WSBK Istanbul: Be careful, Laverty is worth two !
Eugene Laverty dominated on Sunday the very first World Superbike event to take place on Turkish soil. The Aprilia rider takes the opportunity to get back on Sykes and Guintoli, separated by eight points in the general classification. This morning, the – very – strong men of the Superbike World Championship had already dominated
Eugene Laverty dominated on Sunday the very first World Superbike event to take place on Turkish soil. The Aprilia rider takes the opportunity to get back on Sykes and Guintoli, separated by eight points in the general classification.
This morning, the very strong men of the Superbike World Championship had already dominated the first Turkish round. Faster at the end of the course, Eugene Laverty and his Aprilia won ahead of Melandri, Sykes and Guintoli.
Starting from pole position, Kenan Sofuoglu had to fight hard against Sam Lowes to win the first Supersport race organized at home, in Turkey. The Englishman takes second place for his birthday and approaches the title…
First Superbike race
Sylvain Guintoli missed his start a little, Tom Sykes started alone ahead of Eugene Laverty, Sylvain, Davide Giugliano, Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies, Toni Elias, Jules Cluzel, Leon Haslam and Mark Aitchison. Elias widens and is passed by Cluzel, who then overtakes Davies and climbs to 6th place before the end of the 1st loop !
The Welshman and his BMW n ° 19 pass again in front of Cluzel in the first big left of the circuit. His teammate Melandri is also very incisive at the very start of the race and melts under Giugliano’s Aprilia, now aiming for Guintoli’s official RSV4 posted a good second ahead..
Sylvain is following his Irish teammate, but Tom and his Kawasaki are a hint faster. At the end of the 2nd round, the Englishman was half a second ahead of Eugene and a second over Sylvain, who was struggling to keep pace with his two opponents..
Behind, Toni Elias makes the show: the Spanish star gets rid of Davide Giugliano in the slow section of the circuit – the last -, then overtakes Jules Cluzel just as easily in the fast section – the first – at the start of the 3rd lap! Toni finds himself in 6th place, in the wheel of Chaz Davies, and one second behind Marco Melandri.
The n ° 33 precisely, can not close the gap which separates him from his three rivals in the championship: Marco is almost two seconds from Guintoli and three seconds from Sykes, threatened by Laverty! In the 5th lap, Sylvain moves away from Marco again … and gets closer to Tom and Eugene !
Meanwhile, Elias takes the fifth position from Davies. Jules Cluzel and his GSX-R n ° 16 are just behind the BMW n ° 19 and Aprilia n ° 24 …. Giugliano, Haslam and Fabrizio complete the Top 10. Injured in the ankle, Badovini – only Ducati rider to ride today! – occupies a courageous 13th place.
In front, Eugene Laverty releases the pressure on Tom Sykes while Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri put on heavy gas: Aprilia n ° 50 and BMW n ° 33 turn a few tenths faster than Kawa n ° 66 and Aprilia n Head ° 58.
At the start of the 9th lap, “Guinters” climbed into the aspiration of his teammate “Yudjine”. Marco is a good second from the two official Aprilia but regularly grabs ground. Tom Sykes then executed a solid ninth lap and enjoyed about ten length when crossing the finish line..
Behind the Top 4 on the track – "World Top 4" too! -, four men continue to provide a superb show! Giugliano overtook Davies then Cluzel in the 10th lap. Davide finds himself more than a second from Elias, who taunts him at the controls of the other private Aprilia. Ducati is much less at the party: Badovini must give up on mechanical failure…
At the head of the race, Sykes still dominates but Laverty hangs on. Guintoli suddenly loses contact and must surely hear Melandri whip his S1000RR … It is in the 12th lap that Laverty manages to take control of the race, posting his turbulent RSV4 in front of the official Ninja – the only one, Baz has not had the green light from doctors in Turkey…
Marco Melandri overtook Sylvain Guintoli in the final pif-paf on the 14th lap. The Frenchman cannot retort and instead tries to stay in the wheel of the Italian who rushes towards the second step of the podium occupied by a certain Tom Sykes … Eugene Laverty is the fastest on the track and has a small second d advance on Tom Sykes.
Melandri tries an attack at the end of the back straight but has to widen and let Sykes pass. Braking on the pit straight this time, the Italian holds the rope tight and takes second place! Sykes and Guintoli will have to fight for third place in the race … and for the first in the championship !
