WSBK Laguna Seca: Guintoli eclipsed by Sykes and Laverty…
Sylvain Guintoli was hoping to score big points this weekend in the United States. Author of the pole position, the Frenchie unfortunately lost during the two races (the first yesterday, the second this evening) against his rivals in the championship. The first American round took place yesterday (Saturday) evening in three parts! Brilliant leader …
Sylvain Guintoli was hoping to score big points this weekend in the United States. Author of the pole position, the Frenchie unfortunately lost during the two races (the first yesterday, the second this evening) against his rivals in the championship.
The first American round took place yesterday (Saturday) evening in three parts! Brilliant leader of the first two, Guintoli only obtained fifth place behind his great opponents Sykes, Davies, Laverty and Melandri…
Tonight (Sunday), the second race organized at Laguna Seca went off without incident and was not interrupted. This did not succeed either for our dear n ° 50 who finished fifth again. Laverty takes the 25 points of victory in front of an impressive Giugliano, a vengeful Melandri and a solid Sykes … like a champion ?
First Superbike race
Sylvain Guintoli quickly sets off from the starting grid and maintains his lead in the first – real – turn of the circuit. The official Aprilia rider is ahead of Tom Sykes, Marco Melandri (well off from his 7th place!), Chaz Davies, Eugene Laverty, Davide Giugliano, Niccolo Canepa, Leon Haslam, Toni Elias, Danny Eslick, etc..
Our dear Frenchie leaves the knife between his teeth and completes the first round half a second faster than Sykes. The two men dominate the rest of the peloton led by the two semi-official BMWs. Jules Cluzel brawls with his two Suzuki colleagues from America Eslick and Hayden.
The "Coq Supersportif" overtook Nicky Hayden’s little brother at the start of the second lap. In front, Davies is stationed in front of his teammate Melandri whose BMW moves a lot at the very start of the race. Laverty stands in Marco’s asphalt and walks away from a 200% Italian duo: Giugliano on Aprilia and Canepa on Ducati !
Davies posted the fastest time in the race in the second loop and passed Sykes at the start of the fourth. The English responded tit for tat, passed the Welshman again but gave up several lengths to the French leader in the operation. Still struggling Melandri is passed by Laverty in the fifth round.
Canepa and "his" Ducati de Checa gradually lost contact with Giugliano who in turn aimed for Melandri’s No. 33 BMW … Cluzel and Hayden continued to fight for ninth place, one second behind Haslam, who was still eighth. Eslick falls and gives up 11th place to Toni Elias.
Guintoli gradually increased his lead over Sykes: in the 7th lap, No.50 got a lead of 1.8 seconds over No.66. No.19 (Davies) is 2.5 seconds behind our dashing Sylvain, No.58 (Laverty) is three seconds.
Marco Melandri is still under direct threat from Davide Giugliano when the red flags appear on the edges of the track: an airfence type protection in the fifth corner has been pierced by Danny Eslick’s No. 45 GSX-R and must be replaced !
Second start: there are 20 laps to go and the pilots will start in their order of passage on the finish line at the end of the 7th lap. Guintoli therefore starts from pole again alongside Sykes and Davies … and the Frenchman is once again at the head of the race. !
Marco Melandri also made a good start and took the wheel of Tom Sykes, second behind Sylvain Guintoli. Eugene Laverty is in fourth place ahead of Chaz Davies, Davide Giugliano, Toni Elias, Leon Haslam, Jules Cluzel, Niccolo Canepa, etc..
Definitely very comfortable on this track on the handlebars of his RSV4, “Guinters” nibbles a third of a second on Sykes at the end of the first loop. Marco Melandri’s BMW seems more efficient than in the first part of the race and the Italian remains in contact with his enemies n ° 50 and 66.
After bumping into Laverty for four laps, Davies took down fourth place and set his sights on his teammate # 33. In front, Guintoli signs a new lap record but Sykes concedes him only a few hundredths !
Canepa then Haslam fell in the 7th lap in turns 11 and 5: while the Italian reached the edge of the track on foot, the Englishman had to wait for the arrival of a marshal to get out of the gravel trap . A few seconds later, Roger Hayden in turn fell, a few meters from the Honda n ° 91 … The red flag was waved again. !
Third departure: Sylvain Guintoli did not take off the grid quickly enough and jostled with Tom Sykes! Chaz Davies took the opportunity to take the lead in front of his teammate Marco Melandri, Sylvain and Tom, Eugene Laverty, Davide Giugliano, Toni Elias, Jules Cluzel, Ayrton Badovini, Michel Fabrizio, Mark Aitchison, etc..
Davies tries to take the loose and has four tenths ahead of Melandri at the end of the 3rd lap. Guintoli is slightly left behind by the two BMWs and comes under pressure from Sykes. The French therefore tries to place Melandri between him and Tom at the very end of the 4th round but misses his attack and gives way to his English rival. !
Pissed off, if not disappointed by the turn of this first American round, Guinters lost a few lengths in the next two laps but managed to regain his senses in the 7th lap … just five laps from the end of the race !
Melandri tries to pass Davies on the outskirts of Corkscrew but cannot validate his attack. Sykes on the other hand does not need to do it twice to post his Kawasaki in second position! The Ninja n ° 66 fell on the Welshman n ° 19 who occupied the head since the – third! – start of the race.
