WSBK Imola: Sykes, new leader of the championship
Tom Sykes signed his second double of the season this Sunday in Italy. Bringing his number of 2013 victories to five, the Kawasaki rider legitimately takes control of the championship. Guintoli remains in contact … As of midday, Tom Sykes had obtained an impeccable victory.
Tom Sykes signed his second double of the season this Sunday in Italy. Bringing his number of 2013 victories to five, the Kawasaki rider legitimately takes control of the championship. Guintoli stays in touch…
By midday, Tom Sykes had obtained an impeccable victory. The English Ninja easily beat two Aprilia riders on the podium: the impressive Giugliano and the official Laverty. Guintoli for his part had been unlucky: victim of an engine failure, he had lost big points in the championship.
Our Guinters nevertheless made up for it in the second round, accompanying Sykes – again! – and Rea on the second podium of the day. For our n ° 50, this is the tenth podium this season. Sylvain therefore remains in the race for the 2013 WSBK title. !
In Supersport, Sam Lowes has not been as dominant as his compatriot Tom Sykes in Superbike. Starting from pole, the Yamaha rider had to fight hard to secure second place in a race contested in two stages. By winning this seventh round, Sofuoglu grabs five points overall…
First Superbike race
Jonathan Rea started like a cannonball and took the lead ahead of Davide Giugliano, Sylvain Guintoli, Tom Sykes, Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri, Leon Camier, Chaz Davies, Loris Baz, Leon Haslam and Ayrton Badovini. But like a ball – short – Rea ignites and goes off the track !
The Northern Irishman quickly returned to the track but lost around ten positions. Giugliano inherits the race lead, closely followed by Guintoli. The Frenchie must above all manage his opponents placed behind him: Sykes, Laverty and Melandri, his three great rivals in the championship !
Jonathan Rea returned to the Top 10 in the second lap, overtaking Badovini and his “unbridled” 1199 Panigale, but not yet fast enough. In the next loop, the # 65 Honda rider overtakes his teammate Leon Haslam and lodges in the suction of the # 76 Kawasaki from Baz.
In front, Giugliano fails to dump Guintoli. The n ° 50 remains less than a second from the infernal and Italian "duo": Davide and his RSV4! In the 3rd lap, Sylvain gets closer to Davide but pulls Sykes in his wake.
Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri and Leon Camier on their respective Aprilia, BMW and Suzuki try to keep up the pace as Davies is caught by a raging Rea. Despite all his efforts, Camier lost contact in the 4th loop and could not counter Davies’ comeback..
Sykes passed Guintoli on the 5th lap and very quickly climbed into the rear wheel of Aprilia # 34. Tom tries an attack in the first chicane Traguardo in the 6th lap but prefers to delay.
A few moments later, Sylvain Guintoli appears behind Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri … Then he is – too – easily overtaken by Camier. Our Frenchie is in fact the victim of his first technical problem of the season: an engine failure which forced him to abandon !
However his enemy n ° 66 chooses exactly this moment to seize the command. Giugliano, however, does not admit defeat and clings firmly to the backsplash of the Ninja. Behind the leading duo, Laverty is still ahead of Melandri, while Johnny continues to set fire to seek an opening on Davies. Leon Camier, placed just in front of Chaz and his BMW, does not suspect a thing … and it is probably better for him !
Jonathan finally manages to jump to sixth place at the start of the 8th lap. Rid of the bulky Davies, Rea easily overtook Camier on the next lap. The bubbling n ° 65 now targets Melandri, placed two and a half seconds in front of him…
Giugliano doesn‘t let go either, especially not his right grip! The shortcomings of Aprilia n ° 34 at the end of the curve perfectly illustrate the total commitment shown by the Italian in front of his public. The Tifosis thus console themselves for the new Ducati underperformance: Badovini is only 10th, Checa and Neukirchner 12th and 13th behind Haslam.
The disappointment is also great for fans of Noriyuki Haga, invited by the BMW Grillini team to this Italian event. The famous Japanese fights against his teammate not to appear in the last place! Hard.
Rea and Fabrizio are not the only ones to ensure the atmosphere on the track: Fabrizio is also fighting like hell and reaches seventh place on the 12th lap. The n ° 84 rolls 10 seconds behind the two inseparable leaders: Sykes and Giugliano.
On his official Aprilia, Eugene Laverty is still riding in third position, but is lagging behind: seven seconds behind the leading duo! The Irishman is also closely followed by Melandri … and Rea goes up !
Michel Fabrizio wins a new place in the 14th lap by surprising Leon Camier in a big curve to the right. But the fastest on the track is Tom Sykes: the Kawa rider has the fastest lap in the race! The English Ninja has engaged the overdrive and turns a second faster than Giugliano.
