The World Superbike Championship 2013 got underway at Phillip Island, Australia this weekend, with Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty taking a win each, kicking their respective seasons off with a bang!
The Aprilia team enjoyed great success in Race One, rounding off the podium with first, second and third positions. Top place went to Sylvain Guintoli, who took the chequered flag ahead on his RSV4, just ahead of teammate, Eugene Laverty.
The race began with Laverty taking the lead from second position. He managed to create a significant gap between himself and the rest of the field, but it wasn’t long before Guintoli slid through, overtaking on lap fifteen and leading until the end. Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Michel Fabrizio tried for second, but it wasn’t to be and he had to make do with the final podium spot.
Chaz Davies came in just outside of the top three, battling with Tom Sykes to the finish line and ending 0.051 seconds ahead of him. Sykes was swiftly followed by Loris Baz. After a promising first half of the race, Leon Haslam struggled to maintain his pace, eventually finishing seventh in front of his teammate, Jonathan Rea.
Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri were forced to bow out of the race on lap thirteen after Checa accidentally crashed into Melandri as a result of overbraking.
The second race belonged to Eugene Laverty, who managed to get the better of Sylvin Guintoli and Marco Melandri to take the win. As a result of this and an impressive first race, Laverty is now Championship leader, tied up in points with Guintoli.
Laverty went for the win on lap twenty when he overtook Melandri on turn four, simultaneously creating a lap record of 1’31.168. It didn’t take long for him to get ahead of Guintoli, holding onto first until the end.
After a concerted effort to catch up with the front-runners, Michel Fabrizio made a costly error, which caused him to run wide while attempting to overtake Melandri for second place. Eventually, Tom Sykes finished fifth, ahead of Davide Guigliano, Jules Cluzel and Jonathan Rea. A collision between Chaz Davies and Loris Baz meant that Leon Camier and Leon Haslam lost ground and though Davies managed to get his bike to the pits, he was penalised for not observing regulations. Carlos Checa did not take part in the second race of the day due to his earlier crash.