Imola, land of the Doubles

Thursday, 10 May 2018 08:32 GMT

Will this weekend’s venue give us the second double-win of 2018?

Is grabbing two wins in one same Round a harder achievement in the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship? Be it because of the closeness of the competition or for some other reason, it seems to be the case.

There has only been one Double in the four Rounds that have taken place up to now, the one achieved by Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) in the opening weekend of the season, last February at Philip Island. This stat clashes with the results seen at the start of the 2017 season, where we witnessed three Doubles in just four races. By the end of that campaign, someone had won both races in one weekend a total of eight times: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) managed it 6 times, while the remaining two were won by Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati).

In fact, Ducati’s Welshman got his first double of 2018 at the circuit which welcomes the next stop of the WorldSBK calendar, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola. The Italian track has always been a venue that is apparently welcoming to Doubles: in 10 out of the 14 Rounds held here, the winner of both races that weekend was the same rider. More recently, seven out of the last eight Rounds at Imola have had the same result: Carlos Checa (2010 and 2012) did it riding a Ducati, Tom Sykes (2013) and Jonathan Rea (2014 and 2015) won on their Kawasaki, and finally Chaz Davies (2016 and 2017) has dominated the last two visits, again on the Borgo Panigale machine.

With these precedents in mind, the upcoming date at Imola will help outline the trends of the 2018 championship: if Davies can repeat his triumphs – or Melandri can replicate his early-season form – Ducati’s ‘home track’ dominance will continue. Should that winner’s cycle break, however, it would be the confirmation that, effectively, weekend Doubles have become a much harder achievement this year. In any case, and, speculation aside, it will still remain one of the most awaited and popular dates of the year.

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