Inspired by Sykes, Guintoli overtakes Melandri when braking the 11th and last corner. The Aprilia rider unfortunately widens in the lower part of the circuit and downgrades to fourth position while Sykes is more and more pressing on Davies…
There are only three laps left to go and Davies leads ahead of Sykes, Melandri, Guintoli, Laverty, Giugliano, Cluzel, Elias, Badovini and Aitchison. But Sykes took the lead in the 10th lap! Guintoli is too far to try to attack the BMW drivers and is even joined by Laverty…
Sylvain’s dream night (Superpole and two very good racing starts!) Turns into a nightmare when his teammate overtakes him at the start of the last lap. Unchained, Eugene Laverty then crunches Marco Melandri and climbs on the podium behind Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes !
Sylvain Guintoli now has 24 hours to digest this heavy defeat. Tomorrow, the Frenchie will start again from first place on the grid in front of his great rivals Sykes and Laverty, and will try to make good starts to defend his place on the track … as in the championship! Go Guinto !
Second Superbike race
Sylvain Guintoli took off very well from pole position but Eugene Laverty tore himself even better from his third place. The Irishman comes out of the second corner ahead of Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli, Niccolo Canepa, Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies, Davide Giugliano, Jules Cluzel, Roger Hayden, Leon Haslam, etc..
The most impressive driver on this first lap is undoubtedly Canepa who, at the controls of the 1199 Panigale de Checa, keeps the two semi-official BMWs in check! The Ducati no longer knows where to turn with the monocoque chassis and the Superquadro grinds like never before !
Guintoli tries to pass Sykes on the last corner. The Frenchie is placed inside but can not corner the English on the outside and is left behind in the straight line. Canepa loses the front in the second corner of the second lap and allows Melandri to enter the Top 5. Niccolo leaves in last place, his teammate Badovini is 13th.
Laverty is still in the lead but Sykes is following him. Guintoli is held a few lengths from the Kawa ‘n ° 66 but must in priority be wary of Melandri lodged in his rear wheel … Davies, on the other hand, is no longer a threat: victim of a brake problem , the Welshman returned to the pits and retired on the 3rd lap
On the track, Davide Giugliano is the fastest but the Italian’s record is broken by Jules Cluzel! Our Coq Supersportif is in 6th position, only one second behind the leader, whose identity has just changed the ZX-10R n ° 66 passed in front of Aprilia n ° 58 just before attacking the line – not really – right and try to leave him company.
Behind, the other official Aprilia – the n ° 50! – passes through two machines: the BMW n ° 33 by Melandri and the private Aprilia n ° 34 by Giugliano. "Guinters" is therefore fifth, just ahead of our compatriot Cluzel. Hayden, Elias, Haslam, and Eslick complete the Top 10 of the 6th round.
Giugliano executed an unstoppable "block pass" on Melandri at the very end of this 6th lap and climbed to third position. Davide immediately sets off to hunt Eugene who remains in contact with Tom, who is still the leader of the race. Behind, Marco and Sylvain lose ground.
Giugliano spins half a second faster than the two leaders, so that in just two laps the Althea rider finds himself in the backsplash of Aprilia factory rider n ° 58. Definitely in a hurry, the Italian passed in front of the Irishman on the last braking of the 9th lap! Tom Sykes may start to worry…
Giugliano leads his RSV4 with such brilliance that he finds the aspiration of the official ZX-10R from the 12th lap. Laverty is one second behind the leading duo, Melandri is just two seconds away, Guinto ‘is 2.8 seconds and Cluzel 4 seconds. The wildcard Hayden is doing a great job at the controls of his Gex Jordan: 7th, he is well ahead of Elias, Haslam and Fabrizio.
Posted behind Sykes, Giugliano takes a short break after making a masterful comeback. Laverty took the opportunity to get back on the two leaders while Melandri, Guintoli and Cluzel continued to ride alone. From the mid-race, the rear Pirelli of the Ninja No.66 is the first of the gang to show serious signs of fatigue…
The leading duo becomes a trio in the 15th round, then a quartet in the 16th! At the 17th crossing in front of the line, Sykes, Giugliano, Laverty and Melandri stand in the same second! Guintoli is 1.5 seconds late.
On the 18th lap, the Italian tires are starting to feel tired … The leading drivers still persist in putting on heavy gas but turn a second slower than at the start of the race! Badovini him, got off the track and plunged head first into the gravel. There will be no Panigale on arrival…
Laverty digs up the hatchet on the 20th lap while trying to hoist his Aprilia in front of Giugliano’s, without success. N ° 34 is warned: it must find an opening on Kawa ‘n ° 66 before Aprilia n ° 58 finds one on it! Melandri observes: only 5 laps to go.
One lap later, Marco’s team demanded more aggression from their driver, but it’s Laverty – again him! – who manages to slip inside Giugliano as he begins the climb to Corckscrew! Melandri tries to surprise his compatriot on the brakes at the end of the straight line but cannot win.
With two laps to go, Marco suddenly lost contact while Giugliano returned to Laverty’s asp. Superbly out of turn 4, Eugene took control of the race from Sykes. Giugliano overtakes the championship leader on braking of the 11th and last corner.
Melandri knocks Sykes out by passing him in the middle of the last lap while Laverty tries to get rid of Giugliano. The n ° 58 takes care to close all the doors, in particular the last one and crosses the finish line just in front of his best friend – in the championship anyway! – Giugliano.
Melandri joined the two Aprilia riders on the podium while Sykes finished "only" fourth in this second round of Laguna Seca, less than a second ahead of poleman Sylvain Guintoli. Comparatively, the 6th place of Jules Cluzel is much more beautiful !
In the championship, Tom Sykes consolidates his first place by totaling 361 points, 23 more than his runner-up … Laverty who has one point more than his teammate Guintoli! Melandri retains fourth place but is 42 lengths behind the leader.
Next meeting, not to be missed under any circumstances: as of next week, on the Magny-Cours circuit where Sylvain, Jules and Loris – to be confirmed … – will ride in front of their public. Stay connected !
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