WSBK Portimao: Sylvain Guintoli, solid leader
Sylvain Guintoli held on this weekend in Portugal. While his opponents have known everything (victories, breakage, fall and technical problem), our French pilot went for two second places and increased his lead overall.. This midday in the first round of the World Superbike, Marco Melandri beat an applied and then combative Sylvain…
Sylvain Guintoli held on this weekend in Portugal. While his opponents have known everything (victories, breakage, fall and technical problem), our French pilot went for two second places and increased his lead overall..
This afternoon in the first round of the World Superbike, Marco Melandri beat an applied and then combative Sylvain Guintoli. The Italian and his BMW only preceded the Frenchie and his Aprilia by 0.007 seconds on the finish line … Tom Sykes completed the first podium.
Wise and measured during the first half of their Portuguese race, the leaders of the Mondial Supersport then fought a fierce battle. Lowes wins again, ahead of champions Foret, Sofuoglu and rookie Van den Mark.
Finally, Eugene Laverty was able to bounce back from his engine failure in the first round, masterfully winning the second. Guintoli takes second place ahead of Jonathan Rea, while Melandri and Sykes were also unlucky.
First Superbike race
Tom Sykes sets off perfectly and dives in front of Marco Melandri who comes from outside, followed by Eugene Laverty, Jonathan Rea, Sylvain Guintoli, Carlos Checa, Loris Baz, Jules Cluzel, Davide Giugliano, Ayrton Badovini.
Sylvain attacks from the start and immediately puts pressure on Johnny! The Frenchie knows he must not let go of Sykes, author of an unstoppable double two weeks ago, at his home in Donington Park.
Laverty brakes Melandri at the end of the first straight but widens and returns Melandri to second place. Rea slowed down slightly but held Guintoli at bay. Likewise, Checa dominates the two youngsters Baz and Giugliano !
Eugene Laverty repeated his attack at the end of the straight at the start of the 3rd loop, but this time the Aprilia n ° 58 stayed ahead of the BMW n ° 33. Guintoli slides his Aprilia n ° 50 in front of Rea’s Honda n ° 65 a few moments later, then Baz and his Kawasaki n ° 76 overtake Checa and his Ducati n ° 7, quickly imitated by Giugliano and his private Aprilia n ° 34.
Laverty easily caught up with Sykes at the front of the race, dragging Melandri in his wake. Guintoli is only a few lengths behind, followed by Jonathan Rea. The five men roll two seconds ahead of Baz and Giugliano. Cluzel leads the third group, in ninth place, and has to manage Fabrizio…
In front, "Youdjine" Laverty clings to the wheel of Tom Sykes and moves away only to find a loophole that does not yet exist … Behind, Davide Giugliano overtakes Loris Baz on the 5th lap and seizes the sixth place.
At the start of the 6th lap, Laverty came close to Sykes, but the RSV4 had to bow to a ZX-10R which was more efficient on entry than on exit. Suddenly, Davide Giugliano loses the front! Baz recovers "his" sixth place.
Laverty overtook Sykes at the start of the 7th lap, still braking at the end of the straight. The n ° 58 sounds the charge but cannot get rid of his pursuers in the following loop. The club of five is now attacking without restraint and are the only ones on the track to run under 1’44…
In the 9th lap, Rea widens then slows down … The northern Irishman is the victim of a mechanical problem: his Honda n ° 65 will not go any further. The other Fireblade, # 91, is also stopped, but in the pits: Haslam could no longer fight for 13th place, suffering too much from the knee.
In the next loop, Laverty, Sykes and Melandri move irresistibly away from Guintoli. Eugene even manages, at the end of the course, to separate himself from Tom who seems to be bothering Marco. The halfway mark is crossed and our "Guinters" find themselves within a second of the trio … winner ?
On the tenth passage in front of the pits, Aprilia n ° 58 released a plume of smoke and Laverty had to give up the reins of the race. Victim of an engine failure, Eugene abandons his motorcycle in the straight line and walks to the pits…
Melandri takes the lead but Sykes keeps pace. Guintoli climbed on the third step of the podium, a good second behind the leading duo. Behind, Leon Camier is rewarded for his tremendous recovery and inherits 4th place. Loris Baz jumps to fifth place. Davies, Checa, Fabrizio, Cluzel and Badovini complete the Top 10, 10 laps from the end.
Sylvain Guintoli had a superb 13th lap and reduced Tom Sykes’ lead to less than half a second. For two laps, the Frenchie is positioned a few lengths from his great rival – on the track as in the championship – Sykes, who remains glued to Melandri.
Exiting the big curve commanding the straight line, the BMW n ° 33 is just devoured by the Kawa ‘n ° 66 in the middle of a straight line and cannot be redone under braking. The Italian even finds himself stuck on the outside and has to widen at the exit of the first curve, letting Guintoli pass. Fortunately, the Italian only loses a small second in the operation.
