WSBK United States (2): Sykes wins the final sprint
Interrupted twice, the second round of the World Superbike at Laguna Seca was played over seven short laps which did not lack twists! Tom Sykes ended up winning, an eighth time this season. Second Superbike race Declared unfit by the circuit’s medical team, Chaz Davies did not take part in this second …
Interrupted twice, the second round of the World Superbike at Laguna Seca was played over seven short laps which did not lack twists! Tom Sykes ended up winning, an eighth time this season.
Second Superbike race
Declared unfit by the circuit’s medical team, Chaz Davies did not take part in this second round. The n ° 7 Ducati therefore cedes the 3rd place on the grid to his teammate Giugliano, and all the drivers placed behind rise by one place….
Departure : Aprilia n ° 50 reared up and Sylvain Guintoli saw Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri leave in front of him. Our dear Frenchie is then forced to give up his third place to Laverty in the third corner. Davide Giugliano is then in front of Loris Baz, Jonathan Rea Leon Haslam, Alex Lowes, etc..
The end of the first lap was particularly hectic, but Sykes remained in the lead and started the second ahead of Guintoli. Laverty and Melandri are literally elbowing the line – not at all – straight from the California circuit! The five leading men left the peloton in the second lap: Elias found himself just one second behind Giugliano.
In front, Guintoli pretends to shift on some braking but cannot attack Sykes. Melandri is just behind the Frenchman, Laverty and Giugliano follow a few meters away, and Elias is pushing ahead! So much so that the RSV4 n ° 24 separates from the Ninja n ° 76 (Baz) and the Fireblade (Rea)! Barrier is 12th (1st Evo!), Guarnoni 18th.
"Guinters" attacked the "Number One" in turn 5 on the 5th lap, but got passed under acceleration by Sykes … and by Melandri! Stung to the quick, the English Ninja signs his best race time in the 6th loop and widens a gap of several lengths on the two official Aprilia.
Just behind this hellish trio, Laverty must whip his Suzuki to prevent any attack from Giugliano. Elias is almost back on this duo. Rea and Baz are more than five seconds behind Sykes, ahead of Haslam and Lowes. Barrier is 11th, just ahead of his great rival Salom…
The 9th lap sees Kawasaki n ° 1 being joined by Aprilia n ° 33 and n ° 50. The latter seem more stable than the Ninja, on the brakes and when entering a curve in particular. Two seconds away, Elias steals Giugliano his fifth place.
The red flag is waved: Lowes has just hit Baz while entering Corkscrew! The Suzuki rookie finishes his race in the gravel pit while "Bazooka" miraculously stays on his bike and can reach his box … The n ° 76 will be able to participate in the final sprint of seven laps !
Second start: the order on the grid is established according to the order of passage during the last complete lap. Melandri got off to an excellent start from his second place on the grid and took the second turn in the lead ahead of Sykes, Guintoli, Rea, Elias, Laverty, Baz, Haslam, Giugliano, and Iddon. Barrier is 13th, Guarnoni 15th.
Melandri starts to move away from his little fellows in the 2nd lap while Guintoli finds no opening on Sykes. But the Kawa ‘joins Aprilia n ° 33 in the climb to Corkscrew, accompanied by Aprilia n ° 50.
"Johnny" Rea remains in contact with the three leading men. Behind Fireblade n ° 65, Davide Giugliano, Toni Elias and Eugene Laverty battle for fifth place … But the red flag is once again hoisted by the marshals !
Sylvain Barrier and his S1000RR are lying on the track, just in front of the pits. The motorcycle and its rider slipped for several tens of meters at the exit of the last turn before hitting the opposite wall. "Syl’20" is taken care of by the medical team, who does not rush into the ambulance.
A new departure procedure is launched. The third part of the race will also include seven laps and the "second" starting grid will be kept … The race management immediately warns that the n ° 52 is conscious and alert. Phew !
Third departure: Melandri starts again like a ball and leads in the first corner Tom Sykes, Toni Elias, Sylvain Guintoli, Jonathan Rea, Davide Giugliano, Eugene Laverty, Loris Baz, Leon Haslam, Chris Iddon. Jérémy Guarnoni is 15th.
Guintoli snatched third place from Elias braking turn 5 and immediately caught up with Sykes. The n ° 50 shifts at the entrance of the last corner but cannot brake the world champion. Giugliano in turn climbs ahead of Elias in the 2nd lap.
So in the lead, Melandri loses the front in the last corner: Sykes inherits the first place! The Italian gets back on his official Aprilia n ° 33 which spits white smoke only a few tens of meters.
Guintoli is a few lengths from Sykes, and the Frenchie is under the threat of Giugliano, particularly incisive at the start of the race … Too sharp indeed, since the Ducati n ° 34 in turn loses the front of his machine, but in the middle of the Corkscrew him !
Miraculously, no driver hits the Panigale which ends its race in the middle of the track, in the descent of the famous American "corkscrew"! The Italian waits until all his little comrades have passed before picking up his Panigale and joining the pits, along with Melandri…
The race was therefore not interrupted: Sykes was half a second ahead of Guintoli. Elias occupies third place … until the 5th lap where Rea plunges his Fireblade under the RSV4, in turn 9 "Rayney" of the descent following Corkscrew.
Inspired by the # 65 Honda, Eugene Laverty attempted the same attack the next lap but didn’t pass. However, he managed to impose his No. 58 GSX-R on the next turn and relegated Elias to fifth position. The last two rounds are only a formality for the survivors of the second round.
Tom Sykes thus wins this – mini – race but pockets the 25 points of victory. Sylvain Guintoli doubles the bet while Jonathan Rea finishes in a third place almost unexpected for him: "JR" had qualified yesterday in a distant 10th place !
Three seconds after Eugene Laverty and Toni Elias, Loris Baz crossed the finish line in sixth position, blowing ahead of Leon Haslam. David Salom once again finishes first Evo rider, Leon Camier wins a Top 10 for MV Agusta, Jérémy Guarnoni takes a nice 11th place and Larry Pegram unlocks the EBR counter in World Superbike !
Sykes can go on vacation with peace of mind: with 325 points, the English Ninja has a 44-point lead over Guintoli! Rea (261) took advantage of a drop in form from Baz (253) and a podium to climb to third position in the championship. Next event: September 7 in Jerez … stay tuned !
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