SBK Jerez Race Two: Melandri Thwarts Guintoli Again

Marco Melandri secured his second double victory of the 2014 World Superbike season after beating Sylvain Guintoli in a carbon copy of race one at Jerez. The Italian left it late once again before snatching the lead, denying his teammate yet more valuable championship points in a questionable tactical performance from Aprilia.

Just as in race one, polesitter Loris Baz was at the centre of the action but his early lead lasted just a couple of laps before Guintoli eased through at turn one. Baz was shuffled back to third almost immediately afterwards by his teammate Tom Sykes, the Yorkshireman enjoying a much stronger showing in race two, while Melandri pushed past the no.76 Kawasaki for third on lap four.

Marco’s inexorable rise up the order continued with Sykes unable to keep the Italian at bay despite his improved performance. Melandri grabbed the inside line into turn one on lap eleven but 1.5 seconds still separated him from Guintoli out in front. No matter how hard he tried, Sylvain was unable to prevent his teammate from reeling him in and with five laps to go, the Frenchman succumbed to the inevitable and lost the lead.

Sykes followed the RSV4s home in third to limit the damage to his championship lead. The Kawasaki rider will head to Magny Cours with a 31 point cushion although Guintoli would have trailed by just 21 had his team enforced team orders and moved his teammate aside.

Chaz Davies backed up his race one podium with fourth in race two while Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty completed the top six, both having overhauled the disappointing  Loris Baz. Leon Haslam was eighth for PATA Honda with Alex Lowes going some way to atoning for his race one disappointment by finishing ninth.