The second round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship was taken by storm by Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki, that claimed the first two steps of the podium in both World Superbike races, as well as coming out on top in World Supersport. and with the best classified EVO rider in race 2.
Tom Sykes took the double on the team’s home round, in front of the 24,255 spectators attending the event, whilst Loris Baz ended up twice second. The Kawasaki Racing Team pairing are now on top of the riders standings, with Sykes (75 points) leading and Baz just four points shy of his team-mate.
Aprilia Racing Team duo Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri lie currently in third and fourth position respectively, with the Italian rider able to finish within the top 3 in the second and last race of the day.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) stepped on the podium for the first time since the 2013 UK round at Silverstone, as the British rider finished third in Race 1.
Tom Sykes: “We scored two race wins today but after four or five laps of race two it felt far from perfect! Race one was very good and we had a good set-up that gave us a consistent pace on a cold track. I thought race two was going to be more straightforward in hot conditions so I went for the same SC0 as race one. The two guys behind me for sure had more grip than me but we were for sure able to put the Ninja ZX-10R on the pieces of tarmac those guys were looking for. I had a plan on the last lap to keep them behind me – and it worked.”
Jonathan Rea: “It’s been a really positive weekend for us to go back on the podium this early in the season. I really enjoy riding the bike at this circuit and we’ve made a lot of improvements since Phillip Island. In race one I ran into some rear tyre problems, but in race two we went with the softer option, which most of the grid changed to. We deserved two solid top fives today and I feel we can now take some momentum to Assen where we know the bike is good and build on this at a circuit I really enjoy.”
The opening race at MotorLand Aragon has been won by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a masterful of performance by the reigning World Champion.
Sykes, who led from turn one was never headed, coming home seconds ahead of Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) completing the podium. Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) crashed during the final lap whilst in second place, but the Italian rider was able to rejoin, eventually crossing the line in eighth place.
Other factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies was fourth ahead of Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia).
Twelfth place Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) was the EVO Category best classified after a thrilling 17 lap race left the crowd enthralled in the Spanish sun, just ahead of local rider and other EVO entrant David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Results – Race one
1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 17 Laps/90.848 km in 33’38.583 average 162.021 kph
2. Baz (Kawasaki) 4.275; 3. Rea (Honda) 8.418; 4. Davies (Ducati) 15.715; 5. Laverty (Suzuki) 19.305; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 21.998; 7. Elias (Aprilia) 24.018; 8. Giugliano (Ducati) 27.894; 9. Haslam (Honda) 29.077; 10. Lowes (Suzuki) 29.863; 11. Melandri (Aprilia) 34.820; 12. Camier (BMW) 35.255; 13. Salom (Kawasaki) 43.975; 14. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 46.721; 15. Morais (Kawasaki) 56.619; 16. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1’16.469; 17. Yates (EBR) 1’35.047; 18. Toth (BMW) 1’48.427; 19. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1’51.222; 20. Sebestyen (BMW) 2’01.152; RT. Fabrizio (Kawasaki); RT. Canepa (Ducati); RT. May (EBR); RT. Corti (MV Agusta); RT. Foret (Kawasaki); EX. Badovini (Bimota) 43.934; EX. Iddon (Bimota) 58.222.
The second race of the day at MotorLand Aragon was a carbon copy of race 1, with Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz dominating in the Spanish sun.
Baz who had been unable to stick with his team mate in the opening race looked a lot more comfortable this afternoon as did Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) who was incredibly fast at the end of the race, closing down the two green machines rapidly to put himself in the hunt for the victory.
In a spectacular final three laps the three riders exchanged places a number of times with the deciding move coming at the final hairpin at the Aprilia of Melandri went wide allowing Sykes and Baz to claim a 1-2 finish for the second time today. Melandri finished 3rd .
Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was 4th, with race one podium finisher Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) completing the top 6.
Race 1 EVO best classified Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was involved in a race long dual with Althea Racing Ducati’s Niccolo Canepa and local rider David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team). In the end Salom took the EVO honours after a last lap mistake from the BMW rider dropped him to 12th overall, handing the category victory to the local rider ahead of Canepa.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Claudio Corti (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) all fell without injury.