Marco takes less than a turn to join his two little comrades. There are then four laps to go. Guintoli exceeds – colds! – Sykes in the straight line and take control of the race! Melandri doubles Sykes when braking the hairpin (turn 3).
Three laps from the end, Melandri attacks Guintoli at the end of the straight line but dismisses a suspicion in the first turn and allows Sylvain to take the lead again in the next break! Sykes is more than half a second away and enjoys the show without being able to mingle.
Ayrton Badovini retired on the 21st lap. His teammate Carlos Checa rolls in eighth place but has to cede his position to Cluzel in the straight line. Fabrizio is two seconds behind the Spanish champion and the French rookie. In front are Davies sixth, Baz fifth and Camier fourth.
The last lap is underway: Melandri takes advantage this time of all the aspiration of Guintoli and overtakes the Frenchie under braking. The n ° 50 delays its braking in the large left 180 ° (turn 5), passes in front of the n ° 33 but must widen! The Frenchman does not give up and manages to come back just behind the Italian in the following sequence.
Tom Sykes is several lengths away and has to content himself with securing his third place … Ahead, Sylvain heals his last two turns a little better and hits Melandri on the small climb to the finish line, but fails in his mission 0.007 seconds behind winner Melandri !
Fortunately for Sylvain – and for his unfortunate teammate Eugene! – the Superbike category has two races per Sunday for its riders! Will one of the two official Aprilia riders have his revenge in the second round? Will Sykes be able to play for the win? Will Melandri get his first double of the season? Stay connected…
Kenan Sofuoglu got off to a very good start and passed the "poleman" Sam Lowes. Behind the Turk and the English stands Fabien Foret. Next are Sheridan Morais, Luca Scassa, Jack Kennedy, Michael van den Mark, Andrea Antonelli, Raffaele de Rosa and Roberto Rolfo.
Lowes goes on the attack at the first braking of the straight line and opens the door to Foret who climbs into second place in front of Sofuoglu! Kennedy won against Scassa and took the wheel of Morais, fourth a few lengths from the Kawa ‘n ° 54.
Fabien Foret took control of the race at the start of the 3rd lap while Jack Kennedy won a new place by overtaking Sheridan Morais. The Irishman lodges immediately under the backsplash of Kenan, placed one second from the two leading men.
However, the Turk reacted in the following loop, moving away from Honda n ° 4 and approaching Yamaha n ° 11 …. The Ninja n ° 99 still leads with, on its handlebars, our only representative … Florian Marino indeed had to return his ZX-6R to David Salom, still physically impaired but eager to return to competition.
Handicapped by an injury too, debutant Michael van den Mark bravely clings to sixth place, behind Sheridan Morais and Jack Kennedy. Antonelli, De Rosa, Scassa and Rolfo follow within four seconds.
In the 6th loop, Van den Mark climbs to fourth position ahead of Morais and Kennedy! Three seconds ahead, the leading trio delays: Lowes and Sofuoglu stay in Foret’s wheel while they seem able to turn faster than the Frenchman.
Lowes et Foret offers a nice ballet, the trajectories of their machines sometimes varying completely on the Portuguese roller coaster! Halfway through the race, the Englishman decides to take the 180 ° braking attack in the middle of the course….
The Yamaha rider then screws his helmet behind his bubble and threatens to escape – as in Donington Park – far ahead of his opponents, in this case the two official Ninjas. Sofuoglu takes advantage of a small gap from Foret to grab second place while Lowes moves away slightly.
Van den Mark is fourth in the standings but on the track, a latecomer tries to take the wheel of Foret! It is the Russian Ivanov who takes this opportunity to draw inspiration from the trajectories of the very best Supersport pilots in the world. !
Eight laps from the end, Lowes has only half a second ahead of Sofuoglu and one second over Foret. Van den Mark does not let go: the young Dutchman is three seconds behind the leader and has definitely dumped Morais and Kennedy.
In the next loop, Sam Lowes lets Kenan Sofuoglu pass in front of him! The Turk turns around several times, costing him first place in the straight. Lowes then takes control of the race, Foret finds himself in his teammate’s wheel … and Van den Mark grabs a whole second on the trio !
Lowes and Sofuoglu continue to play cat and mouse, which benefits Foret, who decides to take the business in hand … but misses the first turn and gives up his third place to Michael van den Mark !
Sofuoglu and Lowes don’t know it yet, but the # 60 Honda is up to speed and may make it harder for them. The reigning Superstock 600 champion also melts under the Yamaha at the start of the penultimate lap! Foret tries an attack but remains fourth.
Too wide in a straight line, Sofuoglu cedes the lead of the race to Lowes … The four drivers go head to head on the last lap! Foret takes the lead in front of Sam and Michael, soon overtaken by Kenan. The ZX-6R n ° 99 involuntarily opens the door to the R6 n ° 11 in the last section: the Englishman does not hesitate to pass !
Sam Lowes thus won his fourth consecutive victory, ahead of Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu. Michael Van den Mark has to be content with fourth place but has shown that he is back in business! Sheridan Morais completes the Top 5.
