Aprilia men dominate Magny-Cours WSBK
The penultimate round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World witnessed a change of momentum for the title race, which will be decided on November 2nd at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Thanks to a win and a second place in the two wet races at Magny-Cours, Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) narrowed the gap to leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) to just twelve points.
The 32 year old Frenchman was cheered on by a vocal and enthusiastic home crowd that numbered some 74,514 over the race weekend.
Marco Melandri, who was second and first in the two encounters, completed the perfect race meeting for Italian works manufacturer. The former 250cc World Champion showed great form once again by stepping atop the podium for the sixth time in twelve races. Melandri slowed in race one under team orders to allow Guintoli to take the win and the major points in order to tighten the title chase to series leader Tom Sykes. In the second encounter however, Melandri defied those team orders and refused to slow and allow Guintoli the win in order to take the major points himself and move up to third in the series. Nevertheless the gap between Sykes and Guintoli has been reduced to only a 12-point margin heading toward the early November series finale at Losail.
Sykes on the other hand did his best to contain the damage by finishing the two encounters in fourth place after claiming an impressive Pole Position in dry conditions the day before, when he took the outright fastest lap ever recorded at the circuit.
Bryan Staring was the third EVO bike home and 14th outright in race one. In the second encounter Staring was the leading EVO machine while battling for ninth outright before falling just three laps from the finish.
Two titles were decided today as Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado grabbed the ultimate prize of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup after a dramatic final race that saw his title rival Luca Savadori crash on the last lap, while Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) raised the Champion’s trophy for the 2014 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda.
Sylvain Guintoli: “It’s been a great weekend for me and the team, as we managed to close the gap to the leader. As soon as I saw the weather forecast for today, I immediately thought there would have been a good chance to make some ground to Tom. I took some risks at the beginning but once I built a good lead I kept focused and tried to avoid any mistake, in order to get the best possible result. I’m very happy although I’m already thinking about the Qatari Round, as it will be the title decider. It’s a track I know quite well, I like it and I think it will suit the RSV4 well. I wish we were racing there tomorrow!”
Tom Sykes: “In race one that was the limit. I wanted to go faster but unfortunately we have had some limitations for some time in wet conditions and we cannot just quite get to where we need to be. For race two we were also restricted by conditions. It was a big shame because we know I can go much, much faster. Given the conditions these results are better than I expected, so there is one bonus. I wanted to fight with Sylvain and win the race but first I needed to finish the race. It could have been a lot worse but it could have been better. We are still in the best position in the championship so we need to go to Qatar and hopefully it lives up to its reputation as a desert and we will come out swinging.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “This was a great weekend for the Team. We are definitely back in the running for the Championship. When I saw the weather forecast yesterday evening I immediately thought that this would be a good opportunity to get some important points. I took a few risks at the beginning of the races and then, once I had created a good gap, I concentrated on staying focused to avoid any pointless risks and to take home the best possible result. I’m very happy but I am already thinking about Qatar, where the championship will be decided. It is a track that I know well and that I like and I think it will suit the RSV4 well. I wish we were racing tomorrow!”.
Marco Melandri: “Today we did a great job. The bike was fantastic and I was able to confirm my performance in Jerez. Sylvain was very fast and in the first laps it was difficult to overtake, but we created a good gap in front of our rivals straight way. The win in Race 2 is fair compensation for my efforts and those of the Team, and on top of that it put me in third place in the standings. I have demonstrated a good pace from the halfway point of the season, so now we’ll see how things go in Qatar”.
Leon Haslam – 6th and 3rd – “It’s been a tough two seasons, with a leg break last year and a few other problems I’ve been having, so a big thanks to the team, to Pata and to Honda who’ve stood by me. I’ve managed to repay them with a podium so I’m over the moon. We had our share of issues over the weekend, first in Superpole and in the second part of race one when I lost all straight line grip. But the boys made some changes for race two and it was definitely a step forward, although I still suffered a bit in the same area. It was also quite difficult starting from the fourth row of the grid because I couldn’t really see anything for the first few laps. By the time I got past a few guys the leaders had already gone. But I was really happy to beat Tom in the end – it was one thing getting to him but qui te another getting by. I passed him the first time on the brakes but started wheel-spinning and lost all my drive. I felt that I had a lot better pace than him but he was being really defensive. I lost both wheels trying to go outside him at turn three and then tried again at the hairpin and ran wide. I was running out of laps though so to get by him and then open a gap made me quite happy. We can go to Doha in a month’s time a little happier now.”
