2018 Imola World Superbike Race Two Results: A Race Of Pace

World Superbike's second race at Imola made use of the reverse grid set in yesterday's race but would be missing Jason O'Halloran as he has been declared unfit after his crash yesterday. His leg was broken by a foot peg during his crash in yesterday's race.

After yesterday's race, the reverse grid put Chaz Davies, Xavi Fores and Michael van der Mark on the front row, but it was Michael Ruben Rinaldi that led a four Ducati pack into the first turn, with Michael van der Mark splitting the red bikes by taking fourth place from Marco Melandri, behind Rinaldi, Chaz Davies and Xavi Fores. Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes made up the remainder of the top seven. 

On lap two, Jonathan Rea started making a mockery of the reverse grid, passing Marco Melandri while setting the fastest lap and passing van der Mark at his favourite passing place, Tosa, and passed Xavi Fores at the end of lap three. Chaz Davies, the other pace man on Friday, took the lead from Michael Ruben Rinaldi in the Variante Bassa chicane, but had to fight to retain the lead out of the chicane, only cementing the lead into turn one. Jonathan Rea caught and passed Rinaldi at Tosa and set the fastest lap in the process. 

Rea was all over the back of Davies by the chicane at the end of the lap and Davies had toast the fastest lap on lap five to maintain his lead. The leading two kept up their fraught pace ahead of Xavi Fores who had passed Rinaldi for third, and by lap six, the gap from Rea and Davies to third-placed Fores was nearly two seconds. A lap later, it was almost two and a half seconds. Fores kept third place, but Rinaldi lost fourth to the fight between Marco Melandri and Michael van der Mark and a lap later, he lost sixth to Tom Sykes who had finally figured out how to get his Kawasaki to turn properly at pace.

On lap nine, as Rinaldi dropped off the second pack, with the leading duo over three seconds clear of Fores in third, Michael van der Mark charged under Marco Melandri at Rivazza but misjudged it and took the pair of them out. Van der Mark was seen checking that Melandri was ok in the gravel, and the incident was put under investigation. 

Tom Sykes inherited fourth place and closed the gap on Fores as the leading two kept increasing the gap to third. On lap eleven, the gap stopped growing as Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea started fighting. Rea took the lead into Variante Tamburello but his entry was too hot and Davies was able to snatch the lead back on the exit. Another lap of swapping cut the gap to third from four point eight seconds to four point seven, the fight demonstrating just how much quicker than the rest of the field the leading pair were. 

On lap thirteen, Jonathan Rea got excellent drive out of Acqua Minerali and was able to charge past Davies into Variante Alta and a lap later Jonathan Rea increased the pace, setting the fastest laps on lap fourteen and fifteen, leading Davies by two seconds with four laps remaining as the gap between second and third returned to getting larger.

With just over two laps remaining, Tom Sykes made his move on Xavi Fores and took third place and the last podium spot.

After the furious scrapping earlier, the last two laps were sedate in comparison even though both Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies were the two fastest men on track, maintaining their advantage over Tom Sykes and Xavi Fores.

Jonathan Rea won decisively, equalled Carl Fogarty's 1999 record achievement of fifty nine career wins and increased his lead over second-placed Chaz Davies in the championship fight. Tom Sykes third place and Marco Melandri's DNF meant Sykes took third place off the Italian and van der Mark's DNF meant he lost fifth place to leading independent rider Xavi Fores. 

Jonathan Rea's probability of beating Fogarty's win count is very high, and all that remains for him to do is to get a title on two different marques to cement his stature as the greatest ever Superbike rider.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 4.019
3 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 9.530
4 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale R 14.159
5 81 J. TORRES MV Agusta 1000 F4 15.479
6 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 16.162
7 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale R 17.197
8 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 17.554
9 50 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 RF 22.331
10 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 30.176
11 76 L. BAZ BMW S 1000 RR 30.267
12 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 40.061
13 68 Y. HERNANDEZ Kawasaki ZX-10RR 51.973
14 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR1000RR 55.268
15 37 O. JEZEK Yamaha YZF R1 1'09.455
16 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'43.833
RET 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 11 Laps
RET 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 11 Laps
RET 5 V. LEONOV Kawasaki ZX-10RR 6
RET 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 15 Laps
RET 45 J. GAGNE Honda CBR1000RR 15 Laps
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Some great battling between Chas and Jonathan for a few laps. It’s a pity WSBK still doesn’t really have much depth, these two are a cut above all others, but at least there’s still good racing.

UK Eurosport commentators suggested Ducati and Rea maybe talking.. Cannot think of a better way of impressing Domenicali, Gigi was there working all weekend too, than the weekends full hit on the results sheet. 


Agreed Lilyvani. SBK totally lacks depth. However, what JR did yesterday certainly placed him among the top 3 ever in SBK... make that Foggy, Bayliss and Rea. Each will have his own interpretation. I look at it this way. Foggy did it with two different manufacturers. Bayliss did it with three vastly different iterations of L- twin desmo's and JR has matched them on transverse 4 Kawasaki. Therein lies SBK,S problem. As you point out, no depth pertaining to manufacturer warfare. Kawasaki have ruled the roost for near 7 years. Ducati are a usefull irritation with the 1199R and thats about it. Yamaha provide a sideshow these days on occasion. But really, SBK is a sideshow vs MGP. A decade or two back SBK ruled the roost over MGP. I don't know how Dorna will fix this. I have one suggestion though. If you do not compete in GP as a factory, you may not assist as a factory in SBK. Next year Ducati will be running L-4 1000cc bikes in SBK. I guess they will call them homologation specials like Panigalle V4R or something, numbered plaque etc. JR did a great weekend especially race two. Davis did too. Other than that, Michael van der Mark needs to pull his head in. Whether GP or SBK, the rules and penalties should apply equally. van der Mark should logically start next race from back of the grid at best. Kawasaki have capitilized hugely in SBK whilst avoiding the GP arena. I remember the days when they called SBK, the Ducati Cup. For near 7 years its been the Kawasaki Cup. Ducati's v (L-4) 1000 should make the whole class dead level. Ad-nauseum complaints about capacity, mass, twin vs 4 etc. Dorna have an opportunity to make this class the same bang for your buck as Moto3 and arguably cheaper to boot.