Imola (Italy), Monday July 1, 2013 –
British world superbike rider, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has catapulted to the top of the world superbike championship board, after winning both races at today’s round seven of the 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Italy’s Imola circuit. Sykes holds a six point lead over Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) who suffered a dnf in race one due to a technical problem, before coming back to secure a third place in race two .
It was a day of mixed emotions also for Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), who completed the podium in the first race before both crashing in race two; and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), who came back from a no-score in race one to take second in race two.
The championship will be back on track tomorrow for an official one-day test at Imola, while the next round is scheduled for July 21st at Moscow Raceway.
Tom Sykes: “I have had two perfect weekends out of the last three events and for this I am truly happy. It is a special weekend for many reasons and also the incident last year with my 2012 team-mate Joan Lascorz. There was not one time on any lap when I have exited turn six and not thought about his accident. I hope that this is a small, small tribute to him. I have every single individual member of the Kawasaki staff and teams to thank, and our great technical sponsors. Hopefully now this is a beginning of a challenge but we will see how we go.”
Jonathan Rea:“Really mixed emotions today. I made a mistake on the first lap of race one, but made a lot of ground up and then unfortunately crashed when I was pushing for the podium with a couple of laps to go. In race two I couldn’t go with the two guys ahead, so they gapped me and by half distance, Tom had eked out a lead tenth by tenth. I need to work with my crew to make the bike better with a full fuel load and fresh tyres, but we can leave Imola with our heads held high and we look forward now to Moscow.”
Race One Wrap – Sykes closes gap in championship chase
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) dominated race one at Imola to score his 9th career win, the 4th this year. Today’s pole-sitter managed to pull away from 2nd place Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) halfway through the race, keeping a strong pace that only the young Italian was able to match, in the first part.
Sykes had a controlled approach in the early laps, making his way from 4th to the lead, then pulling away for victory. Giugliano did all he could to stay with the winner, eventually finishing a lonely second.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) achieved a solid 3rd place ahead of Marco Melandri (BWM Motorrad GoldBet), as the Italian lapped close to his former team mate, but could not make the podium. The two riders saw a recovering Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) getting in the mix until the Ulsterman crashed out at turn 19, during the nineteenth lap, not long after he moved up to 4th place. Rea got the hole-shot at the start, before running wide at Turn 6 and rejoining in 11th position.
Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia) finished 5th after a good battle with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
The Championship standings situation is now tighter than ever on top, following Sykes’ win and the unlucky withdrawal of Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), due to a technical problem on lap 6: the Frenchman keeps the lead, but Sykes is now just 3 points behind.
Race 1 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 21 Laps/103.656 km in 37’52.860 average 164.182 kph; 2. Giugliano (Aprilia) 7.198; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 9.484; 4. Melandri (BMW) 10.323; 5. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 18.697; 6. Davies (BMW) 19.531; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 22.412; 8. Badovini (Ducati) 29.142; 9. Baz (Kawasaki) 36.828; 10. Haslam (Honda) 37.507; 11. Checa (Ducati) 39.239; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 43.334; 13. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1’12.069; 14. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1’30.685; 15. Haga (BMW) 1’30.773; RT. Rea (Honda); RT. Cluzel (Suzuki); RT. Guintoli (Aprilia).
Race Two wrap – Sykes takes double to secure championship lead
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed a fantastic double-win at Imola, his second in 2013, to become the new championship leader. The Hudderfield-born rider led every lap of race two to cross the line victorious for the 10th time in his WSBK career – and to secure his 5th win of 2013. After the disappointment of the first race, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) redeemed himself to end up a lonely second ahead of works Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli.
Fourth place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) edged his team mate Chaz Davies for fourth place at the very last lap, while Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the battle for sixth ahead of Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki). Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia) managed to pull away in the end from a still recuperating Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and fellow Italian Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) for 8th.
Today’s second race saw two potential protagonists out of contention in the early stages, as Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) crashed at turn 7 during the second lap, while trying to keep Sykes’ pace, and Eugene Laverty fell off his bike at turn 18, on lap number six.
Race 2 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 21 Laps/103.656 km in 37’51.947 average 164.247 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 5.032; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 10.201; 4. Melandri (BMW) 13.120; 5. Davies (BMW) 13.630; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 23.949; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 25.420; 8. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 36.511; 9. Haslam (Honda) 40.184; 10. Badovini (Ducati) 41.100; 11. Cluzel (Suzuki) 42.888; 12. Checa (Ducati) 52.182; 13. Neukirchner (Ducati) 56.352; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1’15.992; 15. Haga (BMW) 1’25.210; etc.
Standings – provisional (round 7 of 15)*: 1. Sykes 235; 2. Guintoli 229; 3. Laverty 190; 4. Melandri 182; 5. Davies 154; 6. Baz 136; 7. Rea 125; 8. Fabrizio 120; 9. Giugliano 99; 10. Camier 80; 11. Cluzel 77; 12. Neukirchner 60; 13. Checa 59; 14. Badovini 59; 15. Haslam 42. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 289; 2. Kawasaki 259; 3. BMW 237; 4. Honda 138; 5. Suzuki 122; 6. Ducati 96.
Sofuoglu wins, Lowes recovers to 2nd
Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) is back on the top step of the podium following a superb performance in the world supersport race at Imola. The defending champion led the entire race – shortened to 14 laps after a technical hiccup saw Valentin Debise’s Honda drop oil on the track and force a red flag stoppage.
2nd place Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) had an outstanding recovery, following a difficult start, to finish ahead of team mate Vladimir Leonov thanks to a successful last-turn overtaking move. The Russian rider was able to keep the pace of the winner in the early part of the race, showing a renewed confidence after a tough first half of the season. Pata Honda riders Lorenzo Zanetti and Michael van der Mark finished 4th and 5th respectively, while Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) won a spectacular fight for sixth position over Andrea Antonelli (Goeleven Kawasaki).
An incredible battle saw Scassa’s team mate Florian Marino edging out six hungry rivals, to a final 8th place.
Race results: 1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 14 Laps/69.104 km in 26’11.297 average 158.324 kph; 2. Lowes (Yamaha) 3.957; 3. Leonov (Yamaha) 4.409; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 6.435; 5. Vd Mark (Honda) 9.967; 6. Scassa (Kawasaki) 13.437; 7. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 14.112; 8. Marino (Kawasaki) 28.194; 9. Baldolini (Suzuki) 29.018; 10. Morais (Honda) 29.137; 11. De Rosa (Honda) 29.592; 12. Foret (Kawasaki) 29.763; 13. Kennedy (Honda) 29.957; 14. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 30.831; 15. Menghi (Yamaha) 39.902; etc.
Standings (round 7 of 14): 1. Lowes 140; 2. Sofuoglu 106; 3. Foret 85; 4. Vd Mark 73; 5. Zanetti 68; 6. Scassa 63; 7. Antonelli 55; 8. Kennedy 47; 9. Leonov 42; 10. Rolfo 40; 11. Marino 39; 12. Morais 36; 13. Russo 28; 14. Coghlan 22; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 155; 2. Yamaha 148; 3. Honda 104; 4. MV Agusta 46; 5. Suzuki 19; 6. Triumph 6.