Aprilia’s Aussie Authority – Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli played a huge part in an Aprilia dominated weekend. With 1-2s in both races and an Aprilia machine taking up five of the six available podium places, authority and early promise was stamped down.

Race 1

As the Australian sunshine gleamed down onto the Team Ducati Alstare bike of Carlos Checa on pole position, the conditions seemed perfect for racing. He lined up alongside Eugene Laverty who achieved his qualifying time on a set of race tyres. The lights went out and away they went! Checa’s bike got a lot of air under the front wheel and was punished for this by Haslam, Sykes and Laverty. Tom Sykes made an immensely brave start to move up behind the race leader Eugene Laverty.

Aprilia’s new number 1 rider Eugene Laverty made smooth and powerful progress until around lap 12, where his team mate Sylvain Guintoli was within a second of his relatively good conditioned rear tyre. On lap 13 there was a very nasty crash between number 7 Carlos Checa and GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri. Checa couldn’t get the bike turned in time into the right hander and unfortunately caught Melandri. Both riders were out of the race, but the two Aprilia’s at the front of the pack were on each others cases by now, with Guintoli less than half a second behind his team mate.

WSBKGuintoli_action

Coming down the start/finish straight Guintoli sweeped underneath Laverty into first place. The number 50 bike of Guintoli pulled away, leaving his team mate to fight out for the second place with the Red Devils Roma Aprilia of Michel Fabrizio all the way to the final lap, where the two Aprilia’s battle ended with a photo finish. This completed an all Aprilia podium.

Outside of the top-3 was Chaz Davies from GoldBet BMW who battled vigorously hard with fellow Brit Tom Sykes up to the finish line. Davies finished ahead of his British rival by just 0.051 seconds, with the hard working Loris Baz of Kawasaki Racing Team a second behind.

After a very competitive first part of the race, PATA Honda’s Leon Haslam struggled to keep the pace and eventually had to accept 7th place ahead of his team mate Jonathan Rea. Haslam showed some strong riding early on in the race. Hopefully this gives him more confidence to perform at a higher standard more regularly, also to give some good results to his very supportive fans back in the UK.

Race Finishers

1. Guintoli (Aprilia)

2. Laverty (Aprilia)

3. Fabrizio (Aprilia)

4. Davies (BMW)

5. Sykes (Kawasaki)

6. Baz (Kawasaki)

7. Haslam (Honda)

8. Rea (Honda)

9. Camier (Suzuki)

10. Neukirchner (Ducati)

11. Cluzel (Suzuki)

12. Clementi (BMW)

13. Lundh (Kawasaki)

14. Allerton (BMW)

15. Stauffer (Honda)

16 Federico Sandi (Kawasaki)

17 Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW)

Race 2

The second and final race of the day didn’t disappoint! Eugene Laverty shuffled across onto pole position due to the injury the original pole-sitter Carlos Checa picked up in the nasty collision with number 33 and 4th place man on the grid Marco Melandri. The dark horse and the man to look out for was definitely GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri whose previous race was cut short.

WSBKLaverty_action

Lights out and away they went! Sykes cuts across and takes the lead into the first corner, who is swiftly followed by the battling pair of Melandri and Laverty.

Unfortunately GoldBet BMW’S Chaz Davies picked up a puncture to his rear tyre in a crash he had with Loris Baz and had to hobble back to the pits. As soon as he went back onto the track he was issued with a drive through penalty for dis-obeying the 2013 pit stop rules. This destroyed any hope of salvaging points.

The Northern Irishman began his race winning chase on lap 20 by overtaking GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri at Turn 4. By tracking down Melandri, Laverty posted the new lap record of 1.31.168. Laverty then passed Guintoli on the straight and clutched onto first place all the way to the chequered flag.

Laverty did claim in the previous race that he ‘protected his rear tyre too much’ and that he had the confidence to push the tyres further in the second race. Slightly disappointing displays from the two Brits Camier and Haslam after the pair ran wide at MG Corner. The injured Tom Sykes finished fifth which was reasonably impressive carry a left hand injury. Sykes continued where he left off last season by displaying some immense pace off the grid.

Race Finishers

1 Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)

2 Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)

3 Marco Melandri (BMW)

4 Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia)

5 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)

6 Davide Giugliano (Aprilia)

7 Jules Cluzel (Suzuki)

8 Jonathan Rea (Honda)

9 Leon Camier (Suzuki)

10 Leon Haslam (Honda)

11 Max Neukirchner (Ducati)

12 Glen Allerton (BMW)

13 Jamie Stauffer (Honda)

14 Federico Sandi (Kawasaki)

15 Alex Lundh (Kawasaki)

16 Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW)

17 Chaz Davies (BMW)