With two laps to go, Laverty is almost two seconds ahead of Melandri. The Italian gradually drops Sykes and Guintoli. The Frenchman tries a first attack at the end of the 17th lap: the n ° 50 brakes later than his British cousin, but too much to reach the rope and lets Sykes pass.
The last lap is launched and "Guinters" does not let go. Squeezing the right grip a little too much, especially at the end of the quick break (11th corner), the Aprilia rider cannot overtake the Kawasaki in the following stretch … Sylvain is "defeated", but gave everything.
Laverty therefore won this first race ahead of Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes. Sylvain Guintoli finished in a good fourth place but gave up three points to his rival in the provisional. Giugliano and Elias tumble fairings against fairings in the final corner and the Spaniard narrowly misses to complete his first race with all four irons in the air !
Fabrizio and Haslam give us such a "sharp" final … In the meantime, Jules Cluzel and Chaz Davies have seized the seventh and eighth positions…
Kenan Sofuoglu takes the lead in the race ahead of his two front row comrades, Sam Lowes and Christian Iddon. Follow Michael Van den Mark, Florian Marino, Kevin Coghlan, Fabien Foret, Raffaele De Rosa, Roberto Tamburini and Vladimir Leonov.
From the first round, Sam threatens Kenan and manages to get ahead of the Turk in front of an audience fully committed to his cause! The fight between the leader of the 2013 championship – which can be crowned today! – and the triple champion is launched…
Before the last section, Sofuoglu momentarily takes the reins of the race and is carried by his fans in the straight line, Lowes on his heels. Van den Mark takes third place by overtaking "supermotard" Chris Iddon on his MV Agusta.
Van den Mark continues his momentum in the 2nd lap by overtaking Sofuoglu! Florian Marino in turn hoists his ZX-6R in front of the F3 675 n ° 3. In front, Sam Lowes posted the fastest lap in the race and moved away from Kenan Sofuoglu who turned a second slower, still behind Van den Mark.
Kenan recovers second place in the 4th lap and now rides as fast as his great rival Sam. The latter almost got off the track in the 5th loop: the Yamaha rider does everything to isolate himself at the front of the race and dodge the fight against the Turk….
Sofuoglu, however, leaves no choice to the young Englishman! Signing a new lap record in the race, the n ° 54 Kawasaki climbs into the wheel of the Yamaha and begins the 6th lap under the backsplash of the Yamaha … and under the "hurray" of his audience.
Warned of the return of his opponent – on the track as in the championship – Lowes increased the tempo again and found a second ahead of Sofuoglu at the halfway point. The two men are far ahead of their pursuers: the lonely Van den Mark and the merry group of Marino, Coghlan, Iddon, Zanetti, Foret and Tamburini !
With six laps to go, Lowes maintains a one-second lead, which varies depending on the portion of the track. Faster in the winding, Kenan is six tenths behind Lowes on the next lap … The Turk conscientiously applied his braking and grappled again two tenths on the 12th lap !
Seven seconds behind the leaders, Michael Van den Mark quietly winds up to the podium while the fight for fourth place still opposes five drivers: Zanetti on his Honda Pata, Rolfo on his MV Agusta Parkingo, Tamburini on his Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini and Coghlan on his Kawasaki Intermoto. Our two French people, Marino then Foret, unfortunately feel bitumen…
Kenan puts a huge brake on the return straight and passes Lowes! Cunning, Sam comes out very hard from the final pif-paf, hoists his R6 to the level of the ZX-6R in the pit straight and takes back control of the race by diving into the first corner of the 14th lap !
The two men engage in an incredible fight, literally neck and neck, while there are still three laps to go! Englishman fights for first world title, Turk for first home win…
Fearsome on the brakes, Kenan protects himself from any attack from Sam! The No.11 is desperately looking for an opening, on the inside, on the outside, under braking, under acceleration, but the No.54 always finds a way to dominate his opponent.
At the end of a last breathtaking lap, Kenan Sofuoglu manages to win the first race at home in Turkey, ahead of Sam Lowes by four hundredths on the finish line … The two men fall in arms each other during the lap of honor then in the parc fermé: é-mou-vant !
Sam Lowes will therefore have to wait three more weeks (as a reminder, the Supersports will not go to Laguna Seca on September 29) before wearing a world crown which, according to Sofuoglu Himself, should not escape him this year. !
