WSBK – WSBK Italy: victory for Cluzel at Monza, Cocorico! –

WSBK Italy: Cluzel victory at Monza, Cocorico !

WSBK - WSBK Italy: victory for Cluzel at Monza, Cocorico! -

The fourth round of the World Superport took place on a wet track! Threatened by the Englishman Sam Lowes throughout the event, our “ Supersportif ” cockerel Jules Cluzel did not fail at the controls of his CBR600RR…

The fourth round of the World Superport took place on a wet track! Threatened by the Englishman Sam Lowes throughout the event, our “ Supersportif ” cockerel Jules Cluzel did not fail at the controls of his CBR600RR…

The Superbike category was only allowed a half-race this Sunday at Monza. It is won by Tom Sykes, but Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa remain at the top of the championship…

First Superbike race

Tom Sykes and his ZX-10R take the lead from the first few meters, followed by Sylvain Guintoli and his 1198, Marco Melandri and his S1000RR, John Hopkins and his GSX-R, Carlos Checa and his 1198, Jonathan Rea and his CBR1000RR, Eugene Laverty and Max Biaggi on their RSV4s, Haslam and Fabrizio on their S1000RRs. Maxime Berger and his Ducati n ° 121 are in 13th position.

After a first lap lodged in the asphalt of Kawa ‘n ° 66, Guintoli manages to brake at Sykes under the crowd’s cheers! But the English Ninja slips under the Ducati in the long Biassono curve. Behind, Laverty and Biaggi’s Aprilia leads the peloton made up of Haslam, Fabrizio, Rea, Checa and Badovini.

From the second lap, Melandri was caught accelerating and lost control of his machine. He fell in the same place as Mark Aitchison during the warm-up lap … This is to say if the grip is precarious. The BMW n ° 33 starts in a series of rollovers: Marco’s mechanics will have to work to allow him to take the start of the second round !

On the third lap, Sykes was half a second ahead of Guintoli, and a second and a half over the Aprilia. But far behind, Salom, Gadea and Hopkins fall into the parabolic which commands the straight line. The rain has made its appearance and the red flag is hoisted. Drivers are requested to join the pits…

Max Biaggi, whose RSV4 has just broken down, is towed by Carlos Checa and his Ducati n ° 7. If the image of these two great champions traveling together appeals to spectators, it will be much less pleasant to the great chefs of the Piaggio group. !

New start : while Aprilia n ° 3 remains desperately locked in its box, its competitors – including the BMW n ° 33 refurbished! – line up again on the grid respecting the order established in Superpole. However, a few drivers seem very worried about the race conditions…

A discussion begins between the pilots and those in charge of the race: the decision is taken to delay the start again. The sky is very threatening, but it is not raining, so the track is only half wet! Given the lack of endurance of the rain Pirelli, the pilots are reluctant to take the track.

A handful of them take place in two cars for a reconnaissance lap. The first portions of the circuit are passable but at the same time, a violent downpour falls on the last portion of the circuit.

For obvious security reasons, the race is finally canceled. This does not go without relieving Max Biaggi, who narrowly escapes the bubble this afternoon !

Supersport Race

A few minutes before the start of the race, even before the warm-up lap, Kenan Sofuoglu already found himself on the ground: too much pressure on the front brake, the Turk fell into the entrance of the second Ascari chicane during the formation lap !

Fortunately, the n ° 54 Kawasaki can join its little comrades on the grid and takes 2nd place, behind the n ° 11 Honda of Sam Lowes, and ahead of Sheridan Morais and Fabien Foret. The race promises…

Broc Parkes appeared from the second row on the grid and quickly took control of the race. But the Australian rolled too hard and fell on the first lap on the start of heavy braking. Sam Lowes inherits first place but is threatened by Jules Cluzel !

Confident at the end of the tests, our national n ° 16 planned last night to ride cautiously on a wet track … His pace nevertheless allows him to stay in contact with the new leader, and to distance the rest of the peloton led by Kenan Sofuoglu !

Fabien Foret meanwhile fights in 7th position and is more than ten seconds behind Lowes after the 4th lap. In this same loop, Sheridan Morais makes a mistake: the South African gets up, limping strongly … For him the race is over.

Not at all comfortable in these tricky conditions, our Ninja n ° 99 is drowning in the ranking: Foret appears in 13th place in the 5th lap. His teammate Romain Lanusse is two places in front of him and is fighting against the experienced Vittorio Iannuzzo.

As more and more competitors fall, the No.11 and No.16 Honda continue their duel at the top. On the 6th lap, Lowes almost lost the front – on right braking like an "i"! – and prefers to shoot straight into the Ascari chicane.

Our dear Jules Cluzel therefore finds himself alone at the head of the race while Sam takes the track just in front of Imre Toth then third on the handlebars of his CBR600RR prepared by the Lorini team..

