WSBK Nürburgring: Sykes returns to Guintoli
If Davies has just won the second German round ahead of Laverty and Melandri, it is Sykes who is leaving Germany as the big winner. Victorious this afternoon, the Kawasaki rider is ahead of Guintoli by a small point in the provisional classification. The first 2013 World Superbike race at the Nürburgring was cut short by engine failure and several crashes.
If Davies has just won the second German round ahead of Laverty and Melandri, it is Sykes who is leaving Germany as the big winner. Victorious this afternoon, the Kawasaki rider is ahead of Guintoli by a small point in the provisional classification.
The first race of the 2013 World Superbike at the Nürburgring was cut short by an engine failure and several crashes. This had then benefited Tom Sykes and his Kawasaki who narrowly won against the two BMWs of Melandri and Davies, on the lookout – and even on the attack! – throughout the race.
The second round, also interrupted by a fall and the raising of the red flags, this time smiled at Chaz Davies. The Welshman wins ahead of the Irish Laverty and the Italian Melandri. Sykes finishes under the threat of – but ahead! – Guintoli. The French give up the reins of the championship for a small point…
In the World Supersport, the duel between Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu came to an end this afternoon in Germany. Winner by KO last month at Silverstone, the Turkish driver bit the dust alone. A boulevard opens for the Englishman and his Yamaha n ° 11.
First Superbike race
The French clan is very disappointed: instead of lining up at the top of the second row on the grid, Loris Baz is in the hospital! During the morning warm-up, our Bazooka fell heavily on his back and must undergo a medical check-up. His fourth place is therefore occupied by Jonathan Rea…
Departure : Melandri, Sykes and Davies take off like cannonballs, leaving poleman Ayrton Badovini far behind! Tom quickly takes the reins of the race. The n ° 66 Kawasaki precedes the BMW n ° 33 and 19. Follow Jonathan Rea, Sylvain Guintoli, Ayrton Badovini, Leon Haslam, Leon Camier, Davide Giugliano, Eugene Laverty and Jules Cluzel (11th, yes).
Sykes tries to escape on the first lap but Melandri ultimately yields only a handful of lengths. Max Neukirchner does not complete his first lap! Fortunately for the German public, the wildcard Reitenberger remains on track.
Badovini lost many places at the start of the second loop and found himself in 11th position, just ahead of his teammate Carlos Checa. In front, Sykes beats the lap record held by Biaggi, but his three pursuers also turn very quickly. Guintoli on the other hand fails to keep pace.
Our favorite Frenchie is even picked up by Haslam and Laverty. No.58, in fact, climbed to sixth place just before starting the 3rd lap … But the Irishman asked too much of his front tire and ended up falling in "lowside". Eugene starts again in 18th and last position then rejoins his stand.
This 3rd round saw Rea gradually let go of the leading men. Sykes signs a new record but the BMWs hang on again and again and stay posted at half a second! Honda # 65 is almost two seconds behind the leader.
Guintoli is almost four seconds away and is now threatened by Giugliano: the Italian and his private RSV4 are turning half a second faster on the lap than Sylvain and his factory machine! Fabrizio’s Aprilia is in 10th place ahead of the two Ducati Alstares. The second official Aprilia and Laverty come out of the pits, looking for some points…
Davide Giugliano is not the only one to get back on Guinters: Leon Camier and his Suzuki find themselves in the aspiration of Aprilia n ° 34 and drag in their wake the Honda n ° 91 of Leon Haslam! This chase group is still led by Guintoli in the 7th lap and is five seconds behind the leader..
On the 8th lap, Tom Sykes recorded a new benchmark time on the German track: 1 ‘54.594, or three tenths faster than Melandri and one tenth faster than Davies, still lodged in his teammate’s wheel at n ° 33. Rea and his Fireblade have the same tempo as the BMWs, but roll a second behind.
Six seconds behind the leader, Guintoli manages to dominate Giugliano and Camier. Haslam for his part, returned the gas and is two seconds behind this second group. Fabrizio is relegated 10 seconds behind Sykes, Cluzel is 12 seconds behind and closes the Top 10.
The 11th lap is launched and with it, the second half of the race. Sykes continues to complete his laps impeccably while Melandri ends up cracking in the 13th lap: the Hedgehog of Ravenna widens at the exit of a turn and gives up his second position to Davies !
The Welshman decides to instantly raise the tone and sets off to attack the Kawasaki installed in the lead since the first lap! Behind, Melandri quickly regains his senses and does not lose contact with the two British leaders. Johnny Rea stays on the lookout.
