WSBK – WSBK Netherlands: Guintoli wins his first victory! –

WSBK Netherlands: Guintoli wins his first victory !

WSBK - WSBK Netherlands: Guintoli wins his first victory! -

It took nerves of steel to win in World Superbike this Sunday in Assen: as in practice, bad weather has not stopped changing the grip of the Dutch circuit … and as in practice, Guintoli illustrated !

It took nerves of steel to win in World Superbike this Sunday in Assen: as in practice, bad weather has not stopped changing the grip of the Dutch circuit … and as in practice, Guintoli illustrated !

Left in the dry, the WSBK riders had to return to the pit to change tires and finish the first round in a real deluge. So much so that Sylvain Guintoli’s victory will be remembered for a long time.

Even more so for the French fans, since it is the very first success of our n ° 50 in an international race. Rookie Davide Giugliano takes advantage of the rain to climb to his first WSBK podium, ahead of the two champions Checa and Biaggi…

The second round of Superbike offered the opposite scenario, just as tasty: declared "wet", the track quickly dried up, which led to many twists and turns. Sylvain did not go far from the double, Maxime Berger stood out … but it was Jonathan Rea who won !

In Supersport at least, the race took place entirely in the wet. In this event "by elimination", Kenan Sofuoglu fared best from the favorites: the Turk finished behind Lorenzo Lanzi (back in SSP on CBR) and ahead of Vladimir Leonov.

First Superbike race

Tom Sykes got off to a very good start and crossed the first hairpin in the lead. He is chased by Jonathan Rea, Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa, Leon Haslam, Jakub Smrz, Michel Fabrizio, Chaz Davies and Sylvain Guintoli. Max Biaggi, who started from 17th place on the grid, is 13th.

Jakub and Leon bicker for 5th place but stay in contact with Carlos 4th. Tom doesn’t spare his Ninja – nor his Pirelli! – and takes a lead of one second on Honda n ° 65 at the end of the second loop.

Brett McCormick is at fault: unlike his old discipline (he was registered in Superstock 1000 at the start of the year) the Canadian will have a second chance this afternoon … His teammate Sylvain Guintoli is riding in 9th position just behind Fabrizio, Maxime Berger, third man of the Ducati team, is not – yet? – in points.

Jonathan Rea is scared in the chicane which commands the straight line and then slightly misses out on the first straight of the circuit, opening the door to Melandri. The Italian immediately takes 2nd place and aims for the Kawa ‘n ° 66.

Eugene Laverty on his RSV4 n ° 58 double Carlos Checa then Jakub Smrz and their 1198 n ° 7 and 96. "Youdjine" is therefore in 4th place. His teammate Max Biaggi is stuck in the peloton: the 2010 world champion is only 12th, behind John Hopkins.

Rea stood out again in the 5th loop coming out of a turn with the outside foot completely in the air! The Honda rider gives everything on this track which he knows perfectly – it’s a home race for his Honda Ten Kate team – and on which he has won three of the last four races contested..

In the 6th lap, the junction between the leader Tom Sykes and the hunting group led by Marco Melandri is made! Behind, El Toro Checa must fight hard against Smrz and Haslam. Their weapon passes leave Laverty relatively quiet. Still, that wasn’t enough for Eugene to keep up with the pace of the top three..

At the back of the first group made up of 10 pilots (!), Sylvain Guintoli puts pressure on Chaz Davies. Jonathan Rea is increasingly pressing on Marco Melandri, who decides to transfer the pressure to Tom Sykes.

In the 7th lap, Jonathan Rea again fails to fall: his Fireblade loses the rear and almost squares up … Johnny finds himself almost on the ground but miraculously manages to stay on his two-wheelers! The Northern Irishman puts the gas in the aspiration of Guintoli then 9th…

While Tom Sykes manages to keep the lead, his Ninja spits out a huge spray of water as he passes halfway. The track is dry: the water therefore necessarily comes from the ZX-10R radator! The Ninja’s engine continues to run normally and the Englishman remains on track despite warnings from some logically worried comrades

More careful than the others because posted just behind n ° 66 during the evacuation of this worrying plume by the Kawa ‘, Melandri passes by his teammate Haslam. Behind the two official BMWs are Smrz … and Guintoli! The Frenchman, reinvigorated by this upheaval at the head of the race, attacks with more force and climbs into 2nd position.