Jules Cluzel, decidedly not at ease on the "Enzo e Dino Ferrari" track, made a mistake on the 15th lap, coming out of the second straight from Rivazza. The French rookie plunges into the gravel and has to give up. Fortunately, the bike did not seem too damaged and the pilot got up completely unharmed. The n ° 16 will be able to "fight" again in the second round…
As Sykes irresistibly increases his lead over Giugliano – four seconds into the 16th loop! -, Laverty still cannot get rid of Melandri and Rea. Honda seems more stable than BMW but Johnny can’t find a way to overtake Marco.
The n ° 65 grew impatient and went twice to install his CBR100RR in front of the S1000RR n ° 33. At the start of the penultimate loop, Rea is lodged in the asphalt of the official Aprilia … While Sykes is leading the way and Giugliano secures a superb second place, Rea is aiming for the third step of the podium..
Unfortunately, leaving Rivazza, the Irishman lost the front end of his machine and ended up in the gravel trap. The Honda rider gets back in the saddle but joins the pits a lap before his little comrades, sheepish … His teammate, Leon Haslam, occupies the 10th place, behind Baz and in front of Checa.
Tom Sykes quietly completes his final lap and wins another resounding victory. Giugliano delighted the Italian public by hoisting his private Aprilia on the second step, in front of Eugene Laverty’s RSV4 Factory. Marco Melandri and his "Italian" BMW fail one blast from the podium.
The three opponents of Guintoli score very big points during this first round and go up on the unfortunate leader of the championship. Sylvain can however thank Davide Giugliano for having beaten Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri…
Sam Lowes got off to a very good start and took the first sequence of Traguardo then Tamburello in the lead. The poleman is followed by Kenan Sofuoglu, Riccardo Russo, Vladimir Leonov, Luca Scassa, Lorenzo Zanetti, Michael van den Mark, Andrea Antonelli, Kev Coghlan and Raffaele de Rosa. Fabien Foret is 12th, Florian Marino 14th and Valentin Debise 28th out of … 36 !
Sofuoglu and his ZX-6R n ° 54 go on the attack in the entrance of Rivazza, overtake Sam and his R6 n ° 11 and try to widen the gap in the 2nd loop. Behind Lowes, Russo, Scassa and Leonov apply themselves so as not to lose contact.
Behind them, Zanetti gets tangled up in the 3rd lap, draws straight in a chicane, quickly finds the tarmac but gives in this stealthy exit of the track his sixth place to his young teammate Michael van den Mark.
As the two strong men in the category move away, the tone rises between the two Italians Russo and Scassa. Leonov is a little wiser and is passed by a Van den Mark faster and faster! Zanetti and Coghlan immediately put pressure on Leonov.
Separated by a small half second, Sofuoglu and Lowes took the opportunity to widen the gap on their dissipated pursuers. The Kawa ‘n ° 54 and the Yam’ n ° 11 already have a five second lead in the middle of the 6th lap.
Suddenly, Michael Van den Mark almost falls at the start of the curve, Sam Lowes rolls in slow motion and another driver finds himself flat on his stomach! The red flag is hoisted and the marshals are busy removing a trace of oil in the large curve that commands Rivazza’s double right…
Second start: Kenan Sofuoglu, who was leading at the time of the interruption, starts from pole and keeps the advantage at the end of the line – not really – right. Sam Lowes started from second place, points to 7th place behind Sofuoglu, Scassa, Leonov, Russo, Van Den Mark and Foret.
Scassa climbed into second position at the start of the 2nd lap (out of 14 in total for this second part) and chased the Turkish driver. Lowes lost two positions and found himself in ninth place in the 3rd loop. But the Englishman runs as fast as Kenan, half a second faster than his direct opponents.
Leonov took advantage of a small blunder by Scassa during a go-around to recover second position, two seconds behind Sofuoglu. Van den Mark rolls alone in fourth position while Zanetti has to counter attacks from Russo, himself threatened by Coghlan.
Sam Lowes easily overtakes Foret at the end of the 5th lap but is still only in eighth position while Sofuoglu continues the lap records, alone in the lead. Sam gains a new place a few turns further and inspires Foret, who in turn overtakes Russo. The festival continues at the very end of the 5th round: Lowes chips Coghlan his 7th place.
It only takes one turn to the Yamaha n ° 11 to find itself in the backrest of the Kawasaki n ° 9 of Scassa. Sam overtakes Luca on the 7th lap and enters the Top 5 by beating the lap record set earlier by Sofuoglu.
The halfway mark was crossed and Sofuoglu maintained his lead of more than two seconds over Vladimir Leonov and more than six over Zanetti and Van de Mark. Lowes gets rid of the Honda Ten Kate in less than two (laps) and climbs on the podium just before starting the 9th lap.
A superb fight then opposes two Italians for sixth place: Antonelli and Scassa do not hesitate to rub their fairings and to open the throttle – far too much – in the exits of chicanes! Enthusiastic by the show unfolding before his eyes, Foret loupe in Acque Minerale…
Another equally fierce battle opposes no less than six drivers for ninth place: Marino, Baldolini, Morais, De Rosa, Kennedy and Rolfo continue to bicker. And Foret comes to join this joyous mess !
