Historic firsts, as Guintoli leads Championship

The eni FIM Superbike World Championship had its first race of the year today at Phillip Island, with Irishman Eugene Laverty scoring a sensational win, making it three in a row with the double he scored at Jerez last year in the last round. In his debut race with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty achieved an historical maiden win for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team. Laverty is also the first Suzuki rider to climb on the top step of the podium since the second race at Kyalami in 2010. After a poor start of the race, which saw him crossing the line in seventh place at the end of lap 1, and an early battle first with Chaz Davies and then with Jonathan Rea, Laverty started his charge to the leaders thanks to an incredible race pace. Once reached the front runners, the Irishman passed Davide Giugliano, Marco Melandri and leader Sylvain Guintoli to take first position on lap 17.

With Laverty pulling away in the late stages, Melandri got the better of Guintoli for second, whilst Giugliano settled for fourth after losing ground in the final laps. Loris Baz edged Jonathan Rea to take fifth place as reigning Champion and Baz’s team mate Tom Sykes had a difficult time, eventually ending up seventh. EVO riders David Salom, Niccolò Canepa and substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier Glenn Allerton put up an exciting battle, with Spaniard David Salom to claim 9th. Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam and Toni Elias all crashed unhurt early on in the race.

 

However in race 2, Sylvain Guintoli took the podium top spot and also, his career’s fifth in the series. The Frenchman, now Championship leader after the opening round, was in first place on lap 15 when the race was red flagged, following the technical problem suffered by race 1 winner Eugene Laverty. The Irishman’s GSX-R 1000 engine blew as he was running second ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Loriz Baz and reigning Champion Tom Sykes, who claimed the remaining podium positions.

Davide Giugliano was 4th followed by Pata Honda duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, whilst Giugliano’s team mate Chaz Davies claimed seventh place ahead of Marco Melandri and Toni Elias. Works Aprilia rider Melandri was part of a thrilling ten way battle up front in the early stages, before going wide at Turn 4 during the eighth lap. Two laps later Brit Alex Lowes made the same mistake whilst trying to catch the leaders, eventually ending up thirteenth behind EVO riders David Salom, Niccolò Canepa, and Fabien Foret.

Race 1

Position Rider Gap
1 E. LAVERTY  
2 M. MELANDRI 2.959
3 S. GUINTOLI 3.034
4 D. GIUGLIANO 6.972
5 L. BAZ 11.132
6 J. REA 11.718
7 T. SYKES 15.612
8 C. DAVIES 25.724
9 D. SALOM 37.407
10 N. CANEPA 37.468
11 G. ALLERTON 39.271
12 F. FORET 45.212
13 C. CORTI 50.249
14 J. GUARNONI 1’17.134
15 S. MORAIS 1’23.686
16 I. TOTH 1’30.651
17 A. YATES 1 Lap
Not Classified
RET A. ANDREOZZI 8 Laps
RET L. HASLAM 18 Laps
RET A. LOWES 19 Laps
RET T. ELIAS 19 Laps

 

 

Race 2

Position Rider Gap
1 S. GUINTOLI  
2 L. BAZ 0.283
3 T. SYKES 1.103
4 D. GIUGLIANO 2.052
5 J. REA 4.951
6 L. HASLAM 5.673
7 C. DAVIES 9.664
8 M. MELANDRI 10.574
9 T. ELIAS 11.682
10 D. SALOM 15.065
11 N. CANEPA 16.294
12 F. FORET 16.919
13 A. LOWES 19.694
14 S. MORAIS 27.266
15 G. ALLERTON 27.845
16 J. GUARNONI 29.431
17 A. ANDREOZZI 36.393
18 C. CORTI 37.018
19 I. TOTH 54.093
20 A. YATES 1’13.385
Not Classified
RET E. LAVERTY 0.131

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