Smrz on the contrary is slightly magnifying and must let a handful of competitors pass. Overtaking within the peloton is increasing and braking is now done three or four abreast !

Unfortunately, nine laps from the end, the rain suddenly begins to fall … and two pilots with it! Melandri slowly loses the front in the middle of a curve, then Smrz slides at a much more impressive speed in the gravel while his Ducati does not stop rolling barrels !

Sylvain Guintoli widens but takes the lead, John Hopkins goes straight, Davies goes off the track … The red flag is hoisted and stops this crazy race. A second start must be given, the order of passage of the lap preceding the falls serving as a reference for the starting grid. Sykes cannot therefore go back. Smrz does not leave the pits any more than Smrz whose unique 1198 is too damaged to be repaired in time.

Second start: Marco Melandri takes the best start, Sylvain Guintoli misses his … But it is Jonathan Rea who takes control of the race when braking the first corner! The Honda rider is chased by three BMWs: No.91 from Haslam, No.86 from Badovini and No.33 from Melandri.

Before the end of the first loop, Leon Haslam took the lead. He and Rea already have a big lead over their more cautious rivals in these excessively tricky conditions. A few turns further, Johnny loses the rear in a ditch of water and abandons his compatriot, as well as this "first" race.

Checa inherits 2nd place, but the Spaniard must beware of the fiery Badovini lodged in his rear wheel: unlike Carlos, Ayrton does not play for the title and can let go! Laverty is a few lengths away and ahead of the hunting group made up of Giugliano, Fabrizio, Biaggi, Guintoli, Zanetti and Smrz! Hopkins falls, luckily without damage for him or for his Suzuki.

Particularly at ease in the deluge, Leon Haslam spins alone in the lead towards BMW’s first victory: the Englishman turns three seconds faster than Checa! But the Englishman ends up exceeding the limits of his rain tires and falls in turn.

The prudent Carlos Checa therefore finds himself in 1st place! Ayrton Badovini is in 2nd place and is now ahead of Max Biaggi. Sylvain Guintoli, six laps from the end of the race, took 5th place, overtaking Giugliano. The Frenchman overtakes Biaggi in the next loop and climbs on the podium.

During this time, Checa gradually increased the pace and gave himself a half second lead over Badovini and Guintoli. Our No. 50 is the fastest on the track and tries to attack the No. 86 BMW. Surprised by a loss of grip on his rear tire, Syl ‘was passed by Biaggi and crossed swords with the 2010 champion ! 

With three laps to go, the 2011 Champion – Checa of course – widened in a curve to the left and handed over the reins of the race to Badovini! The Spaniard takes the asp from our compatriot, followed by Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty.

Too fiery, Badovini also fell, so much so that Sylvain Guintoli in turn inherited the lead! Extremely swift also, Giugliano and his Ducati Althea rise in front of the two WSBK champions.

Behind the three Ducatis, the two official Aprilia also put on a superb show: Laverty won against his teammate Biaggi and aimed for Checa’s backsplash….

Right in front, Guintoli applied and started the last lap in the lead. A handful of seconds later, Biaggi applied superb braking at the end of the straight line to seize 4th place. The tension is at its height, but no leading pilot makes a mistake.

Sylvain finally wins – finally! – his first World Superbike victory! Behind him, Carlos attempted an attack in the final chicane but came out behind his young teammate Davide. Max Biaggi snatches 4th place from his own teammate Eugene.