Results – Race two
1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 17 Laps/90.848 km in 33’37.223 average 162.130 kph
2. Baz (Kawasaki) 0.338; 3. Melandri (Aprilia) 0.470; 4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 5.429; 5. Rea (Honda) 8.861; 6. Laverty (Suzuki) 15.986; 7. Giugliano (Ducati) 18.206; 8. Haslam (Honda) 25.513; 9. Elias (Aprilia) 25.823; 10. Salom (Kawasaki) 38.949; 11. Canepa (Ducati) 39.413; 12. Camier (BMW) 41.486; 13. Morais (Kawasaki) 1’02.587; 14. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1’09.720; 15. Foret (Kawasaki) 1’14.046; 16. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1’14.233; 17. Yates (EBR) 1’35.195; 18. Toth (BMW) 1’37.781; 19. Sebestyen (BMW) 1’54.547; 20. May (EBR) 1’57.166; RT. Fabrizio (Kawasaki); RT. Guarnoni (Kawasaki); RT. Corti (MV Agusta); RT. Davies (Ducati); RT. Lowes (Suzuki); EX. Badovini (Bimota) 40.915; EX. Iddon (Bimota).
Standings (Round 2 of 13)
1. Sykes 75; 2. Baz 71; 3. Guintoli 64; 4. Melandri 49; 5. Rea 48; 6. Laverty 46; 7. Giugliano 43; 8. Davies 30; 9. Haslam 25; 10. Elias 23; 11. Salom 22; 12. Canepa 16; 13. Lowes 9; 14. Foret 9; 15. Camier 8; 16. Morais 7; 17. Allerton 6; 18. Guarnoni 4; 19. Corti 3; 20. Scassa 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 81; 2. Aprilia 71; 3. Suzuki 49; 4. Honda 48; 5. Ducati 48; 6. BMW 14; 7. MV Agusta 3.
A typically close World Supersport race in the Spanish sun resulted in Kenan Sofuoglu claiming his first win of the season aboard his Kawasaki.
In the early stages a group of six riders swapped places with Australia winner Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnnich Motorsport) claiming a lap record in the process.
As the race continued the leading group split with Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), former Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi India Kawasaki Team), and Cluzel joining Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha) in the battle for the victory.
Lap 12 saw Cluzel and Coghlan collide at the end of the back straight resulting in both riders crashing, with Coghlan the only one able to restart. The incident handed Sofuoglu a comfortable lead over Van Der Mark who slowed as the riders ahead fell. Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) claiming the final podium position.
Coghlan regrouped to finish 5th despite his late fall.
1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 15 Laps/80.160 km in 30’43.276 average 156.556 kph
2. Vd Mark (Honda) 0.869; 3. Marino (Kawasaki) 9.091; 4. Zanetti(Honda) 10.475; 5. Coghlan (Yamaha) 15.194; 6. De Rosa (Honda) 18.579; 7. Tamburini (Kawasaki) 19.059; 8. Leonov (MV Agusta) 19.666; 9. Gamarino(Kawasaki) 19.846; 10. Wilairot (Honda) 20.077; 11. Kennedy (Honda) 24.569; 12. Rolfo (Kawasaki) 25.187; 13. Schmitter (Yamaha) 25.535; 14. Jacobsen (Kawasaki) 28.843; 15. Menghi (Yamaha) 28.904; 16. Bussolotti (Honda) 33.148; 17. Coveña (Kawasaki) 43.243; 18. Rogers (Honda) 56.196;19. Ivanov (Yamaha) 56.460; 20. Calero (Honda) 1’11.373; RT. Cluzel (MV Agusta); RT. Nocco (Kawasaki); RT. Russo (Honda); RT. Wahr (Yamaha).
Standings (Round 2 of 12)
1. Coghlan 31; 2. Marino 29; 3. De Rosa 26; 4. Sofuoglu 25; 5. Cluzel 25; 6. Vd Mark 20; 7. Tamburini 20; 8. Zanetti 13; 9. Gamarino 13; 10. Wahr 10; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 38; 2. Honda 36; 3. MV Agusta 33; 4. Yamaha 31; 5. Triumph 9.
The next round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the Assen TT Circuit on April 27th.