WSBK Silverstone: Rea and Baz back on top !
As in 2012, the WSBK event in Great Britain was turned upside down by the rain. And like last year, two French people took the opportunity to shine: Loris Baz and Jules Cluzel, 1st and 2nd in the second race at Silverstone. A fine rain had already upset the forecasts this midday at Silverstone during the first…
As in 2012, the WSBK event in Great Britain was turned upside down by the rain. And like last year, two French people took the opportunity to shine: Loris Baz and Jules Cluzel, 1st and 2nd in the second race at Silverstone.
A fine rain had already upset the forecasts this afternoon at Silverstone during the first round of WSBK. The drizzle had then benefited the local riders: Jonathan Rea and Honda won their first race of the season, ahead of Laverty (Aprilia) and Camier (Suzuki).
The second Superbike round was also marked – even cut short! – by precipitation. This time, Loris Baz (Kawasaki) was back on the top step of the podium, a year after his first victory in the category. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) finished in a superb second place and Laverty secured a second consecutive podium.
In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes played cat and mouse throughout the race. By dint of searching, the two pilots ended up finding each other: jostled by the Turk on the last lap, the Englishman fell but all the same finished "his" race in second position, in front of a peloton dominated by Fabien Foret !
First Superbike race
Like yesterday in the Superpole, a few drops of rain disrupt the progress of the Superbike program. The pilots, who were about to complete their warm-up lap, must wait ten minutes before making a new reconnaissance lap and choose their tires … As a result, the race is reduced by one lap, i.e. 17 to total.
The start is finally given on a perfectly dry track. Eugene Laverty started ahead of Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa, but Loris Baz jumped to third place in the first series. Chaz Davies follows in 5th position, ahead of Tom Sykes, Jules Cluzel, Davide Giugliano, Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam.
From the first lap, Sykes made his way into the leading group: the n ° 66 was in 4th place. Melandri is not to be outdone: starting from 15th place, the Italian completed the first lap in 9th position, behind Guintoli and ahead of Camier and Haslam.
As Laverty tries to pull away in the 2nd lap, Sykes virtually climbs to the podium at the expense of his teammate Baz. Cluzel also loses a place against Davies but hangs on the lead car, chased by Checa.
Rea is unwilling to let Laverty go and even goes for the outside of Aprilia in a quick break. But the two official Kawasaki took advantage of a straight line to overtake the Honda rider on the third lap. Davies and his BMW in turn overtake the CBR n ° 65 which suddenly slows down.
Tom Sykes easily takes the reins of the race in the 4th loop. Unfortunately, our national "Bazooka" couldn’t get past Laverty as quickly and lost contact with his teammate. Behind Loris – who gets a little carried away! – roll Davies, Rea, Cluzel, Guintoli – the fastest on the track! -, Checa, Camier and Melandri.
The ten leaders are only separated by three seconds on the 6th lap … when the white flag – which means that the drivers can return to the pits to put on rain tires if they wish – is hoisted by the marshals !
Sylvain Guintoli, who had just passed Jules Cluzel, suddenly slows down: the track is indeed wet. The whole race changed face: slower by a handful of seconds than in the dry, the drivers did not relax their efforts. Loris Baz on the contrary takes the opportunity to turn in the lead, Cluzel provides the show while Laverty and Guintoli temporize.
A single knee no longer touches the surface of the circuit, but the leaders nevertheless continue to turn on their slick tires. In the 8th lap, Rea and Baz isolated themselves in the lead. Guintoli is in third place, ahead of Cluzel, Sykes, Laverty, Davies, Camier, Melandri and Haslam … but this ranking changes with each lap !
Only Rea and Baz firmly retain their 1st and 2nd place. Four seconds behind, Guintoli and Cluzel are fighting for the podium but Haslam and Camier follow them closely. Sykes and Laverty bicker for 7th place eight seconds behind the leaders, and two seconds ahead of Badovini, Davies and Melandri…
At the end of the 11th round, Haslam lets go and makes short work of Guintoli and Cluzel! Camier takes the wheel of his compatriot and relegates the Frenchies to 5th and 6th places. But there are still six laps to go … and a lot of water in the clouds above the Silverstone circuit !
The No. 65 Fireblade posted in the lead was more than five seconds ahead of the Ninja No. 76 in the 13th lap. Baz, on the contrary, loses ground on his pursuers: four laps from the end, our good "Green Giant" is only one second from the Gex n ° 2 de Camier..
