2013 Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1: And So It Starts

Twenty two dry laps in Australia where tyre wear was a concern before the race started, but in the end, the Pirellis lasted the distance.

While the Ducati Panigale got the pole position, it was the Aprilia that dominated the race. It started with Eugene Laverty getting away first ahead of a cautious Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki and Marco Melandri on the BMW. Tom Sykes would lose a few places lap on lap, letting Melandri, Leon Haslam and Carlos Checa get past him. Laverty made a break but could only stretch his lead to a second and a half, while the bikes behind him passed each other cleanly, or as cleanly as Superbike riders can pass. Carlos Checa held second place for a few laps, but Sylvain Guintoli scythed his way through the field and finally passed Checa and set his sights on Laverty, while Davide Giugliano ran off track and ended his debut race.

Halfway through the race, after the usual shuffling mid-pack, Carlos Checa realised he wasn't going to make a corner and tried to run on cleanly, but he clipped Marco Melandri, turning a routine run-on into a two-bike crash. Both bikes were out, but Melandri was on his feet running to check on Carlos Checa, but the Spaniard was unconscious and required airlifting to the mainland. Checa won't be able to race in the second race as he was unconscious, meaning he would not be cleared to race in race two.

At the front, Sylvain Guintoli finally caught and passed Eugene Laverty while Michel Fabrizio duelled with Leon Haslam to try to get an all-Aprilia podium. Behind the three Aprilias, Leon Haslam, Loris Baz, Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies bunched up and traded places with surprising ease, but it was clear at this point that the Aprilias couldn't be caught.

Sylvain Guintoli charged off at the front while Eugene Laverty and Michel Fabrizio fought to the bitter end. Guintoli claimed his first ever dry win on his first outing on the Aprilia, with his team mate Eugene Laverty winning a two-bike drag race to the line ahead of Michel Fabrizio. Laverty and Fabrizio were both visibly pleased with their result. In fourth place, Chaz Davies beat a resurgent Tom Sykes by a twentieth of a second with Loris Baz, on his first ever race on the island, and Leon Haslam taking sixth and seventh. Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier were over ten seconds further back.

Eugene Laverty stated that he still had rather a lot of tyre left at the end of the race as he was overly careful, and Sylvain Guintoli took the last couple of laps a few tenths slower than the previous six, dropping into the 1'32s to ensure he won safely. Tom Sykes had a tyre that blistered a little, but he still managed to fight back after it looked like it would slow him down.

Now the tyre question has been answered, race two could see a different pace from riders.


1. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33'47.109
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33'48.461
3. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 33'48.468
4. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 33'52.811
5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33'52.862
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 33'53.878
7. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 33'53.939
8. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 34'05.053
9. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 34'06.261
10. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati Panigale 1199 34'13.666
11. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 34'17.414
12. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 34'17.520
13. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'32.294
14. Glen Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports) BMW S1000 RR 34'35.741
15. Jamie Stauffer (Team Honda Racing) Honda CBR1000RR 34'40.562
16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 35'09.839
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 35'20.483
RT. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati Panigale 1199 18'28.459
RT. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 18'28.468
RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3'10.979
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beIn Sports, for giving us the coverage this great series deserves. Over 4hrs of commercial-free, live programming! Pity for Marco, but the Aprilias looked untouchable. Can't wait to see Carlos, Marco & Chaz playing catchup....BRING ON ARAGON!

I'm not sure if coverage around the world showed it, but in Australia, we got to see an interview with Marco after Race 1. He mentioned that when saw Checa not moving he ran over (as we saw) and Checa's eye were open and he was breathing. Marco asked him to blink if he could hear Marco, but Checa didn't. Then he went on to mention the poor actions by the marshals/medical staff in how they got Checa onto the stretcher. There was no stabilising of the neck, which in an accident like the one Checa had I would have thought be paramount.

Marco finished by saying that this is a professional sport and should be supported by medical professionals for the safety of all competitors. I completely agree.

Purchasing the Premium package for $125 is not necessary to get BeIn on DirecTV, you can add it to any existing package for $12 a month. And if you're creative with your packages, you likely can get it for less. Call them.

... despite Americans being, rightly, worried they wouldn't see WSBK this year I'm glad beIN came through but I simply do not understand the reluctance of broadcasters to show motorbike racing of any sort it seems. I've heard it claimed it is due to poor veiwing figures. I'm amazed by that but if true what is needed is stability and preferably on free to air tv. If the costs are too high it's up to Dorna to look ahead and build rather than just charge and see diminished and diminishing viewing figures.

In the uk one can only see superbikes on an evil man's network and then only if you pay for all manner of other sh**. I don't care who is hotter/fatter/stupid/'talented' etc... I just want to see complete coverage of great motorcycle racing.