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Tom Sykes and Kawasaki post one more perfect performance

WSBK Strip

Misano (Italy), Sunday 22 June 2014 – Following a difficult round in Sepang, the Kawasaki Racing Team was back on top form this weekend at Misano – in front of the 59,424 spectators attending over the three days – with reigning champion Tom Sykes taking the double, Loris Baz finishing with a brace of second places and David Salom leading the EVO field in both races. Thanks to his third double of the season, Sykes has now a 39-point advantage over Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and 41 over teammate Baz.

Despite still being second in the standings, Guintoli was on the back foot today at the Misano World Circuit, missing out the podium and being edged again by his fellow works Aprilia rider Marco Melandri, who completed the podium in the two WSBK encounters of the seventh round.

Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) claimed the race win in World Supersport.

The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back in action in a fortnight’s time, as the series heads to the Portimão’s Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, for the first of two back-to-back rounds before the summer break.

Tom Sykes:

“I am very pleasantly surprised at these results but I knew that the adrenaline and the concentration would give me something extra. It all went to plan in race one. I knew I had some limitation all weekend and I said that to my crew chief, and what the issues were. After that you need to get on and do the job. The lap times were quite surprising at the start and my pace too. The front and rear were moving a lot but the feedback from the bike was fantastic, so I have to thank Marcel and Danilo and all the mechanics for that. In race two it was even more difficult, I had to stay focused but at the end the control of the second race was probably a bit more relaxed than in race one.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“Title race wise at least I am holding onto second place but I definitely was expecting more. The top speed was there but we need to find consistency in our race pace especially in the second half. In Race 1 we made the wrong tyre choice, whereas in the second outing we made some adjustments to close the gap to the leaders. While I was with Marco and Baz I made a few mistakes which kept me from battling for the podium in the end. It's a shame there is no Race 3. Anyway, we need to keep working to be more consistent in the race”.

Race One:

After 21 fast and furious laps, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the opening race of the world superbike championship at Italy’s Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli after starting from pole position, courtesy of a record breaking lap Saturday. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) took the remaining podium positions by finishing second and third, respectively. 

From the start however it was Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) that took the holeshot before reigning champion, Tom Sykes, forced his way to the lead towards the end of the opening lap.

Both factory Aprilia riders made small mistakes before regrouping allowing Loris Baz through to give chase to his Kawasaki team mate.

Elias overshot at the start of lap three into turn one whilst the battle at the front was intensifying.

As the race progressed the battle at the front was fast becoming a two rider affair with the fight for the final podium place now involving both Ducati riders as well as the two factory Aprilia machines, Elias and the Pata Honda of Jonathan Rea.

As the race entered the final third Sykes was pulling away from Baz by 2 tenths of second leaving the Frenchman a lonely second. The final podium fight was now between Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) with Melandri eventually grabbing 3rd at the flag.

Chaz Davies, Sylvain Guintoli and Toni Elias completed the top 6.

David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) came out on top in the EVO battle after working his way through the pack after being caught mid pack in the opening sequence of corners, eventually finishing a respectable 11th overall.

Alessandro Andreozzi (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) crashed out unhurt. Frenchman Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki – EVO) retired on lap 10, after starting the race from the pit-lane due to a technical infringement found on his ZX-10R.

Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 21 Laps/88.746 km in 33'46.932 average 157.620 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 5.012; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 6.417; 4. Davies (Ducati) 7.783; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 16.248; 6. Elias (Aprilia) 17.399; 7. Rea (Honda) 21.162; 8. Giugliano (Ducati) 26.393; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 26.842; 10. Haslam (Honda) 40.600; 11. Salom (Kawasaki) 42.064; 12. Canepa (Ducati) 46.804; 13. Corti (MV Agusta) 48.909; 14. Goi (Ducati) 50.429; 15. Barrier (BMW) 52.452; 16. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 1'02.476; 17. Russo (Kawasaki) 1'11.815; 18. Staring (Kawasaki) 1'23.649; 19. Sebestyen (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Morais (Kawasaki); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Foret (Kawasaki); RT. Baiocco (Ducati); RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. May (EBR); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 46.219; SH. Iddon (Bimota) 53.155.

Race Two:

After winning the opening race of the day reigning champion, Tom Sykes, was victorious again in race two putting in a commanding performance aboard his Kawasaki Racing Team machine. It was the 20th career individual race win and the third double in the season for the Brit, who is now one success short of two time WSBK champion Max Biaggi.

Behind Sykes there was an intense, race long, three rider fight for the final places on the podium with Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) eventually grabbing 2nd ahead of Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) after some hard, but fair, overtakes between the pair. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) had to be content with fourth.

An equally exciting scrap behind the top four saw Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) emerge 5th ahead of Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who was 8th.