Passed by his teammate, Cluzel and his own Suzuki sa continue their excellent race and aim for 4th place, but the enemy brothers of the official Aprilia team, Laverty and Guintoli, are just behind him and end up hoisting their RSV4 n ° 58 and 50 in front of the GSX-R n ° 16 !
Two laps from the end, the race is racing again: Baz suddenly loses his "magic touch" and is overwhelmed by Camier, Guintoli and Laverty. The Irishman is the most comfortable at this very end of the race and has authority over his two English and French rivals..
Despite a last counterattack from Leon Camier, Eugene Laverty manages to grab second place. Our three compatriots Guintoli, Baz and Cluzel can only observe the sumptuous ballet of the two Britons, who ideally complete the 100% British podium dominated by Jonathan Rea !
Local rider Chris Iddon got off to a very good start but Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes took the business in glove in the first series. Florian Marino takes fourth place ahead of Kev Coghlan, Michael van den Mark, Ricardo Russo, Fabien Foret, Raffaele de rosa and Ronan Quarmby.
Despite the waved white flag – watch out for the rain! -, the two strong men of the championship quickly isolated themselves and let Iddon and Marino fight for third place. Coghlan, Van den Mark, Foret, Russo, De Rosa and Kennedy form the Top 10 of the 2nd round and delight the public with their countless slides and attacks.
Descending half a second below his own record (in the race), Kenan Sofuoglu warns Sam Lowes that he will have to whip his R6 to get the ZX-6R n ° 54 … The Englishman replies impeccably in the following loop, narrowly missing the barrier of 2 ’07 !
The Yamaha n ° 11 even led the race on the 4th lap but reduced its pace by a small second. Three seconds behind the leading duo, Florian Marino maintains his Kawa ‘in 3rd position … but seven drivers are on his trail !
Russo is the first to blow up the Marino lock. Van den Mark, eager to take the wheel of the Italian, plants at the end of the return straight a huge braking … and plants in the ZX-6R of Marino his front fender! This one explodes in shock and the two pilots leave the track, fortunately without any injuries..
Kev Coghlan and his Kawasaki therefore inherited fourth place and are always followed by MV Agusta from Chris Iddon and Kawa ‘from Fabien Foret. Florian Marino reappears in the 7th lap in ninth position, just ahead of the second F3 675 driven by Roberto Rolfo.
The halfway mark is crossed and Sam Lowes lets Kenan Sofuoglu pass in front of him! However, the Turk loses the advantage by getting up in turn to remove a "tear off" from his visor. The two leaders look for each other and lower their pace by a couple of seconds, which allows Russo to come back within five seconds of first place..
A bit overexcited, the Italian just made a mistake at the end of the 10th lap: he lost the front – rolling on a drop of rain? – and trace straight through the gravel. Coghlan therefore virtually reaches the podium, but must be wary of Foret who is in his backsplash !
Kenan Sofuoglu accelerates in the 11th lap and proves to Sam Lowes that his ZX-6R notably has an excellent top speed … The Englishman seems caught off guard and gives up a small second to his opponent in the following loop. Seven seconds behind the infernal duo, Foret climbs onto the podium !
Starting from 12th position on the grid, Roby Rolfo had a discreet but devilishly efficient race: the n ° 47 is in sixth place three laps from the end, just two seconds behind his teammate Iddon who started from the first line ! The Italian sets his fastest time in the race, just four tenths behind Lowes’ new record !
The n ° 11 precisely, tries to find an opening on the n ° 54 but does not succeed in it in the penultimate lap. Curled up behind his bubble, Sam is on the lookout for the Turk’s slightest mistake, to no avail. The Englishman therefore has to resolve to delay one of his last braking, goes slightly off the line and finds himself a little too outside to attack the next turn..
Better placed than Sam, Kenan does not hesitate for a moment and dives under the Yamaha. Lowes falls at low speed but does not let go of his clutch and can almost set off on his tracks! Foret and Coghlan who are fighting for third place do not even have time to get back on him…
Kenan Sofuoglu tumbles alone to the top step of the podium and grabs another five points from Sam Lowes in the championship. Finally, Fabien Foret secures a new podium, the 43rd of his career in World Supersport !
Kev Coghlan and Chris Iddon accompany the French up to the checkered flag. Roby Rolfo is so close to the two Britons that one could almost consider that MV Agusta hoisted his second F3 in the Top 5 too! Florian Marino finished in 8th place, six seconds ahead of his n ° 60 enemy, Michel van den Mark.
