) rounding out the points in P14 and P15 respectively.
With Sykes taking away important points from teammate Jonathan Rea, the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship fight goes to Round 12 in Jerez on the 14-16th of October, with only 48 points separating them.
Quotes from the top three riders:
C.Davies (Ducati): “That was one of the best wins of my career. Just to hang on from the start I really struggled. The pace was decent but I couldn’t make those few tenths to follow Tom. Then Jonny came by and I couldn’t see where I could make the time up. I was kind of relying on them dropping off which at the end they did. I stayed consistent. I was a little bit lucky with the mistake from both of them at the hairpin. I couldn’t see an opportunity to pass apart from forcing one. That opened the door for me and then I knew it was a case of hammer down for a few laps and make sure I have got a gap to give them no chance to come back at me. Incredible and definitely one of the sweetest wins of my career.”
J.Rea (Kawasaki): “Tom is riding at such a good level that it is so hard to pass somebody who is riding really well. I spent so much energy trying to get back into the group. I led going into T6 and Tom stopped me, then Chaz got back underneath and I lost a lot of momentum there and it took so much energy, physical energy and concentration to get back into the group. At that part of the race my pace was quite good, Tom was away and then I put myself in between Chaz and Tom, I caught Tom, but when I made the pass I left the door open for Chaz. So congratulations to Chaz, I had nothing for him in the end. But I did my best and I put everything I could into the race. I’m really happy with second place because it is the best I could do today.”
T.Sykes (Kawasaki): “The good thing is we have been consistent all weekend in all conditions, but it is a big shame to miss out and to be third today. I found it very difficult trying to get into the corners. I lost the front twice up in the top hairpin. That’s no excuse, the two guys in front had great speed. We need to learn from this. Ultimately I feel more comfortable on the bike this weekend in general and that’s a positive. It’s just a bit late in the season, at least we are getting there. We have still got a lot of points and four races to come.”
#FrenchWorldSBK Race 2
Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team (+2.091)
Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team (+2.586)