Supersport Race

Sam Lowes got off to a good start and took the lead but Broc Parkes took control of the race at the end of the first sequence. Kenan Sofuoglu takes 3rd place ahead of Russian Vladimir Leonov.

At the very start of the race, Fabien Foret then left the track 8th … The French n ° 99 finished the first lap in 17th place, three places ahead of Valentin Debise. The other French Jules Cluzel and Romain Lanusse are respectively 5th and 9th.

A heavy downpour hit the circuit again. Sam Lowes, more incisive under the deluge, takes the lead of the race. A little slip from the back does not temper his enthusiasm and the n ° 11 continues his efforts.

Kenan Sofuoglu also engages the upper gear and passes the Honda n ° 23 of Parkes. Six seconds behind the leading quartet, Jules Cluzel is overtaken by Lorenzo Lanzi. The Italian turns much faster than his little comrades and has 17 laps to join Leonov’s No. 65 Yamaha…

Fabien Foret, leader of the provisional Supersport classification, circulates at a distant 22nd place while his direct rival in the championship, Sam Lowes, leads. Fabien’s 14 point lead over Sam is virtually erased…

Lowes attacks hard and always sails solo. Yet warned by his Honda when accelerating – and presto, another escape! -, the young Englishman loses the rear … in braking! Sam is rushed ashore but leaves all the same on his dented Honda.

Sofuoglu is therefore in the lead ahead of Parkes, Leonov and Lanzi! The latter is always much faster than his three competitors and overtakes them one by one in the 7th and 8th laps. Unable to climb in the points for his part, Foret returned to the pits. Sam Lowes falls a second time and gives up for good too.

While Lanzi pursues his rider alone, Leonov gets rid of Parkes and lodges in the asp of Kawa ‘n ° 54. The first latecomers are overtaken and Parkes is gradually giving way. Leonov overtakes Sofuoglu but the Turk returns to the front.

Taking advantage of this battle, Broc joins Kenan and Vladimir. But yet another slip of his Honda pushes him to be more careful … The Australian lets his opponents go: in these conditions, 4th is already a very good result.

Nine laps from the end of the race, Lanzi has a comfortable lead of 10 seconds over Sofuoglu, Leonov and Parkes. Unlike his opponents, the n ° 57 does not however give the impression of forcing, nor even of going very fast. !

The gaps between his pursuers then tend to increase: five laps from the end, Sofuoglu occupies second place nine seconds behind the leader, Leonov is third at 10 seconds, Parkes 4th at 17 seconds and Baldolini 5th at 40 seconds !

Jules Cluzel is running a precautionary race – but maybe he is riding 110% who knows? -: the Rooster n ° 16 is in 6th place more than 46 seconds from Lanzi but must be wary of two other Italians, Iannuzzo and Antonelli who are only 5 seconds away…

The end of the race was marked by contact between Lanzi and Morais, Sofuoglu’s teammate who lost in 17th place! Placed on the inside – and resting on the Ninja fairing! -, the Italian stays on the track while the South African and his Ninja briefly go off the track.

Lorenzo Lanzi therefore signs his return to World Supersport with a victory. The CBR600RR n ° 57 left no chance for Sofuoglu and his ZX-6R. The Turk, however, celebrates his 2nd place as a victory: thanks to her, Kenan scores 20 points (against 13 for Parkes and none for Foret and Lowes) and joins Fabien Foret in the provisional classification..

Vladimir Leonov is also delighted: the Russian climbs on his first Supersport podium, the same year that the World SBK is scheduled to stop in Russia! Finally, we salute the performances of Jules Cluzel and Romain Lanusse, who came out of their first race in the World Supersport in the rain in good 6th and 11th places..

Second Superbike race

Jonathan Rea has an excellent start but Jakub Smrz comes out like a ball from the first curve and takes the business in gloves … The Czech is ahead of Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam, Jonathan Rea, Sylvain Guintoli, etc..

Laverty took his 6th place from Davies, then it was Melandri’s turn to overtake the Englishman. Maxime Berger impresses a lot at the start of the race as well: the Frenchman in turn overwhelms Davies and joins the chase group..

