Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz kept their heads to win their first races of the 2013 World Superbike Championship on a typically unpredictable summer’s afternoon at Silverstone. Both races failed to dodge the showers in Northamptonshire and as the title contenders erred on the side of caution, Rea and Baz came to the fore.
Rea was simply untouchable in the mixed conditions of race one, easing away from the pack to take a three second victory over Eugene Laverty with Leon Camier taking third to the delight of FIXI Crescent Suzuki. Their day would get even better yet but Rea had the biggest smile of all after the opener, ending his 33 race winning drought.
“Race one was probably one of the sweetest victories of my career because to ride out-front in those conditions was quite scary. I was so happy for the whole team and our sponsors, but I had to be very cautious. I also had to be smart and, as I saw the gap heading into the last few laps, I didn’t want to be throwing away that kind of lead. My team gave me a great bike after we pulled something out for Superpole that worked in the dry.”
Rea was in the thick of the action in race two when rain started to fall but having left himself too much to do, he had to make do with fourth. The victory would be decided between two Frenchman as Jules Cluzel took the fight to Baz out front. The Kawasaki rider would prevail as a heavier downpour in the closing laps brought out the red flags, although it was too late to prevent Cluzel and Leon Haslam hitting the floor.
Cluzel was still awarded second place but Baz was victorious for the second year in succession at Silverstone and the 20 year old was understandable emotional afterwards.
“After race one I was really disappointed because I was fighting for the podium but maybe I was thinking too much about this and made a lot of mistakes, so I finished fifth. In race two I said to myself, “OK, this one is mine.” In the first part of the race, even in the dry, I had good pace and I pushed at the front. I tried to control the pace from the front but there were some fast people behind me and it was difficult to go away. Every time somebody tried to pass me I passed them back and at the end the conditions were really wet and I nearly fell. I want to say thanks my team because they are making a really good job with this bike for not just Tom or me but for both riders. Now I feel really comfortable. I also want to dedicate this victory to Andrea Antonelli’s family.”
In terms of the title battle, Eugene Laverty was the big winner after following his second place in race one with third in race two, three places ahead of teammate Sylvain Guintoli. The Frenchman crucially pipped Tom Sykes to sixth and thanks to an indifferent first race from Sykes, has extended his lead to thirteen points.
|2013 eni Superbike World Championship|
|Riders Championship Standings After Round 9: Silverstone|
|1||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||1||262|
|2||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||5||249|
|3||Marco Melandri||BMW||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||3||226|
|4||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||4||221|
|5||Chaz Davies||BMW||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||2||180|
|6||Loris Baz||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1||180|
|7||Jonathan Rea||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||1||176|
|8||Michel Fabrizio||Aprilia||Red Devils Roma||138|
|9||Leon Camier||Suzuki||FIXI Crescent Suzuki||114|
|10||Jules Cluzel||Suzuki||FIXI Crescent Suzuki||113|
|11||Davide Giugliano||Aprilia||Althea Racing||100|
|12||Ayrton Badovini||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||91|
|14||Carlos Checa||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||68|
|15||Leon Haslam||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||51|
|16||Federico Sandi||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||36|
|17||Ivan Clementi||BMW||HTM Racing||18|
|18||Vittorio Iannuzzo||BMW||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||15|
|19||Niccolo Canepa||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||11|
|20||Alexander Lundh||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||10|
|21||Fabrizio Lai||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||8|
|22||Glenn Allerton||BMW||Next Gen Motorsports||6|
|23||Mark Aitchison||Ducati||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||5|
|24||Jamie Stauffer||Honda||Team Honda Racing||4|
|25||Kosuke Akiyoshi||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||2|
|26||Noriyuki Haga||BMW||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||2|
|Next Round: Nurburgring (September 1st)|