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Motorsport | Superbikes

Chaz Davies © Getty Images

Davies wins red-flagged Race 1

Chaz Davies put in a lights to flag victory at Imola as Race 1 was called early when the red flags were shown for Eugene Laverty's fiery crash.

A massive first lap for pole sitter Davies put him 1.1s up on his Ducati teammate Marco Melandri, who had to fend off championship leader Rea. Tom Sykes was running fourth.

At one of motorsport's fastest circuits, Melandri dropped into lap record pace to etch into Davies' lead while putting 1.4s between himself and Rea. However, the Kawasaki rider was not to be denied and fought back two laps later, closing the gap to 3/10ths.

With Davies pulling away with each passing lap, Rea needed a quick way around Melandri and found that on Lap 4 as he powered through at the inside of the right-hander. He was four seconds behind Davies when he made his way up into P2.

Midway through the 19-lap race, Davies had extended his lead to 5.4 seconds over Rea while Melandri held onto third, pegging the gap to Sykes at 6/10ths.

Davies continued to apply the pressure at the front, laying down another 1.46 while his main rivals were lapping in the 1:47s. His advantage was 7.4s with seven to go when the red flags were waved as Eugene Laverty suffered a massive crash.

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Contact with Alex Lowes broke a piece of his front fender, which became wedged in the bike and meant Laverty was unable to turn. He went flying off at the corner, his bike smashing into the barriers at speed and bursting into flames. Laverty was helped away by the marshals.

Declared the end of the race, Davies won by 6.6s ahead of Rea with Melandri completing the podium ahead of Sykes.

Behind the battle for the podium Xavi Fores rode a lonely race to fifth having survived a brief early challenge from Leon Camier.

Michael van der Mark, Lowes, Roman Ramos and Stefan Bradl completed the top ten.

Leandro Mercado's charge ended on Lap 3 when he crashed at Turn 7. The Aprilia rider tried to remount but also his day was over. Nicky Hayden retired his Honda in the pits on Lap 5.

Only 20 riders started the race after Jordi Torres fell ill overnight. He also missed Superpole earlier Saturday morning.

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1 DAVIES Chaz Ducati Panigale R

2 REA Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10RR 6.696

3 MELANDRI Marco Ducati Panigale R 9.287

4 SYKES Tom Kawasaki ZX-10RR 9.913

5 FORÉS Xavi Ducati Panigale R 16.142

6 CAMIER Leon MV Agusta 1000 F4 21.914

7 VAN DER MARK Michael Yamaha YZF R1 24.638

8 LOWES Alex Yamaha YZF R1 25.792

9 RAMOS Román Kawasaki ZX-10RR 34.035

10 BRADL Stefan Honda CBR1000RR 34.585

11 DE ANGELIS Alex Kawasaki ZX-10RR 39.857

12 SAVADORI Lorenzo Aprilia RSV4 RF 40.639

13 KRUMMENACHER Randy Kawasaki ZX-10RR 43.089

14 DE ROSA Raffaele BMW S 1000 RR 43.560

15 BADOVINI Ayrton Kawasaki ZX-10RR 47.289

16 JEZEK Ondrej Kawasaki ZX-10RR 50.389


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