Jonathan Rea – 3rd and DNF – “It’s been a day of two halves really. Race one went OK although I really struggled with the power character in the wet today. It seems like Magny-Cours has just got really slippery in recent years and today’s conditions really highlighted that problem. It was satisfying to get on the podium but I wanted to give a little bit more to try and win. So for race two my team gave me some good changes but we didn’t quite solve the problem. I was still struggling in some areas but I was able to get to the front and this time just stay in a really good rhythm. Unfortunately, from the data we can see that, in turn five and six, I went through on a closed throttle as opposed to partially opened, and that was enough to have the engine braking kick in and bring the rear round. It came round so fast, I had no chance t o save it and it’s frustrating to get my first DNF of the year. One of my main targets was to finish all races this season but, speaking to the team’s technical co-ordinator and my crew chief, the target was to get to the front and go for the win this afternoon. I crashed at the front trying to win the race so I can’t be too hard on myself.”
Eugene Laverty: “Two non-finishes today in wet conditions really wasn’t part of the plan. It seems that whenever I crash in race one this year I follow it up with another crash in race two! I never give in though, and I’m determined to finish the season on a high note.”
Alex Lowes: “I’m really disappointed with today. We showed a lot of potential in qualifying yesterday and I had good pace in the wet this morning but the lack of grip in these conditions, and my lack of experience at Magny-Cours in the wet, cost us. There’s not a lot to take from today but we will come back fighting in Qatar.”
Race One Results: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 19 Laps/83.809 km in 36’45.206 average 136.818 kph; 2. Melandri (Aprilia) 2.257; 3. Rea (Honda) 5.954; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 15.670; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 16.149; 6. Haslam (Honda) 29.411; 7. Giugliano (Ducati) 57.319; 8. Lanzi (Ducati) 59.306; 9. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1’12.274; 10. Barrier (BMW) 1’22.931; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 1’39.670; 12. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1’42.886; 13. Corti (MV Agusta) 2’03.253; 14. Staring (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; 15. Foret (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; 16. Salchaud (MV Agusta) 1 Lap; 17. Morais (Kawasaki) 2 Laps; 18. May (EBR) 2 Laps; 19. Laverty (Suzuki) 2 Laps; 20. Toth (BMW) 3 Laps; RT. Rizmayer (BMW); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Fores (Ducati); RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. Elias (Aprilia); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); RT. Davies (Ducati).
Race Two Results: 1. Melandri (Aprilia) 19 Laps/83.809 km in 36’25.402 average 138.058 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2.669; 3. Haslam (Honda) 16.450; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 20.759; 5. Lanzi (Ducati) 46.689; 6. Neukirchner (Ducati) 58.490; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’03.100; 8. Corti (MV Agusta) 1’24.699; 9. Davies (Ducati) 1’27.899; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 1’51.706; 11. Foret (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; 12. Rizmayer (BMW) 2 Laps; 13. Toth (BMW) 2 Laps; RT. Staring (Kawasaki); RT. Laverty (Suzuki); RT. Fores (Ducati); RT. Guarnoni (Kawasaki); RT. Rea (Honda); RT. Barrier (BMW); RT. Morais (Kawasaki); RT. Giugliano (Ducati); RT. May (EBR); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Elias (Aprilia); RT. Salchaud (MV Agusta); NS. Andreozzi (Kawasaki).
Standings (Round 11 of 12): 1. Sykes 378; 2. Guintoli 366; 3. Melandri 312; 4. Rea 301; 5. Baz 282; 6. Davies 195; 7. Haslam 176; 8. Giugliano 162; 9. Laverty 154; 10. Elias 151; 11. Lowes 126; 12. Salom 95; 13. Canepa 65; 14. Guarnoni 45; 15. Barrier 38; 16. Camier 37; 17. Corti 25; 18. Morais 24; 19. Andreozzi 21; 20. Foret 20; 21. Lanzi 19; 22. Neukirchner 17; 23. Scassa 16; 24. Staring 14; 25. Rizmayer 7; 26. Allerton 6; 27. Bos 5; 28. Toth 5; 29. Goi 5; 30. Russo 5; 31. Pegram 2; 32. Fabrizio 2; 33. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 418; 2. Kawasaki 395; 3. Honda 317; 4. Ducati 269; 5. Suzuki 220; 6. BMW 79; 7. MV Agusta 32; 8. EBR 2.
