WSBK News: Results Of Race Two Changed After Appeal

The last lap of the second World Superbike was frought with controversy after an overtake followed by an off-track excursion. The results of third and fourth place in the race have subsequently been reversed, following an appeal.

Sylvain Guintoli was overtaken by Tom Sykes and pushed back to fourth place as Sykes chased second-place Marco Melandri. As Sykes approached Melandri at the Variante Della Roggia, he had to run off track to avoid the Italian's rear wheel. Upon rejoining the race, Sykes returned to his place ahead of Guintoli, causing the Frenchman to slow down, ending his run for the podium.

When Guintoli arrived at Parc Fermé, he thought that he would be assured of third place assuming that Sykes had broken the rules exiting in front of him. As Sykes was awarded third place, Aprilia appealed the result and were successful in getting the third and fourth places swapped. Sylvain Guintoli then tweeted a photograph of himself standing on a plastic box with 3 scrawled on the front, holding the third place trophy.

Guintoli's lead in the championship is now extended to 16 points from Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes is a further 8 points behind.

Update: This decision has since been reversed. Sykes has been reawarded third place. 

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Sylvan - silly mistake from Tom I was surprised he didn't drop behind you on rejoining the track. Sorry for Tom but good to see the right rider got third in the end.

I like Tom Sykes, but I disagree with Race Direction on this one. I watched the pass a bunch of times. It was all one continuous move that started with Tom understandably pushing, but pushing too hard. He out-braked himself and had to run off. Rejoining in the position he had just gained in the same move that put him off track was the wrong place to rejoin.

I don't blame him, or think he has done anything wrong. On the contrary, he is a racer. He will take the advantage presented to him, such as Guintoli not being able to move back up to third when Sykes entered wide at the next corner. His team additionally, has done nothing wrong. They are paid to win races. An appeal of an appeal is a win on the books.

No, here, Race Direction failed. Sykes braked late and couldn't hold it. Guintoli lost momentum due to the same move. Sykes re-entered in the position he had gained in the same move that sent him off track. Guintoli didn't have the momentum to go through the small gap Sykes was able to leave him upon re-entering. The simple laws of physics, combined with the wills of motorcycle racers meant no positions were going to be exchanged as soon as that whole sequence started... UNLESS, Tom had rejoined in 4th as he should have. Since he didn't, it was up to Race Direction to fix it, and they didn't.

Congratulations to all of the top 4 men. It was entertaining and safe racing!

Apparently, the course stewards upheld Aprilia's complaint and awarded Tom a One second penalty - meaning Guinters was promoted to 3rd - only for the FIM to reverse the decision and re-instate the Kawasaki rider.

Tom made a mistake..I wonder if he'd have braked so late had there been a gravel trap there or, it had been a hairpin?
Stoner talked about hard run-off areas allowing riders to push over the limit knowing they could get away with it.

Simple new rule..

At circuits that have hard run-off..if a rider leaves the track, make them rejoin at the same place they exited or a safe re-entry point, effecting a U-turn.

It seems not only race direction should come in for some criticism. It appeared that after oil was dropped in Variante Della Roggia during the first attempt at a Supersport race, the flag marshals were aware of it. One was seen on television rubbing his foot over it as if testing the slipperiness. He then walked away.

Back to the Superbikes, Sykes rode two very intelligent races and kept the Kawasaki in the hunt despite its top speed deficit. He was good on the brakes and sometimes appeared to have slightly better acceleration out of the chicanes. His patience was a sign of great maturity.

And gee whiz, four blokes raced nose to tail and sometimes wheel to wheel, in two races, and not one of them bumped, banged, bashed or t-boned any of the others. Perhaps they are more mature than certain younger individuals...

As a result of the way Tom was riding in order to get past Guintoli, Tom couldn't stay on the track. After taking a short cut, off track he came back on compromising Guintolis line and retaining 3rd. No doubt in my mind that Tom should be moved back to 4th. Absolutely nothing to do with Melandri.
Shame on the FIM.

As soon as Sykes came back on track in 3rd I was thinking he should've slotted into 4th because the rule is you are not allowed to gain an advantage from an off-track excursion, and IMO keeping 3rd place was an advantage.

The fact that Sykes almost clipped Melandri means nothing, and I'm not sure what race direction was thinking. It's not like #33 was brake checking #66 to cause the issue.

Regardless - 2 flag to flag races with 4 guys battling for the lead will lead me to feel very disappointed during next week's MotoGP Parade.

"... the rule is you are not allowed to gain an advantage...and IMO keeping 3rd place was an advantage."

He can't 'gain' if he 'keeping' 3rd place.

Actually one can but I wanted to point out the difficulties in the English language, exacerbated by race direction for whom English is (probably) not their first language. I am not seeking to excuse, merely pointing out it is legal interpretation and each party would've submitted their arguments. It is apparent Kawasaki's was more persuasive. I assume they held Tom's overtake on Guintoli to be complete and no time to have been made to the rider in front (Melandri) thus it is not gaining an advantage by rejoining in the same place he departed.

Really meant to overtake Guinters then run wide onto the dirt & gravel on purpose and run the risk of throwing everything away! Don't talk wet!
Technically he did gain the position prior to running off track and joined back on track in the same position. Read the rules, its the same as Marquez last week, by technical rules he had a wheel in front of Lorenzo so was deemed as being in front which is the same as Tom but he had the whole bike in front of Sylvain.
Race direction would of analyzed the gap between Tom and Melandri to see if he made any gains and it is now obvious that he didn't, hence the result being overturned yet again.
So here it is, while i rate Sylvain as a good man and awesome racer, he got beat on the day.
He still leads the championship so best to just kick some arse next time out, if he can catch Tom that is...

Had this been any other racetrack Sykes would have been on his head in a gravel runoff trap and DNF'd. And it wasn't even the first time he'd blown that exact chicane - he screwed it up in the first race in the same spot. At any other track, it's two DNFs for Sykes, not a pair of thirds.

I seem to recall Stoner complaining that paved runoff areas were a bad idea precisely for this reason - that riders would make dumb and dangerous moves since the potential consequence was so small - a penalty, maybe.

I love the races at Monza, but they have to be officiated differently than other tracks that are self-policing (i.e., you run off, you crash or lose a lot of time). And so far, that level of competence by officials has not been seen.

I would prefer the rule be that if you run off the racing circuit you can only re-enter after having given ground to the next rider following you. I can't stand the fact that blokes run off and resume often without looking, or without suffering a penalty for their error. So I'm with you and Stoner on the general philosopy.

And what about that chicane - make a mistake there and lose plenty of ground (and maybe a penalty for not staying within the lines), yet elsewhere there is no real disincentive for outbraking yourself and running off?? Makes no sense to me.

is the route IMO.
It would be fairly easy to calculate the time taken for such bikes to stop from the typical dry corner entry speed and then to accelerate back to that speed. Deduct that from their overall time. If they obstruct/delay another rider on re-entry double the penalty. If they collide with/take-out another rider, disqualify them.

That way a rider doesn't have to think too much, still needs his brain 'in', knows a run-off is not a no-penalty option for a late over-optimistic overtake, and isn't required to actually stop or ride around 'soft' or other obstructions to slow him/her down.

Riders/ex-riders seems to be saying that the best solution to the first corner crash-fest is to ride straight through on the first lap. The above would permit an 'open' escape road to allow that and penalise anyone who runs straight-on during the remainder of the race (and remove the need to know which is the correct piece of tarmac to ride through on!).

These chicanes get a lot of criticism - but they did provide for a brilliant piece of riding from Lowes in the WSS race (eventually).