Second Superbike race
Jonathan Rea reacts at the quarter turn but Eugene Laverty catches up on the straight line and turns in front in front of Loris Baz. The "Green Giant" took the controls for a few turns but finally handed them over to Laverty. Follow Tom Sykes, Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Sylvain Guintoli, Carlos Checa, Jules Cluzel and Marco Melandri.
Rea tangles the brushes at the end of the first round and loses a pair of places. Baz on the contrary is at the top of his art and takes over the reins of the race! A little less incisive at the start of the race, Sykes was threatened by Davies in the 2nd lap.
The fastest man in this second loop is Sylvain Guintoli: fifth, "Guinters" is keen to join the lead car and leads with him Cluzel, Rea, Camier, Melandri and Checa! Haslam is a few lengths from the Top 10.
Sykes attacked in the 3rd lap and easily separated from Laverty, whom he left to explain to Davies. The n ° 19 does not take long to overtake n ° 58 and goes to chase the two Kawasaki installed in the lead. Meanwhile, the other BMW Goldbet driven by Marco Melandri performs a straight ahead and rejoins the track in 14th place.
Behind the two Kawasaki and the BMW are the two official Aprilia and the two Suzuki of the English team Fixi Crescent. The n ° 65 Honda, victorious in the first round, is relegated to 8th position ahead of the first Ducati: the n ° 7 of Carlos Checa.
The white flag makes its appearance in the 7th lap, but that does not seem to disturb Baz who distances himself from his teammate. More cautious, Sykes is again under pressure Chaz Davies. Guintoli, who leads the provisional classification, is overtaken by Camier then by Cluzel … The two Suzuki have nothing to lose are now aiming for Laverty !
Chaz Davies finally passed the # 66 Kawasaki on the 8th lap. Leon Camier, much more aggressive, passed Tom but immediately lost a few places. The presence of drops on the visors seems to cool some pilots, but ignites others !
This is particularly the case for Davies who takes control of the race in the following loop, much to Baz’s surprise. Even more surprisingly, Cluzel and Camier post their GSX-R in 3rd and 4th places, leaving the two Aprilia n ° 50 and 58 as well as the Kawa ‘n ° 66 on the spot. !
In front, Baz and Davies take turns leading the race, facilitating the recovery of the two Suzuki riders. Discreetly, Guintoli moves away from his teammate Laverty and his main championship opponent Sykes. Rea remains in eighth position, three seconds ahead of Checa and six ahead of Melandri.
Heckled by the Suzuki, Baz left the podium in the 11th lap. Leon Camier is the fastest at this point in the race and takes the lead from leader Davies. Cluzel fits in the wheel of Gex n ° 2 and Baz does not admit defeat: n ° 76 is just behind his – our! – compatriot.
Guintoli and Laverty also remain on the lookout, a few lengths from the four leading men. They even go “to the assault” and make the junction at the end of the 12th lap, while Cluzel takes the lead of the race! The six men engage in a fierce battle for victory, with six laps still to go !
Cluzel takes a small lead in the 14th lap but Baz also manages to slip away ("to take French leave" say the English!). As Laverty picks up the pace and threatens Davies, the No.19 BMW’s engine greatly simplifies the task of the No.58 Aprilia by giving up the ghost.
Loris Baz took the lead in the 15th lap, ahead of Jules Cluzel and Eugene Laverty. A second behind the leading trio, Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Camier are devoured by Jonathan Rea who takes advantage of a second – first ?! – breath.
Jules Cluzel unfortunately loses the rear in a fast right but his Suzuki has the delicate care of sliding down the side instead of going highside. Haslam does not have the same luck with his Fireblade which makes him fall heavily on his already bad leg…
This second fall prompted the race management to issue the red flags without further delay. Loris Baz therefore won the second WSBK race of his career, one year after his first victory obtained under the same conditions, on the same circuit..
The classification of the race being established according to the order of passage of the pilots in the last complete lap – and Jules Cluzel having been able to reach the paddock by his own means -, the n ° 16 signs for his part his first podium in World Superbike. !
Third in this second round, Eugene Laverty is now having a good operation in the championship. The Irishman scores big points this weekend and takes third place in the provisional standings, totaling 226 points, against 221 for Melandri, 249 for Sykes and 262 for Guintoli.
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