About thirty seconds ahead, Sofuoglu flies to a second victory this season. Lowes scrambles to catch up with his teammate Leonov on the last lap and overtakes him in the final chicane! The Englishman therefore yields only five points to the three-time Turkish champion this afternoon … Sam has come a long way !
Second Superbike race
Tom Sykes had a very good start which allowed him to immediately get ahead of his little comrades: the English Ninja was ahead of Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea, Eugene Laverty, Sylvain Guintoli, Marco Melandri, Leon Camier, Chaz Davies, Loris Baz and Leon Haslam. Jules Cluzel and 11th but loses two places in the first loop.
Sykes and Giugliano set a hell of a pace from the first loop, Rea tries to follow as best they can as the two Aprilias lose contact, followed by the two official BMWs. In front, Giugliano is also recovered as in the first heat and does not let go of Sykes of a Pirelli !
Unfortunately, Davide loses the front in Tosa’s left and cannot restart. He receives a standing ovation from his audience, but that is not enough to console the No. 34 who was aiming for a new podium, or even a first World Superbike victory. !
Jonathan Rea thus finds himself in second position, two and a half seconds behind the unbeatable (?) Tom Sykes. Eugene Laverty is lurking two seconds behind Rea but has to endure the double pressure of Guintoli and Melandri.
The Irishman ended up losing the front of his Aprilia at the exit of Rivazza and gave up third place to his teammate Sylvain Guintoli! Behind Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies reaches the Top 5. Leon Camier is sixth, but Loris Baz gets back on Suzuki n ° 2…
Jules Cluzel had a race that was both more fun and satisfying than the first: the n ° 16 was in the midst of a fight against Badovini for the gain of tenth place, only a few lengths behind Haslam ninth. Carlos Checa occupies a disappointing twelfth place on his Panigale, Neukirchner is 15th and last, behind Haga.
Leading the race from the first few meters, metronome Sykes chained perfect laps and increased his lead over Rea. Guintoli, Melandri and Davies drive a little slower than the two men in front of them. Are they saving their strength and their tires for a bleeding final ?
Fortunately for the transalpine public, our two French pilots Baz and Cluzel spice up a race which lacks animation at the halfway point. Kawasaki n ° 76 and Suzuki n ° 16 riders put pressure on their respective "Leon": Camier for Loris and Haslam for Jules !
Baz in particular showed immense courage by triggering an unstoppable attack in the descent which earned him, the day before in Superpole, the most beautiful fall of his career! Perfectly camped on his Pirelli this time, his Kawasaki n ° 76 melts under the Suzuki n ° 2 of "Kamir" and seizes the sixth place in the 13th lap !
Sylvain Guintoli in turn delighted the French clan by posting his fastest lap in the race. The n ° 50 takes three tenths of a second from Rea placed three seconds in front of him … Could Guinters go for the second place of the Honda rider, and thus erase the disappointment of the first round? ?
Marco Melandri is unable to do so: abandoned by our favorite No.50, No.33 has to keep an eye out for his sign indicating Davies’ return. On the 15th lap, the Welshman is less than a second behind the Italian. Attenzione !
Behind these two official BMWs, Leon Camier returns to Loris Baz! The Suzuki rider has obviously not said his last word, just like Haslam and Badovini, moreover, who ride in an ultra tight formation behind Jules Cluzel. The ninth position is far from being acquired for our Coq Supersportif !
With four laps to go, Sykes has a comfortable five-second lead over Rea, and nearly double over Guintoli. Only a technical problem could now dislodge his three men from the podium. Fortunately, the suspense remains when it comes to fourth place !
Chaz Davies indeed watches for the slightest gap of Marco Melandri, who knows full well that his young teammate is in his wheel! And it is two laps from the checkered flag that the n ° 19 manages to surprise his teammate on the outskirts of the rapid Villeneuve sequence..
In the final loop, while Sykes, Rea and Guintoli unroll – almost – quietly towards the second podium of Imola 2013, the Hedgehog of Ravenna however manages to recover "his" fourth place and keeps it until under the checkered flag !
Excellent news for Loris Baz fans: the "Green Giant" wins his duel against Camier and takes a good sixth place. Jules Cluzel, on the contrary, lost his fight and finished 11th behind his two opponents Fabrizio and Haslam. But the rookie is frankly not unworthy.
For the first time this season, Tom Sykes is at the top of the provisional standings with a total of 235 points. Betrayed by his Aprilia in the first round, Sylvain Guintoli made up for it in the second and is only six points behind the new leader.
Loris Baz retains his sixth place overall but loses a little ground against Davies (5th) and Rea (6th). Finally, Jules Cluzel gave up 10th place to his teammate Leon Camier, for three small points. Next points distribution: August 4 on the Moscow circuit in Russia. Stay connected !
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