In the riders’ championship, Lowes increased his lead: the Yamaha rider totaled 120 points, against 81 for the two official Kawasaki riders, Sofuoglu and Foret. Van den Mark remains in contact with the two Greens with 62 points.
Second Superbike race
Tom Sykes falls on the reconnaissance lap and damages his motorbike! The mechanics of the Kawasaki team are working on the Ninja n ° 66 to allow their driver to start … from the pit lane and not from pole position !
Departure : Laverty took the lead at the first corner ahead of Jonathan Rea, Marco Melandri, Sylvain Guintoli, Carlos Checa, Loris Baz, Davide Giugliano, Chaz Davies, Jules Cluzel Michel Fabrizio. Tom Sykes is in last place and cannot attack … Ninja n ° 66 drives almost in slow motion and joins the pits while his comrades are in the middle of the second lap.
Laverty beats Rea with a breath, Melandri follows at half a second, Guintoli at one second. Tom Sykes is back on the track but is more than one lap behind his opponents. The Englishman lets the peloton pass but does not seem to want to let go: the 2012 runner-up knows that every point counts !
"Yudjine" and Johnny moved further away from their pursuers on the 3rd lap. Melandri, Guintoli and Baz ride solo while Checa, Davies and Giugliano are wheel to wheel and compete for seventh place. Sykes returns to the pits, but refuses to give up…
In the peloton, Leon Camier stood out again by dislodging his teammate Cluzel from 10th place. The comeback of Suzuki n ° 2 is certainly just beginning. Our rookie n ° 16 had better follow him !
In front, Laverty and Rea continue to impose their rhythm. The two Britons are two seconds ahead of Melandri and Guintoli at the end of the 7th lap. Loris Baz had a good race in fifth place, but had to beware of Checa and Davies … and of Giugliano, Camier and Cluzel placed five seconds from his Kawa ‘n ° 76 !
Marco Melandri suddenly loses contact with Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea as the two leading men do not even raise their voice. Sylvain Guintoli easily takes third place but the Frenchie is now more than three seconds behind the leaders.
Melandri spins two seconds slower than his rivals, so much so that Loris Baz quickly swoops down on the n ° 33 BMW and takes his fourth place on the 10th lap! Carlos Checa ends up in Marco‘s wheel in the next loop and makes short work of poor Ravenna Hedgehog…
Nearly twelve seconds ahead, Laverty begins to pull away from Rea. Perhaps the Irish driver has his revenge on the first round? Leon Camier, on the other hand, was forced to stop his Suzuki on the edge of the track and left Jules Cluzel alone to climb back up on a Melandri easily passed by his teammate Chaz Davies.
Still third, Sylvain Guintoli is gradually recovering from Jonathan Rea. Johnny and his Fireblade n ° 65 are two big seconds behind the leading RSV4 n ° 58, and two short seconds from the n ° 50 of our national "Guinters"! The Frenchie knows he will no longer be able to pick up Eugene but can reasonably aim for second place.
Tom Sykes is back on track in 17th and last position. The English driver posted the best time of the round but was seven laps behind leader Laverty. Tom will therefore not be able to claim any points, whatever his place at the end of the race..
Eight laps from the end, Guintoli finds himself in the backsplash of Honda n ° 65 … Rea feels the threat looming but cannot resist against the RSV4 in the straight line. Sylvain moved to second place, four seconds behind his teammate.
Loris Baz secures his fourth place, fourteen seconds behind Laverty and three seconds ahead of Carlos Checa and Chaz Davies. Jules Cluzel, our third national rider, is in seventh position, ten seconds behind the Ducati n ° 7 and BMW n ° 19.
The ordeal continues for Marco Melandri who turns three seconds per lap slower than the leading men and struggles to stay in the Top 10. Passed by Ayrton Badovini, Marco hardly resists Michel Fabrizio while there are only two laps left to go. Browse…
Eugene Laverty rolls alone in the lead and rushes to his fourth victory this season. This should console him – a little – for the breakage of his RSV4 in the first round! Sylvain Guintoli gets a second second place this weekend, ahead of a deserving Jonathan Rea.
Loris Baz took a superb fourth place at the controls of his n ° 76 ZX-10R, ahead of Chaz Davies, Carlos Checa and Jules Cluzel. Marco Melandri finally finished in 12th place behind Michel Fabrizio and Max Neukirchner, probably cursing his rear tire.
This weekend in Portimao, Sylvain Guintoli performed the best operation in the championship! Aprilia’s n ° 50 scores 40 points and increases his lead in the 2013 standings: 28 points more than Sykes, 39 more than Laverty and 57 more than Melandri…
Loris Baz retains his sixth place overall thanks to his remarkable 5th and 4th places. Jules Cluzel remains in tenth position, with his two new Top 10. Next points distribution for the WSBK riders: in three weeks at Imola. Stay connected !
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