The penultimate round of the World Supersport championship was held in difficult conditions over a reduced race distance of 17 laps but cut short after 12 laps.
Full of drama with a number of riders crashing out, the victory eventually went in emphatic style to Frenchman Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who claimed his third win of the year by over 18 seconds.
Newly crowned champion Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) finished 2nd after falling, remounting and then passing several riders to move back onto the podium on lap 10.
Roberto Rolfo (Go Eleven Kawasaki) started 17th to win a tense fight for the final podium position ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport), Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres), Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) who completed the top 6.
Former European Junior Cup champion Matt Davies (Aark Racing) who is making his 2nd wildcard appearance of the season, claimed a brilliant 13th to secure his first ever world championship points.
Michael van der Mark – 2nd – “First of all I want to thank my team because I gave them a lot of work to do after I crashed in the warm-up this morning. They did a great job and gave me a bike that I was able to be really fast on immediately. Unfortunately I had a small crash at the hairpin which cost me a few places but when I picked up the bike I was able to go fast again straight away so I could get by the guys in front of me. I feel sorry for Kenan because he really deserved the win today but I’m happy to finish second.”
Results: 1. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 12 Laps/52.932 km in 23’54.426 average 132.844 kph; 2. vd Mark (Honda) 20.274; 3. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 24.232; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 24.911; 5. Marino (Kawasaki) 26.599; 6. Coghlan (Yamaha) 26.860; 7. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 28.110; 8. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 29.777; 9. Wilairot (Honda) 53.463; 10. Schmitter (Yamaha) 54.266; 11. Marconi (Honda) 57.226; 12. Law (Kawasaki) 1’07.547; 13. Davies (Honda) 1’10.889; 14. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 1’20.101; 15. Roccoli (MV Agusta) 1’27.838; etc.
Standings (Round 10 of 11): 1. vd Mark 205; 2. Cluzel 132; 3. Marino 120; 4. Zanetti 103; 5. Coghlan 98; 6. Jacobsen 95; 7. Rolfo 87; 8. Sofuoglu 86; 9. De Rosa 67; 10. Tamburini 63; 11. Kennedy 56; 12. Wilairot 50; 13. Bussolotti 30; 14. Nocco 27; 15. Wahr 26; 16. Russo 25; 17. Gamarino 25; 18. Menghi 20; 19. Leonov 19; 20. Schmitter 14; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 226; 2. Kawasaki 171; 3. MV Agusta 146; 4. Yamaha 108; 5. Triumph 9.
Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) has become the 2014 FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup winner after finishing 4th in today’s final race at Magny-Cours.
Leading from lap one it was his arch rival Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini) who led, the Italian looking odds on to finish 2nd in the race and steal the crown until he crashed spectacularly on the final lap. Matthieu Lussiana (Team Garnier by ASPI) claimed his first ever race victory in front of a delighted partisan crowd. Romain Lanusse (Team Pedercini) made it French 1-2 while Jed Metcher (EAB Racing) completed the podium as the first Ducati home and took his first 15-point haul for the season.
Meracdo finished 4th, ahead of Federico Sandi (Team Motoxracing) and a despondent Savadori who completed the top 6.
Results: 1. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 15 Laps/66.165 km in 30’10.266 average 131.580 kph; 2. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 7.926; 3. Metcher (Ducati) 18.507; 4. Mercado (Ducati) 20.631; 5. Sandi (BMW) 24.999; 6. Savadori (Kawasaki) 26.176; 7. Egea (Kawasaki) 37.830; 8. Valk (Kawasaki) 42.062; 9. McFadden (Kawasaki) 43.495; 10. D’Annunzio (BMW) 1’07.763; 11. Suchet (Kawasaki) 1’16.631; 12. Ayer (Kawasaki) 1’17.032; 13. Alviz (Kawasaki) 1’20.920; 14. Maurin (Kawasaki) 1’25.755; 15. Moser (Ducati); etc.
