For the first time since Portimao 2011, Yamaha was able to celebrate two riders standings on the WorldSBK podium. In an action packed Race 2 at Magny Cours, Chaz Davies claimed his seventh race win of the season, ahead of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.
For Yamaha, this was the culmination of their efforts throughout the last 12 months – to turn their WorldSBK program into a front-running effort. While there is still clearly work to be done to transform the YZF-R1 into a race-winner, it has now been able to claim five podiums in 2017.
“This weekend has been a bit strange, with the weather conditions yesterday and today with the ‘psychological’ rain,” said Lowes. “I think that today shows the progress of the Yamaha.
“We have been chasing the Kawasaki and Ducati, and whenever we are thrown with different situations, we are there to take advantage of it. I’m really happy to share the podium with Michael as well.”
Racing with fractured ribs, Lowes was certainly having to dig deep to stand on the rostrum, and after finishing fifth in Race 1, it was a solid French round. With two rounds remaining, he holds a slender advantage over his teammate in the battle for fifth in the championship standings.
“It’s our second podium this year and I am so happy,” said Van der Mark. “Yesterday we had some bad luck, but today I got a good start and we fought our way to the front.”
“It was hard because of the drops of rain, and when I got to the front and found my pace, we were able to run up at the front. However, I made a small mistake and in the end just didn’t have the pace to fight with Alex.”
While Yamaha was toasting their success, MV Augusta were once again left cursing their luck.
Leon Camier had looked set to finally break the Italian manufacturer’s WorldSBK duck and deliver their first ever podium. The Englishman was sidelined with a technical issue though, and left to rue what might have been.
Photo: Yamaha Racing
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