Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz win the 9th round of the WSBK championship
The 2013 World Superbike championship signed off before the three week long summer hiatus with two spectacular races at Silverstone yesterday.
Drizzle and out right rain made the asphalt conditions very dodgy, with the top two title rivals, Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes, not wanting to risk their precarious positions in the standings.
28,000 odd fans who decided to brave the crazy weather, had the opportunity to see two and more outsiders give battle under the menacing dark clouds.
Race 1 saw Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea return to the top of the podium, after more than a year since his last victory, while Kawasaki’s 20-year old Loris Baz won race 2, almost a year to the day after his first ever win at the British circuit.
The first race was delayed as a light rain hit certain sections of the circuit and the distance reduced by one lap, but it was back on after twenty minutes, as first time pole sitter Eugene Laverty got the holeshot, followed by Rea, as Baz slided past Carlos Checa who suddenly found himself 7th, with Sykes in fourth, just ahead of Chaz Davies, as the tightly knit group finished the first and second lap.
Sykes started pressuring his team mate, then overtook him, setting his sights on Rea and Laverty and one lap later, the British Kawasaki rider was leading the race and trying to escape, as Baz began tailing the Irishman, while Jonathan Rea lost three positions in just one lap.
The first white flag was deployed during lap six, indicating rain in certain parts of the circuit, as Laverty faded to fifth, with Baz and Rea back on Sykes tail, as the Huddersfield man began to become less confident as the rain intensified with Rea, Baz, Sylvain Guintoli and SBK rookie Jules Cluzel all mugging him in just two laps.
Rea and Baz began gapping the rest of field with a three second margin as a melee broke out for third, with no less than six riders jockeying for the position.
The Pata Honda man began to pull away from Baz, as Leon Haslam shot up to third as Guintoli lost three spots in the hot tussel.
With just two laps to go Rea was more than comfortably in the lead, as Baz suddenly found himself in the clutches of the Suzuki duo Camier and Cluzel and the Aprilia duo Laverty and Guintoli.
Camier and both Aprilias got past Baz, as Laverty and Camierbegan to battle for second while Guintoli, thinking about the Championship points and his recovering right shoulder backed out of the ensuing fight.
With Rea cruising over the finish line, Laverty got past Camier and defended his second spot tooth and nail against Camier, as the Suzuki rider would end up third, scoring his first podium of the season and the first for his team.
If race one was exciting, race 2 was a thriller.
Rain and drizzle, once again played a big part in mixing up the playing field as Laverty and Loris Baz began exchanging the lead over the first lap, as both Sykes and Davies overtook Laverty in the second, leaving the Irishman in fourth, followed by Guintoli, Cluzel, Camier and Melandri, who made up seven positions in just three laps.
Race 1 winner Jonathan Rea couldn't seem to hold the pace of the front runners, as he was shuffled back as the white rain flags began to wave again.
Sykes running in second on the wet track was overtaken first by Chaz Davies, then by Laverty and both Suzuki riders, as Davies then passed Baz for the lead.
Both Aprilia riders latched on to the front four as Sykes, in seventh, was having his hands full, defending himself from a resurgent Rea.
Lap 12 saw Camier take the head of the race as Cluzel attacked Davies, then his team mate, as the Suzuki riders exchange the top spot with Baz re-entering the fray along with Guintoli and Laverty.
Camier from first, suddenly found himself down in 6th in the battle royal, as Davies’ machine blew (this would be the third engine that the BMW team lost this weekend).
With just 2 laps remaining Baz was back in front followed by Cluzel and Laverty, as Rea moved into 4th.
In the penultimate lap Cluzel crashed out of his second place and he was followed by Leon Haslam, who had a huge highside.
Out came the rain flag, followed by the red flag that halted the proceedings, and calling the end of the race
Since the race was red flagged, the countback and results were taken from the end of lap 16 giving Baz his second career victory.
Cluzel despite his crash, would see his first Superbike podium, while Laverty would score another podium, making him the man who took home more points than anyone during the weekend and allowed him to move to third in the standings, behind Guintoli and Sykes.
2013 WSBK Silverstone Race 1 results:
- 1. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 37′16.058
- 2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 37′19.131
- 3. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 37′19.538
- 4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 37′19.666
- 5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37′20.198
- 6. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 37′21.717
- 7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 37′22.501
- 8. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37′26.602
- 9. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 37′30.075
- 10. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 37′30.225
- 11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 37′30.238
- 12. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37′42.594
- 13. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 37′59.619
- 14. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38′02.431
- 15. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38′49.682
- 16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39′26.033
- 17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38′38.584
- RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 26′04.504
2013 WSBK Silverstone Race 2 results:
- 1. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33′46.622
- 2. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 33′47.231
- 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33′47.491
- 4. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 33′48.767
- 5. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 33′48.851
- 6. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33′48.996
- 7. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33′52.413
- 8. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 34′06.748
- 9. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 34′06.831
- 10. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 34′07.251
- 11. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34′07.391
- 12. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 34′08.029
- 13. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34′31.637
- 14. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34′32.560
- 15. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34′32.658
- 16. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 35′08.829
- RT. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 34′06.566
- RT. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 29′33.669