Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes dominated the opening World Superbike race at Magny-Cours, and led from the hole-shot. The Briton stormed out of the starting blocks and successfully held off the charge of rival, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli. He repeated his performance in the second race and is close to icing the WSBK championship.
Chaz Davies is rumored to be closing on a deal that will see him join Ducati for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season, possibly alongside Ben Spies. Embarking on his second season in the WSBK series, the Welshman has three wins to his name but is without a ride for 2014.
With one less factory-assisted team on the grid, Davies' hopes of landing a similar role with another manufacturer are slimming, particularly as Honda has now confirmed its riders, Kawasaki is expected to keep Loris Baz alongside Tom Sykes, and Aprilia is leaning towards Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli.
Leaving just Suzuki and Ducati as comparative options for 2014, notwithstanding a raft of privateer entrants, Davies is being targeted by the Italian manufacturer, five years after it approached him to join its MotoGP testing team.
Should a deal come to fruition, Davies could be joined in the team by Ben Spies. The 2009 WSBK champion is understood to be in negotiations to join the Superbike team as a compromise over his faltering two-year deal to race in MotoGP. The American started just two races this season, due to shoulder injuries.
From lap one it was Sykes with Guintoli hot on his heels, but the Yorkshire rider battled on ahead and even though the Frenchman was putting in some impressive lap times he was unable to overtake Sykes, especially as the race came to an abrupt halt after a red flag put an end to the track action, with only four laps remaining.
Pedercini rider Mark Aitchison high-sided and even though he was unhurt his bike caught on fire while out on the French circuit and the red flags swiftly appeared. Sykes was declared the winner, followed by Guintoli and his team-mate Eugene Laverty, who took the final step on the podium.
Laverty did start off well and was fourth on lap one, but four laps later the Irishman made a move on Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano for third place, and that is where he remained till the red flag. Laverty ended the race ten seconds behind the leading two riders, with Italians’ Giugliano and GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri rounding off the top five.
There was a fierce three-way battle for sixth between Pata Honda team-mates Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio and Ducati Alstare’s Michele Pirro. But in the end it was Carlos Checa’s stand-in rider Pirro who took the spoils as Haslam went wide on lap seventeen and both Fabrizio and Pirro were able to take advantage of his mistake. Badovini and Lanzi rounded off the top ten.
GoldBet BMW’s Chaz Davies only lasted two laps. The Welshman was in sixth and made a move on team-mate Melandri to go into fifth, but the front end folded underneath him and he slid into the gravel at Chateau d’Eau. Davies was not the only rider to crash: local hero, Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel crashed at Lycee on his seciond lap, but was unhurt.
Red Devils rider Toni Elias and Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Vincent Philippe collided and both crashed out while battling for sixth at Lycee. Both managed to get back on their bikes, but Elias later retired.
Race 1 results
1. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 29m 38.830s
2. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia Racing RSV4 +2.146s
3. Eugene Laverty IRL Aprilia Racing RSV4 +10.643s
4. Davide Giugliano ITA Althea Racing RSV4 +15.687s
5. Marco Melandri ITA BMW GoldBet S1000RR HP4 +23.573s
6. Michele Pirro ITA Alstare Ducati 1199 R +33.846s
7. Michel Fabrizio ITA Pata Honda CBR1000RR +37.599s
8. Leon Haslam GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR +37.903s
9. Ayrton Badovini ITA Alstare Ducati 1199 R +38.181s
10. Lorenzo Lanzi ITA Mesaroli Ducati 1098 R +51.604s
11. David Salom ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +54.742s
12. Federico Sandi ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 03.442s
13. Vincent Philippe FRA Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1m 07.176s
14. Fabrizio Lai ITA MR Ducati 1199 R +1m 24.850s
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo ITA Grillini Dentalmatic BMW S1000RR +1 laps
16. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 16 laps completed
17. Toni Elias ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 15 laps completed
18. Jules Cluzel FRA Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 2 laps completed
19. Chaz Davies GBR BMW GoldBet S1000RR HP4 2 laps completed
Race 2 results
1. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 34m 36.149s
2. Eugene Laverty IRL Aprilia Racing RSV4 +11.091s
3. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia Racing RSV4 +11.337s
4. Davide Giugliano ITA Althea Racing RSV4 +23.008s
5. Chaz Davies GBR BMW GoldBet S1000RR HP4 +25.724s
6. Vincent Philippe FRA Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +34.762s
7. Marco Melandri ITA BMW GoldBet S1000RR HP4 +36.219s
8. Toni Elias ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 +40.957s
9. Lorenzo Lanzi ITA Mesaroli Ducati 1098 R +43.713s
10. Ayrton Badovini ITA Alstare Ducati 1199 R +53.188s
11. David Salom ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +56.251s
12. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 04.048s
13. Federico Sandi ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 04.243s
14. Jules Cluzel FRA Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1m 10.346s
15. Fabrizio Lai ITA MR Ducati 1199 R +1m 29.441s
16. Vittorio Iannuzzo ITA Grillini Dentalmatic BMW S1000RR 13 laps completed
17. Michel Fabrizio ITA Pata Honda CBR1000RR 12 laps completed
18. Leon Haslam GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR 7 laps completed
19. Michele Pirro ITA Alstare Ducati 1199 R 2 laps completed
WSBK Top 10 Standings
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