WSBK

Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty Secure Race Wins at Laguna Seca

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Kawasaki Racing Team's Tom Sykes won Race one at the 12th round of the 2013 World Superbike Championships held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the United States in the early hours of this morning.

The race was shortened from the original 26 laps down to just 12 laps after which was eventually contested over 12 laps crashes sustained firstly by Danny Eslick from the Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki and then by his team mate Roger Hayden, which both resulted in the Red Flag being shown.

Sykes aboard his works Kawasaki rider took the lead on the tenth lap thanks to an outstanding overtaking manoeuvre at Turn 11, after a side-by-side downhill ride with BMW Motorrad Goldbets Chaz Davies.

The championship leader then rode comfortably to win the race, while Marco Melandri lost some ground after trying to pass his team mate Davies at turn 5 and then, on the final lap, lost third place courtesy of a superb pass by Eugene Laverty aboard his Aprilia Racing Team, machine at the "Corkscrew".

‰ÛÏIt was hard having three starts but it ended up good for us with a race win." Sykes stated. "Sylvain (Guintoli) and I came together at the entry to turn one off the start and our contact pushed my brake lever down from its normal position.

"That was a bit awkward to deal with for a little while but I got my head around it," he added.

"I was pushing to stay with the BMW guys up front for a while but in the end it was a good race for us."
Aussie Mark Aitchison raced to fine 10th place finish in race one - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Laverty's team mate Sylvain Guintoli ended up fifth, a frustrating result for the Frenchman who was comfortably in the lead in each of the two interrupted races.

Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) claimed sixth place, ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia), Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) and Australian Mark Aitchison who impressed in his first ride with Team Pedercini Kawasaki, rounding out the top ten.

Potential podium contender NiccolÌ_ Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) could not line-up for the final restart of the race after crashing out in the second part.

Australia's Glenn Allerton aboard his Next Gen BMW finished finished in 16th position.

Race Two
Eugene Laverty was the man to beat in race two on Sunday - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Aprilia Racing Team's, Eugene Laverty has won the second race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in spectacular fashion in front of 41,175 excited spectators on Sunday with the 12th round of the WSBK championship being spead out over two days.

After passing Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Team) at Turn five with two laps to go, the Irishman made the exact same move on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) on the following lap, breaking the spell that was holding the Brit at the front for most of the race.

‰ÛÏIt was not an easy race." Laverty stated. "I'd like to thank my team because they made some set-up adjustments to my bike that worked perfectly.

"I pushed to the limit on the last lap, Davide and Tom were really strong but I'm happy for the win. It was an unexpected result, but now I'm now second in the standings ahead of two very different rounds.

"I would like to dedicate this win to my track engineer Marco Bertolatti, who‰Ûªs just become father," he concluded.

Sykes, on the other hand, tried everything he could to defend his position under braking, but once he lost the lead he was passed by both Giugliano and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), crossing the line in fourth place.

The works BMW rider successfully stayed ahead of the Championship leader for third, while Giugliano did the best he could to snatch his first WSBK race win, eventually settling for second.

‰ÛÏIt was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled all weekend." Sykes admitted. "We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was.

"We know what our potential was here again today. We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence.

"In less than a week‰Ûªs time we will be in France and doing it all over again.‰Û
Glenn Allerton raced to 16th and 17th place finishes for the weekend - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Sylvain Guintoli did not manage to catch the leading pack to be in contention for the win, but the end result today helped him stay in touch with Sykes in the standings, as he ended up fifth ahead of fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) wildcard Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), rounding out the top ten.

A disappointing race for Team Ducati Alstare, as both NiccolÌ_ Canepa, who running 4th, and team mate Ayrton Badovini suffered crashes, while Welshman Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had to pull in due to a technical problem on the second lap.

Australia's Mark Aitchison put in another solid ride for Team Pedercini Kawasaki, finishing in 13th, while Australia's Glenn Allerton aboard his Next Gen BMW finished finished in 17th position.

Sykes now heads into round 13 of the championship with a 23 point advantage over Laverty who has jumped to second position in the overall standings. Guintoli is now third, a point behind his team mate while Melandri is now 42 points short from the lead.

Round 12 Race One Results:
1. Tom Sykes 16m55.703s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Chaz Davies 1.253 GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
3. Eugene Laverty 2.454 IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
4. Marco Melandri 2.650 ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
5. Sylvain Guintoli 3.430 FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
6. Davide Giugliano 3.584 ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
7. Jules Cluzel 9.134 FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
8. Toni Elias 11.252 SPA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
9. Ayrton Badovini 14.140 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
10. Mark Aitchinson 17.830 AUS DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
11. David Salom 18.010 ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
12. Blake Young 21.767 USA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
13. Michel Fabrizio 22.087 ITA HONDA Pata Honda
14. Federico Sandi 32.837 ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo 34.267 ITA BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic
16. Glen Allerton 50.167 AUS BMW Next Gen Motorsports
Race on Podium - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Race Two Results:
1. Eugene Laverty 36m44.555s IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
2. Davide Giugliano 0.112 ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
3. Marco Melandri 2.051 ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
4. Tom Sykes 2.304 GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
5. Sylvain Guintoli 2.959 FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
6. Jules Cluzel 10.187 FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
7. Toni Elias 17.789 SPA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
8. Roger Lee Hayden 20.602 USA SUZUKI (Michael Jordan Motorsports)
9. David Salom 22.055 ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
10. Michel Fabrizio 23.472 ITA HONDA Pata Honda
11. Leon Haslam 24.118 GBR HONDA Pata Honda
12. Blake Young 29.563 USA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
13. Mark Aitchinson 32.565 AUS DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
14. Danny Eslick 51.777 USA SUZUKI (Michael Jordan Motorsports)
15. Niccolo Canepa 1'05.824 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
16. Vittorio Iannuzzo 1'23.892 ITA BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic
17. Glen Allerton 1 Lap AUS BMW Next Gen Motorsports
18. Ayrton Badovini DNF ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
19. Chaz Davies DNF GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
20. Federico Sandi DNF ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
Tom Sykes now has a 23 point lead in the WSBK champoinship - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Championship Standings After Round 12:
1. Tom Sykes 361 pts
2. Eugene Laverty 338 pts
3. Sylvain Guintoli 337 pts
4. Marco Melandri 319 pts
5. Chaz Davies 259 pts
6. Loris Baz 180 pts
7. Michel Fabrizio 177 pts
8. Jonathan Rea 176 pts
9. Davide Giugliano 169 pts
10. Jules Cluzel 160 pts
11. Leon Camier 114 pts
12. Ayrton Badovini 114 pts
13. Max Neukirchner 84 pts
14. Leon Haslam 83 pts
15. Carlos Checa 80 pts
16. Federico Sandi 47 pts
17. Toni Elias 38 pts
18. Mark Aitchinson 29 pts
19. Vittorio Iannuzzo 26 pts
20. Ivan Clementi 18 pts
28. Glen Allerton 6 pts
31. Jamie Stauffer 4 pts

Top Image: Tom Sykes on his way to winning race one on Saturday
Credit: Gee Bee Images

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