Silverstone Results

World Superbike 2013

maddix park mx    By Byron Wilson

Fluctuating weather challenged World Superbike riders’ courage and skill during Race 1 at Silverstone, forcing some to choose to wait for another fight on a better day. Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea took advantage of the conditions to put himself out front mid-race, where he built a sizable gap on the field which held to the checkers, earning him his first win of the season. Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty capitalized on the increased pace during the final laps to push up to second-place, and was followed by FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier, who earned his first trip to the podium so far this year in third.

Prior to the start, it was already clear that the race would be unusual. Spots of rain on track prompted officials to delay proceedings, reduce the contest to 17 laps and follow the 10 minute procedure, which saw riders do a sighting lap and return to the grid to decide whether to run on wet weather tires or slicks.

Everyone remained on slicks and once the lights went out, Laverty shot to the front keeping ahead of Rea and Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz. Ducati Team’s Carlos Checa fell back to fourth with BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Chaz Davies in fifth and Baz’s teammate, Tom Sykes, in sixth. This lead pack remained tight throughout the opening laps, despite the best efforts of Laverty to shake the field.

Checa and Davies fell back in the ranks as Sykes made his push toward the front, and on Lap 3 Rea ran wide allowing both Sykes and Baz to slip into the number two and three spots, respectively. Davies was soon to follow, dropping Rea from second to fifth-place within the space of a few turns.

Sykes wasted little time on Laverty, pushing past the Aprilia rider on the following lap. The Kawasaki ace would hold the front and start to develop a slight gap on the field through the next two laps, but then the white flags came out warning riders of rain on the track.

The race continued, but the pace dropped dramatically as riders approached conditions with caution. Position changes through the subsequent rotations were too numerous to count, but Baz spent time out front for a period as Sykes dropped back, but it was Rea who proved the most fearless of the bunch, passing a number of riders quickly to gain the lead by Lap 7 of 17.

Opting for caution, Sykes continued to drop back, coming through in eighth-place on Lap 8 as a host of others moved ahead. Pace remained slow, but Rea and Baz were strong in the top two positions. Laverty’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli found his way into a battle for podium position after spending the initial laps outside the top-five, tousling with FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Jules Cluzel for the final step. Rea’s teammate, Leon Haslam, got in the mix as well and along with Camier made up a four-rider group all within range of the rostrum during the latter portion of the contest.

By Lap 12 the pace began to increase as the track dried, but Rea had established a strong gap and was holding steady to the lead. Sykes had fallen back to ninth at this point and continued to drop back, ending the first race in 11th. Laverty, meanwhile, was in seventh and started to push hard to regain his place in the lead pack, getting past Guintoli for sixth with four laps to go. He continued his march and made the pass by Camier for second-place entering the final lap.

Guintoli held to fourth followed by Baz in fifth and Cluzel in sixth. Haslam took seventh with Checa’s teammate, Ayrton Badovini, finishing eighth and Davies’ teammate, Marco Melandri, coming through in ninth. Melandri struggled from the start, and though he was able to make up ground from his starting position (15th on the grid) he never factored in the battles out front. Davies rounded out the top-10.

World Superbike Silverstone Race 1 Results 2013: 
1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 
3. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 
6. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 
7. Leon Haslam (Honda) 
8. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 
9. Marco Melandri (BMW) 
10. Chaz Davies (BMW) 
11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 
12. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 
13. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 
14. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 
15. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) 
16. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW) 

Race 2 at Silverstone provided even more drama for fans of World Superbike, with the session starting dry and deteriorating to treacherously damp conditions from mid-race on. Baz prevailed after a spirited battle for his first race win of the season, replicating his 2012 performance at the British circuit in similar conditions. Cluzel earned his first trip to the premier-class podium in second-place, followed by Laverty in third.

The session was red flagged on the Lap 17 of a planned 18 after Cluzel and Haslam went down. Cluzel’s was a relatively smooth low-side from which he walked away unharmed, but Haslam endured a nasty high-side that saw him land hard on the pavement. Finishing order was reverted back to Lap 16, giving Cluzel the rostrum.

Off the start Laverty and Rea ran quickly to the front of the pack, but Baz wasted no time and made the move to the lead in the opening laps. Laverty answered back soon after, beginning a back-and-forth battle for the lead that saw a number of riders out front throughout the contest. Laverty held to second through the opening laps, followed by Sykes in third, Davies in fourth and Guintoli in fifth.

Rea started to fall back after the initial rotations, finally settling in sixth and Cluzel began his push to the front with a pass by the Honda rider soon after. Meanwhile, out front, Sykes had moved ahead of Laverty into second and began to hunt down his teammate for the lead. Davies began to pressure Laverty hard for third-place, and the two swapped position a number of times before the BMW rider finally made a pass stick.

During the sixth lap the white flag came out once again and, as in Race 1, the running order began to shuffle like mad. Baz, Sykes, Davies and Laverty maintained the number one through four spots respectively for a period, but then Camier started to move ahead, reaching second-place by Lap 8. Sykes dropped back after getting pushed wide in a corner, falling to sixth and Cluzel continued to make headway, slotting into third by Lap 9.

Just after the mid-point, it was Baz, Davies, Camier and Cluzel waging war for the front, and each rider spent time in the lead. Davies and Camier enjoyed only brief stints in the number one spot before Cluzel rocketed past. Baz remained close though and took over the front on what would eventually be the final lap of the race.

Disaster struck Davies just before the final lap when plumes of smoke started pouring from his exhaust pipe, forcing him to pull off track and out of competition. Cluzel and Haslam’s incidents soon followed and the contest was called.

Position shifts were no less dramatic outside the top-three, and Rea made a late race push up the ranks to earn a fourth-place finish. Camier settled in fifth followed by Guintoli in sixth. Amazingly, Guintoli set the fastest lap time in Race 2, besting Cal Crutchlow’s previous lap record set in 2010, all while riding on an injured shoulder he plans to have surgically addressed during the upcoming break. Sykes trailed in seventh followed by Badovini in eighth and Melandri in ninth. Melandri suffered another disappointing race, falling from inside the top-10 early on to 14th following a missed corner which forced him to run wide.

Guintoli extended his points lead over Sykes to 13. Laverty moved up to third, 36 points adrift of the leader while Melandri remains in the title hunt in fourth, 41 points behind Guintoli.

World Superbike Silverstone Race 2 Results 2013: 
1. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 
2. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 
5. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 
7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 
8. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 
9. Marco Melandri (BMW) 
10. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 
11. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 
12. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 
13. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 
14. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) 
15. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 
16. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW)

World Superbike Points 2013: 
1. Sylvain Guintoli, 262 
2. Tom Sykes, 249 
3. Eugene Laverty, 226 
4. Marco Melandri, 221 
5. Chaz Davies, 180 
6. Loris Baz, 180 
7. Jonathan Rea, 176 
8. Michel Fabrizio, 138 
9. Leon Camier, 114 
10. Jules Cluzel, 113 
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