Action packed WSBK opener at Phillip Island

 

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The long wait for racing to return to the telly finally came to an end this weekend with the start of the 2014 WSBK championship in Phillip Island.

Expectations were high for an exciting opening round after some surprise results during pre-season testing and the weekend’s racing didn’t disappoint. With another seven week wait until the second round it was just as well that Phillip Island provided a healthy dose of action to see racing fans through such a long wait.

What was clear from the outset was the Suzuki was well up to the job of maintaining the shockingly quick pace set in testing by new boy Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty, even if an engine loss in the second race may cast doubts over its durability with the rest of the season yet to come.

Laverty got off to a poor start in the first race dropping from fourth to seventh on the Voltcom Suzuki, four seconds adrift from the leaders. The Irishman got his head down and powered through the pack, taking the lead near the end of the race and finally crossing the line for the win with a healthy lead over Marco Melandri in second and Sylvain Guintoli in third. Tom Sykes could only manage a rather average seventh place on the Kawasaki, crossing the finish line 15 seconds behind Laverty. The win marked a comeback for Suzuki after 95 races without taking the top spot on the podium.

Sadly Laverty could not repeat his blistering performance in the second race of the day, his Voltcom Suzuki GSX-R1000 retiring with engine failure on lap 14.

It was up to Sylvain Guintoli to repeat his win from the same round in 2013 to take the top spot on the podium in the shortened second race which ended seven laps early. The reason for the premature finish was a spectacular engine blow up for race 1 winner Eugene Laverty which forced the organisers to bring out the red flag due to the engine oil on the track.

With two thirds distance having been covered the result was called and Frenchman Guintoli found himself in the right place to secure the win ahead of the Kawasakis of  Baz and Sykes in second and third.

It didn’t all go Guintoli’s way with a scrap for the lead that saw him battle with both Kawasakis and the Italians Melandri and Guigliano but Guintoli eventually asserted his dominance to regain the lead until the red flag was shown.

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RACE 1 RESULTS:

1. Eugene Laverty IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 22 laps
2. Marco Melandri ITA Aprilia Racing RSV4 +2.959s
3. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia Racing RSV4 +3.034s
4. Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati SBK 1199R +6.972s
5. Loris Baz FRA Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +11.132s
6. Jonathan Rea GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR +11.718s
7. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +15.612s
8. Chaz Davies GBR Ducati SBK 1199R +25.724s
9. David Salom ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +37.407s (E)
10. Niccolo Canepa ITA Althea Ducati 1199R +37.468s (E)
11. Glenn Allerton AUS BMW Italia S1000RR +39.271s (E)
12. Fabien Foret FRA MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R +45.212s (E)
13. Claudio Corti ITA MV Agusta RC Yakhnich F4RR +50.249s
14. Jeremy Guarnoni FRA MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 17.134s (E)
15. Sheridan Morais RSA IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R +1m 23.686s (E)

16. Imre Toth HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR +1m 30.651s
17. Aaron Yates USA Team Hero EBR 1190RX +1 lap

Not Classified

18. Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 15 laps completed (E)
19. Leon Haslam GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR 5 laps completed
20. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 4 laps completed
21. Toni Elias ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 4 laps completed

 

RACE 2 RESULTS

1. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia Racing RSV4 15 laps
2. Loris Baz FRA Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +0.283s
3. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +1.103s
4. Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati SBK 1199R +2.052s
5. Jonathan Rea GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR +4.951s
6. Leon Haslam GBR Pata Honda CBR1000RR +5.673s
7. Chaz Davies GBR Ducati SBK 1199R +9.664s
8. Marco Melandri ITA Aprilia Racing RSV4 +10.574s
9. Toni Elias ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 +11.682s
10. David Salom ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +15.065s (E)
11. Niccolo Canepa ITA Althea Ducati 1199R +16.294s (E)
12. Fabien Foret FRA MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R +16.919s (E)
13. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +19.694s
14. Sheridan Morais RSA IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R +27.266s (E)
15. Glenn Allerton AUS BMW Italia S1000RR +27.845s (E)

16. Jeremy Guarnoni FRA MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R +29.431s (E)
17. Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +36.393s (E)
18. Claudio Corti ITA MV Agusta RC Yakhnich F4RR +37.018s
19. Imre Toth HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR +54.093s
20. Aaron Yates USA Team Hero EBR 1190RX +1m 13.385s

Not Classified

21. Eugene Laverty IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 14 laps completed

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