SBK Silverstone Race Two: Guintoli Stays Afloat To Take Victory

Sylvain Guintoli marked his debut weekend for PATA Ducati with a second career victory in World Superbikes although it came in rather farcical circumstances at a rain-soaked Silverstone. The Frenchman learned from his unsuccessful tyre gamble in race one to hold off Loris Baz and Jakub Smrz before the red flags ended the mayhem eight laps early.

With wet tyres the only option this time, Guintoli was able fight at the front immediately and he and Smrz would open up an eight-second lead within two laps. Baz was a distant third ahead of Davide Giugliano who was looking racy on the Althea Ducati in an effort to catch the Kawasaki.

As the race settled down, Baz and Giugliano turned the tables on the front two and took chunks out of their lead. Baz was with four seconds of Guintoli by lap six but it was then that the rain intensified, triggering a series of crashes that would ultimately bring the race to a halt. Unsurprisingly given his aggression, Giugliano was the first to fall after sliding off at Club but his teammate Carlos Checa proved that even the best were struggling to stay upright, crashing at the same place on lap nine.

While Althea Ducati's fortunes were taking a nosedive, bikes were littering the gravel traps elsewhere around the racetrack. Jonathan Rea's Honda was stranded at Abbey while Jakub Smrz had dropped it at Aintree, moments after losing second to Loris Baz.

Baz was now swarming all over the back of Guintoli at the front and dived past his fellow countryman at Copse on the tenth lap. The weather would claim him as its next victim just two corners later as the Kawasaki swapped ends on him at Becketts. With Baz having not led over the line, his chances of a victory double had disappeared and Kawasaki's mood would dim even further when Tom Sykes was seen spearing into the gravel at Club almost simultaneously.

The Yorkshireman was visibly livid as he climbed to his feet, questioning why the race hadn't been stopped, but no sooner had his gesticulations been noticed, the red flags were thrown. As at Monza, race control chose not to restart the race and declared a result after eight laps, awarding half points in the process.

Guintoli was the undoubted winner but confusion reigning over the remaining podium finshers. Baz was eventually credited with second but after initially taking his Aprilia to parc fermé, Eugene Laverty was told he had only finished fourth, handing a reprieve to Jakub Smrz after his late fall. Maxime Berger was an impressive fifth while Carlos Checa was classified in sixth ahead of Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri who outscored Max Biaggi once again. The championship leader did at least take something from race two, claiming two and a half points for eleventh.