Race 2 was over before it had begun for Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team). The Italian who had finished 8th earlier in the day took the lead into turn one but was judged to have moved before the lights went out and was given a jump start penalty. He would eventually finish 9th after serving a ride through the pits for his mistake. Ducati’s other rider Chaz Davies crashed out of fifth on lap 5.

In the EVO battle the accolade of being the best classified finisher went once again to David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) despite a valiant race from Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) on his return to racing.

Christian Iddon (Team Bimota Alstare - EVO) highsided out of contention early on but was thankfully able to limp away. Fellow Brit Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed out of the fight for fifth. Unlike Iddon, Haslam did remount to finish 12th.

Race 2 Results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 21 Laps/88.746 km in 33'55.695 average 156.942 kph; 2. Baz (Kawasaki) 3.083; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 3.413; 4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 5.092; 5. Rea (Honda) 18.975; 6. Elias (Aprilia) 19.365; 7. Laverty (Suzuki) 20.177; 8. Lowes (Suzuki) 20.439; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 33.820; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 42.156; 11. Barrier (BMW) 43.581; 12. Haslam (Honda) 51.993; 13. Goi (Ducati) 53.714; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 59.316; 15. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'00.914; 16. Canepa (Ducati) 1'01.839; 17. Corti (MV Agusta) 1'07.178; 18. Staring (Kawasaki) 1'13.510; 19. Sebestyen (BMW) 1'31.715; RT. Guarnoni (Kawasaki); RT. May (EBR); RT. Davies (Ducati); RT. Morais (Kawasaki); NS. Baiocco (Ducati); NS. Foret (Kawasaki); SH.

Standings (Round 7 of 13): 1. Sykes 251; 2. Guintoli 212; 3. Baz 210; 4. Rea 199; 5. Melandri 179; 6. Davies 143; 7. Giugliano 111; 8. Elias 109; 9. Laverty 106; 10. Haslam 99; 11. Lowes 88; 12. Salom 67; 13. Canepa 43; 14. Camier 30; 15. Guarnoni 19; 16. Scassa 16; 17. Foret 14; 18. Corti 13; 19. Morais 10; 20. Andreozzi 9; 21. Barrier 6; 22. Allerton 6; 23. Bos 5; 24. Goi 5; 25. Staring 3; 26. Russo 2; 27. Toth 2; 28. Fabrizio 2; 29. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 266; 2. Aprilia 244; 3. Honda 199; 4. Ducati 178; 5. Suzuki 156; 6. BMW 42; 7. MV Agusta 13.

World Supersport:

As expected following a close qualifying session today’s World Supersport race was action packed from start to finish with multiple position changes at the front throughout the 19 lap encounter.

Pole Position setter Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) led from the start and immediately began stretching a lead of over the chasing group of riders that included Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres).

With Cluzel almost two seconds clear De Rosa crashed out of contention on lap 4 leaving Jacobsen, van der Mark and Sofuoglu to battle for the second and third places on the podium.

With five laps to go championship leader van der Mark had reduced the gap to Cluzel to under a second setting up another tense final few laps between the pair.

At the flag Cluzel took the victory, his second of the year by 1.5s from championship leader van der Mark with PJ Jacobsen taking 3rd and his maiden world championship podium.

Former champion Kenan Sofuoglu finished fourth with Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) completing the top six. 

Results: 1. Cluzel (MV Agusta) 19 Laps/80.294 km in 31'40.587 average 152.089 kph; 2. Vd Mark (Honda) 1.537; 3. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 3.400; 4. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 5.638; 5. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 9.923; 6. Zanetti (Honda) 11.018; 7. Marino (Kawasaki) 14.714; 8. Coghlan (Yamaha) 17.365; 9. Wilairot (Honda) 21.337; 10. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 22.215; 11. Nocco (Kawasaki) 22.407; 12. Kennedy (Honda) 22.641; 13. Wahr (Yamaha) 28.443; 14. Roccoli (MV Agusta) 30.202; 15. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 33.760; etc.

Standings (Round 7 of 12): 1. Vd Mark 135; 2. Cluzel 107; 3. Marino 85; 4. Zanetti 70; 5. Coghlan 68; 6. Sofuoglu 67; 7. Jacobsen 56; 8. Rolfo 55; 9. De Rosa 54; 10. Tamburini 48; 11. Wilairot 30; 12. Bussolotti 27; 13. Wahr 26; 14. Russo 25; 15. Kennedy 23; 16. Gamarino 22; 17. Menghi 19; 18. Nocco 16; 19. Leonov 15; 20. Gowland 9; 21. Zaidi 7; 22. Coveña 7; 23. Schmitter 3; 24. Calero 3; 25. Roccoli 2; 26. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 156; 2. Kawasaki 119; 3. MV Agusta 115; 4. Yamaha 78; 5. Triumph 9.

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