Final Standings: 1. Mercado 117; 2. Savadori 109; 3. Lussiana 84; 4. Lanusse 73; 5. McFadden 70; 6. Jezek 69; 7. Massei 67; 8. Smith 55; 9. Valk 52; 10. D’Annunzio 45; 11. Day 42; 12. Nemeth 28; 13. Muresan 21; 14. Suchet 18; 15. Metcher 16; 16. Sandi 16; 17. Bergman 13; 18. Egea 11; 19. Grotzkyj G. 10; 20. Pagaud 10; 21. Alviz 9; 22. Alarcos 8; 23. Schacht 8; 24. Castellarin 7; 25. Walraven 6; 26. Ayer 5; 27. Calia 4; 28. Moser 4; 29. Maurin 2; 30. Butti 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 149; 2. Ducati 141; 3. Honda 71; 4. BMW 57; 5. Suzuki 6; 6. Aprilia 4.
The final STK600 race of the year has been won by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Bike ServiceRacing) after a thrilling 8 lap race at Magny-Cours this afternoon. The race was initially stopped after a nine rider crash at the infamous turn four hairpin, thankfully all riders were uninjured an all but two were able to take the restart.
On the restart everyone made it safely around the hairpin and at the front a titanic battle then ensued.
With several of the leading riders making their debut in the class, the fans were treated to a spectacular fight as the leading group consisting of over nine riders stayed locked together.
At the flag it was Razgatlioglu who came out victorious with Anthony Dumont (SLMotuer) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) completing the podium.
Newly crowned champion Marco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia) qualified on row 3 but was soon in the hunt, however the rider who has dominated the 2014 season soon found himself on the floor, a victim of a collision that he was unable to avoid.
In the final standings Wayne Tessels (Wayne’s Racing Team) secured 2nd position with Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia) ensuring 3rd after the pair finished 11th and 6th respectively.
European Junior Cup
Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) has clinched the 2014 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda title after an intense 10 lap race at Magny-Cours, held under wet conditions. The young Spaniard, who had to finish the race in the top-15, was third at the flag behind race winner Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL) and wildcard Dorian Laville (Team Laville Mi&Do). Thanks to today’s win, Orellana sealed the runner-up spot.
Brandon Demmery was one of a number of early falls in the treacherous conditions, three riders even went down on the warm up lap and four riders did not finish the first lap. Lachlan Epis crashed with five laps remaining after running strongly earlier in the race.
Augusto Fernandez – 2014 Pata European Junior Cup champion – “Today’s race was very crazy! Many people were passing me and I asked to myself what should I do? Go with them or stay in seventh place and win the championship? I was lucky, I guess, because four riders crashed in front of me and I was able to get to the podium! I am so very happy and want to say thank you to all the people who have supported me. I think we have done a really good season and I didn’t crash in any of the races, so I am happy about that! I’m also happy to be a part of this team in Superstock 600 on Honda’s CBR600RR next year.”
Results: 1. Orellana 10 Laps/44.110 km in 24’40.793 average 107.237 kph; 2. Laville 3.256; 3. Fernandez 5.117; 4. Van Sikkelerus 8.484; 5. Van Der Valk 10.089; 6. Ortt 24.928; 7. Gouget 38.539; 8. Soomer 1’08.807; 9. Karsijns 1’41.750; 10. Wisdom 1’43.240; etc.
Final Standings: 1. Fernandez 155; 2. Orellana 140; 3. Licciardi 84; 4. Fernandez 83; 5. Harland 72; 6. Perez 66; 7. Miralles 62; 8. Soomer 57; 9. Hubner 51; 10. Van Sikkelerus 48; 11. Grassia 35; 12. London 33; 13. Wisdom 32; 14. Ortt 21; 15. Geissler 21; 16. Laville 20; 17. Ciprietti 20; 18. Hill 20; 19. Brink 13; 20. Van Der Valk 11; 21. Gouget 9; 22. Lujan Soto 9; 23. Wilford 8; 24. Karsijns 7; 25. Gabellini 7; 26. Moreno 5; 27. Drayton 4; 28. Zhu 4; 29. Miebach 3; 30. Bezuidenhout 3; 31. Epis 3; 32. Van Schoonhoven 3; 33. Somosi 3; 34. Ferreira 3; 35. Patterson 2; 36. Levy 2.