World Superbike

SBK Phillip Island Race Two: Guintoli Back To Winning Ways

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Sylvain Guintoli claimed his first World Superbike victory for twelve months after an engine blow-up for Eugene Laverty curtailed race two at Phillip Island. The Frenchman was leading Laverty when the no.58 Suzuki went up in smoke and with oil spilled on the race track, Guintoli was declared the winner ahead of compatriot Loris Baz.

The race began in frantic fashion with Alex Lowes suffering yet another disappointment in a weekend full of promise, outbraking himself at Honda hairpin on the opening lap. Marco Melandri got the holeshot but his fortunes took a nosedive at the same corner on lap eight, making a similar error and falling out of the top ten.

A leading group of three formed after Melandri’s misfortune with Guintoli leading from Baz and Laverty but Tom Sykes, who had suffered another miserable start, was finally getting up to speed and was closing the gap in fourth. Just as the reigning champion made contact with his teammate up ahead, the race was frustratingly halted.

Laverty was in the thick of an entertaining tussle with Baz with the French youngster diving past into turn one, only to lose second place back again at the Southern Loop. Exiting the Honda hairpin though, Eugene would lose a lot more than P2 as his GSX-R1000 billowed smoke, taking him out of the race altogether.

With oil on the track and two thirds distance completed, the red flags signalled the end of the race and Guintoli took maximum points. Baz was awarded second with Sykes third, a strong recovery given his troubles early on. The PATA Hondas of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam took fifth and sixth ahead of Chaz Davies while Marco Melandri worked his way past Toni Elias for eighth shortly before racing was halted.

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MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
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