World Superbike

SBK Assen Race Two: Laverty Shades It Over Sykes

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Eugene Laverty denied Tom Sykes a victory double by beating him in a tactical second race at Assen. The pair were comfortably clear of the rest of the field and disputed the race win between themselves, eventually separated by nine hundredths of a second at the finish.

The two were inseparable throughout with Laverty playing a patient game on the tail of Sykes’ Kawasaki but the Irishman finally made his move on lap nineteen, getting a better exit out of De Strubben hairpin before drafting past him down the Veenslang straight. Despite following with ease, Eugene didn’t have the speed to break away over the remaining three laps and Tom still had a chance approaching the final chicane. Unfortunately for the Yorkshireman though, his Kawasaki ZX-10R stepped out in the middle of the chicane and he didn’t quite have the momentum to outdrag the Aprilia to the finish line.

The fight for the final rostrum position was also keenly contested with Sylvain Guintoli looking to maintain his 100% podium record in 2013. That streak would be broken by his compatriot Loris Baz after a terrific move into Mandeveen and Guintoli would be shuffled back to sixth by Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies who ended a difficult day on a high by passing the championship leader on the last lap. The quartet were somewhat fortunate to be chasing a podium place with Davide Giugliano crashing out of third early on, leaving a trail of flames from his damaged Althea Aprilia.

Leon Camier was the best of the rest in seventh although the race was bittersweet for FIXI Crescent Suzuki with Jules Cluzel crashing out. Marco Melandri recovered from a strange moment when he seemed to be cruising into retirement to finish eighth while Michel Fabrizio and Carlos Checa completed the top ten, the latter 32 seconds off the lead on Ducati’s Panigale.

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