The results of the WorldSBK and WSSP became irrelevant on Sunday
It was a black Sunday for WorldSKB after questionable bankruptcies and mishaps by the FIM stewards, which will go down as another negative example in the history of motorcycle racing. At the first event with spectators along the route, there were two scandalous incidents in which the FIM officials played a very bad role. First, the WorldSSP 600 winner Steven Odendaal was cheated of winning the second race. From a sporting point of view, it was an absolute joke that the stewards gave the South African fighting for victory a long-lap penalty shortly before the end. At such a moment, when a driver is fighting for the lead in the finish, he does not have the leisure to look at the displays on his pitboard or outside. Therefore, the new rule in itself is utter nonsense. But even those who like the new regulations cannot understand what happened afterwards in the next race.
The winner of the second WorldSBK race with the same offense as Odendaal – but he went unpunished
As thousands upon thousands of spectators could see live, in lap three the eventual winner in turn 12 committed exactly the same error as the South African. It was Toprak Razgatlioglu driving directly in front of Johnny Rea, who was clearly in the green and therefore forbidden area with both wheels. Because the front camera of the Northern Irishman’s Kawasaki was switched on during the live broadcast at that moment, all attentive observers saw it immediately. It doesn’t matter whether the FIM stewards were eating a sandwich at the moment or were in the toilet. The fact remains, however, that they failed to punish the Turk afterwards and thus cheated Odendaal with his sanction. This means that the officials of the unfortunate FIM are responsible for a veritable sporting scandal, for which they are actually accused of manipulation and punished. Unfortunately, however, there is no institution that can punish their offenses and bring them to justice.
The many losers on Sunday
First, Chaz Davies has to be mentioned at this point, who crashed out of his own fault in the first two races and then fell victim to a technical defect in his Ducati Panigale V4R on Sunday afternoon. Ironically, at the only home race of his GoEleven team without points, it was a disaster for the Welshman and his crew. Although he finished fourth three times in a row, his former team-mate Scott Redding is also one of the losers. Instead of making up points for the World Championship, he lost another seven and fell even further behind Toprak as the first pursuer of the reigning World Champion. BMW was also extremely weak at Misano and above all they agreed with their skeptics, who had criticized the late start of the test early on. In the last race on Sunday, the sport was the biggest loser in the first place and also all the drivers who crossed the finish line behind Toprak. Below is the result with the comment on the 2nd race.
Jonathan Rea – the flawless one
In contrast to Ducati and Yamaha without a previous test in Misano, it was clear from the start that the task could not be easy for the world championship leader and his team. Using the example of BMW and Honda, it was easy to see how well Rea, Lowes and their crews did their job in relation to the other two. The reigning world champion kept a clean slate despite problems on the Adriatic coast and remains the only driver who was on the podium in all 9 races. In addition, none of his competitors has had four wins like him. For this reason, he is still leading the World Championships ahead of Razgatlioglu, whose 25 points in the last race in Misano can only be attributed to a mistake by the FIM commissioners. With Donington, however, there is now an event in which two years ago the Northern Irishman crossed the finish line three times in a row in front of the Turk.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): „In race two I rode the ‘C’ rear tire, the harder option I used at Estoril. Due to the increase in temperature on the tire shoulder, I lacked a little stability. Then I sacrificed a bit of edge grip. I knew at the beginning that I might sacrifice a bit of cornering as well, but as the race progressed I felt like I could still hold my braking power, which worked too. I wanted to be up there and fight, but Toprak had a great rhythm. Even though I fought like hell, I lost a little. I can’t even really remember the short race that morning! I was at the front for three or four laps, but after the warning of a front-end slide on Saturday, I just had to accept my position. Congratulations to Toprak and Michael, they had great races. I went all-in in the second race and had a little trouble in between, but was able to come back and at least get another podium.“
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team): „This weekend, in the warmer conditions, we struggled to really get the feeling we wanted. I felt a little better in the Superpole race, so we made a change for race two, with the balance of the bike a little further up front. I thought things would get better after this morning’s experience. But it looks like after six or seven laps I really struggled to keep cornering speed when the track temperature climbed over 50 °C. It was a shame because after 12 or 13 laps I could see Garrett Gerloff catching up with me and I had no chance of fighting with him. Misano is a special place in these hot, sunny conditions. But now I feel much better prepared for other tracks at high because we have more experience on the Kawasaki.“
The intermediate result in the world championship after 13 rounds
With the best start to the season in 4 years, Jonathan Rea is still the man to beat. As we pointed out before the Misano races, Scott Redding just seems to have problems asserting himself against Toprak and team-mate Rinaldi, which he has not been able to do four times in a row. The Ducati works driver is now 45 points behind the world championship leader, and he is already 25 points short of Toprak and 2nd place, which is why the pressure on the Englishman is now considerable. This also applies to the BMW works drivers van der Mark and Sykes, whose performance has so far been worlds below the expectations previously raised by them and their management. Likewise, Chaz Davies and Andrea Locatelli, with the latter again showing a slight upward trend, which he has to confirm in the next rounds. The next two laps of Donington and Assen will tell whether the train has already left for the two private BMW drivers Laverty and Folger. Without an upward trend, the two threatened to be expelled from the WSBK.
The “Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli”
Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© WorldSBK).