Jules overtakes the first latecomer while there are still seven laps to go! The rooster and his CBR are more than three seconds ahead of Lowes, more than seven over Toth and more than eleven over Sofuoglu battling local Cruciani.

Romain Lanusse is fighting for 8th place against two other Italians: Iannuzzo and Roccoli. Fabien Foret seems to have completely let go and is sailing salt in 14th position, 40 seconds behind his compatriot Cluzel.

Despite significant gaps, the end of the race was not lacking in suspense! Indeed, Lowes manages to recover a full second to our "super sports" cock in the space of three rounds only. The Englishman continues his effort and is almost a second behind the Frenchman with two laps to go !

Jules no longer has a choice: he must take more risk to secure his first victory in the World Supersport! On the outskirts of the Roggia chicane, Lowes finds himself in Jules’s wheel. The French remain focused but the English are even more determined.

The two pilots tackle the last braking shoulder to shoulder: Sam delays as much as possible, turns in the lead but comes out of the parabolic in 2nd position! Cluzel only has to wring out – literally as well as figuratively – his right handle to project himself under the checkered flag.

As Jules celebrates his first victory – and his first podium! – in World Supersport, Sam and Kenan fully appreciate the many points they collect during this event. Fabien only finished a distant 12th place while Romain had to retire on the last lap…

Sofuoglu therefore retains the first place in the provisional with 61 points and has 10 points ahead of Lowes who is eagerly awaiting "his" race next week at Donington Park. Foret falls from first – tied with Kenan – to third place (49 pts), joined by Cluzel (48).


Second Superbike race

Hoping in vain that the lack of rain would be enough to dry out the track, the organizers decided to delay the start of the second World Superbike’s only race. But the track remains wet in places, so that the pilots set off for two reconnaissance laps. The race will therefore have 17 laps instead of the 18 planned…

The red lights come on and the Superbike Aces – most of them on slicks – are finally getting ready to set off on the Italian circuit … But the start has been postponed again! Dark clouds are gathering above the circuit: the tension is at its height, the public is whistling, the pilots are impatient … and us with !

The teams are reinvesting the grid, connecting motorcycles to laptops, cleaning the bubbles and visors for the umpteenth time – watch out for scratches anyway! -, the pilots hydrate themselves before leaving for a new warm-up lap.

Unfortunately, after only a few bends, the engine of the Ducati n ° 50 stops dead. Then it’s the turn of BMW n ° 84 to make its own. Sylvain Guintoli and Michel Fabrizio are deprived of their only race of the day !

departure… Tom Sykes starts alone ahead of Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty, Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Jakub Smrz and Chaz Davies.

The Kawasaki prints a hellish pace and offers a phenomenal lead of almost three seconds on the first pass down the straight. Biaggi, very incisive, takes second place. Checa and his Ducati can do nothing against the 4-cylinder and let Melandri, Laverty, Rea and Haslam pass !

While Tom was driving alone in the lead and building a comfortable lead, Eugene Laverty put on the show and took 2nd place. Biaggi is immediately attacked and passed by Haslam who is also showing himself to be particularly swift at the start of the race. !

In the 4th lap, Melandri manages to get the best of Biaggi: the Roman Emperor finds himself in 5th place, just ahead of Rea and Checa. Two more Ducatis follow a little further: n ° 34 from Giugliano and n ° 96 from Smrz.

Haslam settles in 2nd position in the 5th loop. His compatriot in the No. 66 Kawasaki is unfortunately already very far: Sykes is more than seven seconds behind the peloton. Rea joins his Honda in the captivating fight between the two Aprilia and the two official BMWs.

This merry mob benefits Tom, whose lead exceeds nine seconds just before halfway! It also benefits Carlos who manages to take the aspiration of his opponents in the straights. Suddenly, as the battle rages on, Haslam raises his hand.

These pursuers imitate him in turn: they all saw the red flags waved by the marshals. And that’s how the only Superbike race of the day ends…

Tom Sykes is therefore declared the winner of this eight-lap sprint ahead of Leon Haslam and Eugene Laverty. At the foot of this 100% British podium are the two public favorites Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi. The Top 6 is logically completed by another 4-cylinder: the Fireblade n ° 65 of Jonathan Rea.

Two-thirds of the race not having been completed, the drivers only collect half of the points expected, which gives rise to rather original scores in the provisional standings: Biaggi in particular, is still in the lead with 97.5 points. !

Carlos Checa credited with 7th place today (4.5 additional points therefore!) Is second with a total of 95.5 points. Tom Sykes remains in 3rd place in the championship (91.5) far ahead of Melandri (72.5), Rea (70), Haslam (68), Guintoli (66) and Laverty (64).

As for the manufacturers, Ducati is finally doing very well in an event that is supposed to cost it dearly: the Bologna manufacturer has 140.5 points at the end of the first four races (and 6.5 races!) Of the year. Aprilia has 108 points, Kawasaki 97.5, BMW 96, Honda 74 and Suzuki 20.5.

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