In the second group (a good five seconds from the first), Camier took 6th place because of Giugliano’s deficit, unable to find an opening on Guintoli. Suzuki n ° 2 will have less qualms about jostling the official Aprilia n ° 50 ?
On the 14th lap, Melandri overwhelmed Davies near the chicane at the end of the course and recovered "his" second place. Rea takes advantage of this weapon pass to get closer! Further on, Guintoli is tracked by Camier while Giugliano seems to let go. Fabrizio and Haslam fight for eighth place, Cluzel is alone in 10th position.
With three laps to go, Sykes’ small lead suddenly melted as Melandri whipped his S1000RR even harder. But the ZX-10R regains a little air in the second portion of the circuit: the end of the race promises to be disputed !
Precisely, Melandri attacks and passes Sykes at the very start of the 19th lap! Marco plunges his helmet under his bubble and widens a small gap at the start of the course. Davies in turn threatens Kawa ‘n ° 66 when Jonathan Rea suddenly loses the front of his Honda !
The Fireblade and its driver are only stopped by the inflatable protections … A few seconds later, Camier and his Suzuki in turn burst into the gravel, straight towards the outside wall of the circuit. Yellow flags are replaced by red flags !
The race classification is therefore edited according to the running order of the previous lap: Tom Sykes and his Kawasaki therefore postpone this first Superbike race at the Nürburgring. The podium is completed by the two BMWs of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies.
Sylvain Guintoli inherits fourth place from poor Jonathan Rea, collateral victim of the engine failure of Federico Sandi’s No. 23 Kawasaki … Guintoli therefore remains at the top of the championship with a total of 275 points, one more than Sykes and 34 more than Melandri, new world n ° 3.
Kenan Sofuoglu pulled out the fastest and took the lead ahead of Fabien Foret, Vladimir Leonov, Sam Lowes, Lorenzo Zanetti, Ronan Quarmby, Roberto Tamburini, Riccardo Russo, Chris Iddon and Kev Coghlan. Florian Marino snatched 10th place in Iddon in the first round! Lowes moved up to third before tackling the long descent back.
Sofuoglu completed the first lap just ahead of his colleague Foret and his great rival in the Lowes championship. Zanetti does his best to stay in contact with the leading trio and leads a very agitated peloton! At the forefront, Lowes takes second place in the chicane.
The English rider and his Yamaha n ° 11 took the lead in the following loop thanks to a lap faster than half a second than his enemy n ° 54! Sam does not relax his effort and gradually gains ground on Kenan, still followed by Fabien Foret.
At the same time, the South African Ronan Quarmby managed to give company to his comrades in the hunting party! Unfortunately in the 6th lap, the CBR n ° 17 suffered a technical problem and forced its driver to get out in the gravel and to retire.
Vladimir Leonov inherits fourth place but still has to endure constant pressure from Riccardo Russo! The Italian launches an attack at the end of the 7th round but the Russian reacts promptly. Lorenzo Zanetti is content to observe.
In front, Sam Lowes then Kenan Sofuoglu beat the lap record set by Cal Crutchlow in 2009 (!). The two strong men of the championship are slowly separating from our national Fabien Foret and his Kawasaki n ° 99. Florian Marino is in eighth place and is a few lengths behind Kevin Coghlan.
Pushed to the limit by Sam Lowes, Kenan Sofuoglu stumbles at very high speed and slides face down on the asphalt of the Nürburgring! Fortunately, the world champion gets up without a scratch and even runs to recover his Kawasaki.
But the hopes of the Turkish driver to score a single point are too slim: there are only seven laps left to go and about twenty competitors to overtake to reach the Top 15 … The Kawa driver prefers to join his box.
Sam Lowes has more than five seconds ahead of his new runner-up, Fabien Foret. Vladimir Leonov climbs on the podium and rolls two seconds in front of Lorenzo Zanetti followed more closely by Russo and Coghlan. Tamburini and Van den Mark fight for 7th place, while Marino has to bow to Iddon and sees Kennedy pounce on him…
In the 15th lap, Yamaha n ° 65 pulls up to the side: Leonov will not be rewarded for his good race with a podium! The third step is therefore offered to Zanetti … or Coghlan, who got rid of Russo ?! Further behind, Florian Marino’s rear tire shows extreme signs of fatigue and prevents the French n ° 19 from defending his chances.
Alone in the lead, Sam Lowes rolls out almost quietly. Fabien Foret is six seconds behind the English leader and six seconds ahead of the new third driver on the track: Kev Coghlan who knocks Lorenzo Zanetti at the end of the race.