The n ° 11 has indeed 49 points ahead of the n ° 54 in the provisional standings (205 points against 156) while there are only two races left in Supersport and 50 points to be gleaned at most. Fabien Foret is third but the rookie Van den Mark is getting closer … Distrust Fabien !
Second Superbike race
Poleman Tom Sykes retained the advantage when the red lights went out and was ahead of Sylvain Guintoli, who had a better start this time. The n ° 66 and 50 are ahead of Davide Giugliano, Toni Elias, Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies, Jules Cluzel, Federico Sandi and Leon Haslam.
Sykes attacked very hard from the first corners while Guintoli warmed up a little more slowly but remained in front of a relatively wise peloton. Tom completed the first lap in the lead, a good half-second ahead of his great rival Sylvain…
The order is maintained until Eugene snatches third place from his colleague Davide Giugliano in the middle of the second round. The four Aprilia on the grid are behind the official Kawasaki … and no Ducati is taking part in this second race! Mamma mia.
In the 3rd loop, it’s Elias’ turn to pass Giugliano. But the poor Italian has no time to breathe: the two official BMWs of Melandri and Davies are just behind him, followed by the – only – Suzuki of Jules Cluzel and the Honda of Haslam.
Laverty went on the attack again in the same 3rd lap and stabbed his teammate – our compatriot – Guintoli for his second place on the podium. "Yudjine" obviously wants to join Tom quickly. Sylvain’s fans hope that he will take the wheel of Laverty: their favorite No.50 must win at all costs to regain the lead of the championship !
Elias on the handlebars of his new RSV4 Factory tries to stay in contact with the two “really” factory RSV4s but at the same time has to beware of an old acquaintance: Melandri! The two former MotoGP cronies fight for fourth place, or more ?
Seven laps are completed and Tom Sykes is still leading. Eugene Laverty is just over a second from the Green man, and the same gap separates him from Sylvain Guintoli. Two seconds later, Marco Melandri and Toni Elias are turning a little slower … for the moment ?
Our second representative – in the absence of Loris Baz – is Jules Cluzel: the Suzuki rider circulates about ten seconds from the leader and must defend his eighth place from the attacks of Leon Haslam. Michel Fabrizio, replacing Jonathan Rea, completes the Top 10.
Rather discreet from the start of the race, Chaz Davies made a big effort to join Melandri and Elias shortly after halfway. With eight laps to go, the Welsh driver is even less than a second behind the Aprilia n ° 24…
Six seconds ahead, Tom Sykes gives his hand slightly and is caught by Eugene Laverty! Sylvain Guintoli unfortunately, knows the same drop in pace and leaves only "Youdjine" join Tom at the forefront. At the end of the 11th lap, Sykes leads Laverty by half a second, and Guintoli by 2.7 sec..
Exactly as in the first heat, Laverty takes the reins of the race in the 12th loop. The Irishman shifts at the entrance of the final pif-paf and tumbles into the lead on the pit straight! Posted many lengths away, Sylvain sees Sykes losing five points in the championship: phew !
Four seconds behind # 50, Melandri and his # 33 S1000RR got rid of an Elias still chased by Chaz Davies. Jules Cluzel continues to be chased by Leon Haslam but holds on. The last three laps will be long for our "Coq Supersportif" !
Far ahead, Eugene Laverty is racing towards his sixth victory and his first double of the season. Tom Sykes is only one second behind Aprilia 58 but is unable to attack the "Elf de Noale" in any way. The fastest on the track is Guintoli but the difference in pace with Sykes is not enough to claim the second step of the podium.
Fortunately for "Guinters", Melandri struggles to tame his Italian-German bomb – aligned by BMW Italia – at the end of the race and turns a second slower than Sylvain. Marco’s lead over teammate Chazie is enough to secure him fourth place.
Eugene Laverty wins this second Turkish round and Tom Sykes takes another podium. This time, n ° 58 and n ° 66 are joined by n ° 50, Sylvain Guintoli. Marco Melandri has to settle for fourth place while "rookie" Toni Elias finishes fifth.
Thanks to his 50 points, Laverty gains a place in the championship: the Irishman doubles Melandri and gets closer to Sykes and Guintoli. Sylvain, who arrived with a small point behind Tom, leaves Istanbul eight lengths behind the Englishman…
But there are still three WSBK events: the next one is scheduled on the superb track of Laguna Seca (California, USA), in just two weeks: stay tuned !
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