Alone in the lead, Jakub Smrz pays little attention to the still wet areas that sow the route. Haslam climbs to 2nd position at the end of the second loop and immediately widens the gap. Sylvain Guintoli is in turn in the wheel of Sykes but does not find the fault on the Kawa n ° 66. Maxime Berger on the other hand manages to overtake Johnny Rea !

Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli, Eugene Laverty, Maxime Berger and Jonathan Rea have a blast on the track, while Carlos Checa returns to the pits! The World Champion gets off his motorcycle and lets his mechanics get busy on his 1998 visibly impossible to ride in the state…

From the 4th lap, Smrz has a 4 second lead over Haslam and 7 seconds over the peloton stuck behind Sykes. Laverty and Guintoli were the first to break the green lock and both quickly set off in pursuit of the # 91 BMW.

Jonathan Rea, Maxime Berger, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri are found in that order behind Tom Sykes. Housed in the wheel of Eugene Laverty, Sylvain Guintoli signs the fastest lap in the race in the 5th loop. Our national n ° 50 takes the best on Aprilia n ° 58 in the following lap.

Tom Sykes keeps losing places: after Jonathan Rea, it’s Chaz Davies – past Maxime Berger – who relatively easily overtakes the English Ninja. Our "Mad Max" overtakes Sykes and Melandri in the same sequence, but the n ° 33 passes the little Frenchman again when braking from the pit lane.

Ahead, Smrz saw his lead stagnate: in the 9th lap, the Ducati n ° 96 still had 4 seconds ahead of Haslam … and on Guintoli, which had risen like a rocket! Sylvain easily takes 2nd place at the start of the next round..

At the halfway point, Chaz Davies fell on heavy braking, and was unfortunately imitated in the same turn by our excellent Maxime Berger. Sylvain Guintoli, on the other hand, remains firmly rooted on his two wheels and turns faster than everyone else. !

Smrz is in Guintoli’s sights, just as Laverty is in Rea’s! The Honda rider also operated a superb exterior on the Aprilia n ° 58 to reach the podium. Johnny is within three seconds of Smrz at the end of the 14th round…

There are only 6 laps to go and Guintoli is now in the back wheel of his Czech teammate! The Frenchman has a much wiser Ducati: he overtakes "Kuba" then quickly moves away. But not enough to distance Jonathan Rea and his Fireblade, which drives home…

Four laps from the end, Johnny gets dangerously close to Sylvain. Carlos Checa for his part has just recorded the fastest lap in the race, but cannot hope to score any points … Max Biaggi meanwhile is in 8th position, two places behind Sykes, the third man at the start of this season. championship.

Sylvain and Jonathan – the men in this 2012 event at Assen – safely passed a latecomer but this was not the case for Smrz: placed outside Mark Aitchison at the end of the curve, the Ducati n ° 96 bites into the false turf and inevitably slips. Eugene Laverty, 10 seconds behind Guintoli, therefore inherits 3rd place.

In front, Guintoli must give in: Rea turns even faster than him and takes the reins of the race three laps from the checkered flag. The podium slowly begins to take shape: Rea tumbles towards victory in front of Guintoli … Laverty, on the other hand, is threatened by the two BMWs in at the start of the final loop !

This last tour of the "Cathedral" of Assen is beautiful: Melandri and Haslam successively steal Laverty’s 3rd place but the Irishman defends himself at all costs! Handle screwed into the corner, the Aprilia rider hoists his Aprilia to the 3rd step of the podium while Melandri is ahead of his teammate Haslam only 2 thousandths on the finish line.

Despite an extremely difficult weekend, Max Biaggi took the lead in the provisional standings at Assen and beat Carlos Checa by a small point (92 against 91). Tom Sykes (79) retains his third place. The three men, however, cede a lot of ground to their pursuers … Can’t wait for next May 6 !

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