The n ° 11 therefore pocketed 25 additional points and increased his lead in the provisional Supersport standings by the same amount: Lowes now has a 54 point lead over Sofuoglu. Foret takes advantage of his second place to close the gap on his Turkish colleague to 10 small points…
Second Superbike race
In the absence of Baz (two vertebrae broken in the warm-up, according to the latest news) and Jonathan Rea (femur broken in the first run), it’s Leon Haslam (who is still recovering from a double fracture in his left leg. .) which climbs to 4th position on the grid. Leon Camier is also absent…
Departure : Ayrton Badovini started better than in the first heat but was still ahead of Marco Melandri, Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Sylvain Guintoli at the exit of the first corner. Eugene Laverty, Davide Giugliano and Leon Haslam pass in front of Ducati n ° 86 at the halfway point. Max Neukirchner and Jules Cluzel complete the Top 10 at the end of the 1st round.
Laverty takes fourth place in the first – big – braking of the 2nd lap. The Irishman has the firm intention of erasing his blunder in the first heat from memories and immediately joins the leading group. Guintoli dominates the small hunting group made up of Giugliano and Haslam. Badovini, Neukirchner and Cluzel are already at several lengths.
"Yudjine" and his Aprilia n ° 58 try to reproduce their successful attack one lap later on Tom and his Kawasaki n ° 66. Jostled, Sykes remains third. Marco still occupies the lead of the race ahead of Chaz and Tom, finally overtaken by Eugene on the 3rd lap, still under the same braking at the end of the pits.
The leading trio set a pace that Sykes seems to be struggling to keep. Half a second behind his main rival in the championship, "Guinters" gradually picks up speed and takes Giugliano with him. Haslam, on the other hand, is no longer there !
Chaz Davies went on the attack on the 7th lap, in the chicane at the end of the layout, and took the lead from Marco Melandri. Laverty, Sykes and Guintoli follow in the same second and Giugliano is only a few lengths away !
More than six seconds from the outposts, Ayrton Badovini occupies a good seventh place but he is chased by Fabrizio and his private RSV4 … Jules Cluzel is eyeing the ninth place of Max Neukirchner, who is racing at home !
Laverty doubles Melandri in turn, at the very beginning of the 10th loop. The Irishman is now aiming for the backsplash of the Welshman Davies, but their inseparable Italian comrade remains on the lookout. Sykes, Guintoli and Giugliano are less dissipated than the leaders, do their laps neatly and stay half a second apart.
The courageous Leon Haslam overtook Vittorio Iannuzzo and found himself in 15th position. The Honda rider could not hope for better because Matej Smrz, his closest rival, has a 20 second lead and loses "only" two seconds on the laps against the Fireblade n ° 91.
Six laps from the end, Laverty tries to put the brakes on Davies but the latter, practically overtaken, manages to regain the advantage when setting the angle! The Welshman has a clear advantage over his opponents when it comes to braking.
In the following loop, it’s Marco Melandri’s turn to unearth the hatchet: Laverty then Davies are both surprised by the famous n ° 33! But the n ° 19 and 58 do not let go, especially not the rear wheel of the leading BMW !
Perfectly negotiating the quick break to the right in the 16th lap, Chaz Davies manages to regain the lead of the race on the next braking, that of the chicane! Laverty had to do it twice, in the 17th then the 18th lap, but also ended up overtaking Melandri at the end of the straight line. !
Behind this furious trio, Sykes is still there, less than a second from Melandri. Guintoli is in the aspiration of the Kawasaki but cannot – or does not want? – not take a chance. Our championship leader watches for the slightest mistake of his runner-up, follows him and keeps the suspense going….
Unfortunately, the red flags are waved again! Matej Smrz and his Yamaha n ° 96 have just executed a masterful highside and the presence of oil on the track – already the cause of two nasty crashes in the first round – oblige the marshals to interrupt the race two laps before its end.
Chaz Davies therefore won this second German round – like last year! – in front of Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri. The Italian is the most disappointed of all: it is the second time today that a victory has slipped between the gloves of this specialist in "unbridled" limit switches….
Sykes finished fourth just ahead of Sylvain Guintoli. The English Ninja takes the opportunity to jump to the top of the provisional ranking, and leads by a small point against our Frenchie: 287 to 286! Melandri goes back to 30 length of the new leader, Laverty to 40 and Davies to 66.
Next meeting for the World Superbike: in two weeks in Turkey on the Istanbul circuit … Stay tuned !
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