Eugene Laverty snatched victory in the second World Superbike race of the weekend at Laguna Seca after playing his tactics to perfection. Tom Sykes led most of the way but he was shuffled back to fourth as Laverty won from Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri, giving the Irishman’s championship hopes an almighty boost.
After showing such promising pace in clear air yesterday, all eyes were on polesitter Sylvain Guintoli but the Frenchman was beaten off the line by Laverty and Sykes and the problems wouldn’t end there as a fired up Melandri pushed past at the Corkscrew on lap five, followed through by an equally exuberant Giugliano. From pole position, Sylvain had been relegated to fifth and that would be how it would stay as the top four dropped the no.50 Aprilia.
The man on a mission was unquestionably Giugliano as the Althea rider chased a maiden World Superbike victory. The charge began with an overtake on Melandri at turn eleven and Davide’s late braking also took him past Laverty on lap nine. Sykes was proving a much tougher nut to crack though and the top four held station for a spell.
The tension continued to build until Laverty went back on the offensive, catching Giugliano cold with a move at turn five on lap 23 and on the penultimate lap, Sykes fell victim at the same corner to finally loosen his grip on the race. Sensing an opportunity to go with Laverty, Giugliano pounced at the final corner to regain second while Melandri also found turn five to be a useful passing place to push Sykes of the podium halfway around the last lap.
Laverty wasn’t out of the woods though with a motivated Giugliano on his tail but the Irishman’s tactics would see him through. With Giugliano’s favourite passing spot being the very last corner, Eugene took a defensive line into the left hander, knowing that his factory Aprilia would have the grunt to reach the finish line first and so it proved.
Melandri’s move on Sykes forced the championship leader to make do with thirteen points for fourth but at least that was two more than Guintoli in fifth who lost further ground to his rival. Jules Cluzel was sixth ahead of Toni Elias while Roger Lee Hayden and David Salom registered strong points finishes in eighth and ninth respectively.
|2013 eni Superbike World Championship|
|Riders Championship Standings After Round 12: Laguna Seca|
|1||▶ Tom Sykes||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||7||361|
|2||▲ Eugene Laverty||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||7||338|
|3||▼ Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||1||337|
|4||▶ Marco Melandri||BMW||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||3||319|
|5||▶ Chaz Davies||BMW||BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK||3||259|
|6||▶ Loris Baz||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1||180|
|7||▲ Michel Fabrizio||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||177|
|8||▼ Jonathan Rea||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||1||176|
|9||▲ Davide Giugliano||Aprilia||Althea Racing||169|
|10||▼ Jules Cluzel||Suzuki||FIXI Crescent Suzuki||160|
|11||▶ Leon Camier||Suzuki||FIXI Crescent Suzuki||114|
|12||▶ Ayrton Badovini||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||114|
|13||▶ Max Neukirchner||Ducati||MR-Racing||84|
|14||▲ Leon Haslam||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||83|
|15||▼ Carlos Checa||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||80|
|16||▶ Federico Sandi||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||47|
|17||▲ Toni Elias||Aprilia||Red Devils Roma||38|
|18||▲ Mark Aitchison||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||29|
|19||▼ Vittorio Iannuzzo||BMW||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||26|
|20||▶ Ivan Clementi||BMW||HTM Racing||18|
|21||▶ Niccolo Canepa||Ducati||Team Ducati Alstare||12|
|22||▲ David Salom||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||12|
|23||▼ Alexander Lundh||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||10|
|24||▲ Roger Lee Hayden||Suzuki||Michael Jordan Motorsports||8|
|25||▼ Fabrizio Lai||Kawasaki||Pedercini Team||8|
|26||▲ Blake Young||Suzuki||FIXI Crescent Suzuki||8|
|27||▼ Markus Reiterberger||BMW||Vanzon-Remeha-BMW||7|
|28||▼ Glenn Allerton||BMW||Next Gen Motorsports||6|
|29||▼ Tolga Uprak||Kawasaki||CMS-Eypbike Racing Team||5|
|30||▼ Matej Smrz||Yamaha||Yamaha Motor Deutschland||4|
|31||▼ Jamie Stauffer||Honda||Team Honda Racing||4|
|32||▼ Yunus Ercelik||BMW||Sampiyon 169 Team||3|
|33||▲ Danny Eslick||Suzuki||Michael Jordan Motorsports||2|
|34||▼ Kosuke Akiyoshi||Honda||PATA Honda World Superbike||2|
|35||▼ Noriyuki Haga||BMW||Grillini Dentalmatic SBK||2|
|Next Round: Magny Cours (October 6th)|