2013 Aragon World Superbike Race One Results: What A Difference A Few Laps Make

World Superbike race one would be a twenty lap race in 22 degree sunshine, with Tom Sykes starting from Pole position ahead of Eugene Laverty. As the riders settled into start the race, Mark Aitchison's Effenbert Ducati was wheeled off the starting grid, adding to the team's list of woes.

Laverty took the lead by the first turn, with Sykes and Chaz Davies scrapping for second place. Sylvain Guintoli was ahead of Jonathan Rea, but Marco Melandri took sixth place off him down the back straight. At the end of the second lap, Chaz Davies passed Tom Sykes, and the two had some very close racing for the last few corners but Sykes was able to barge past before the first turn. Eugene Laverty was starting to build a small gap from Sykes, Davies and Guintoli when something went wrong.

Laverty's Aprilia stopped making power where it was needed, sitting the Irishman up and making him pull into the pits with an electronic failure. Marco Melandri at this point was in fourth place, closing down the front three. Tom Sykes settled in to first place when he too was struck by mechanical gremlins and frustratingly forced out of the race.

Chaz Davies, sitting in first, was grooming a gap ahead of Sylvain Guintoli while Marco Melandri settled into a podium position. Jonathan Rea was leading the second group, fighting with Loris Baz and Jules Cluzel. Carlos Checa was in 7th place, but not looking particularly comfortable.

By the halfway point, Chaz Davies had a three second lead and he would be able to manage this to the end of the race, winning his first race on the BMW, but behind him, Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli would swap places, putting Melandri in a safe second place until he found a false neutral, causing him to run on into a corner, dropping to fifth place. Melandri would have to fight with a resurgent Davide Giugliano and Jonathan Rea with Loris Baz and Jules Cluzel eager to catch him. Sylvain Guintoli was being caught by Marco Melandri, but Melandri ran out of laps to reclaim his second place and the podium was filled by Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. Jonathan Rea was able to get fourth place in spite of the fact his Honda was visibly missing in performance compared to everything apart from Ducatis. 

With Davide Giugliano running out of fuel in the last sector of the last lap, the DNF gifted Eugene Laverty fifteenth, and last, place, as the Irishman had returned to the race six laps down.

Chaz Davies won ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri, while Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes suffered from gremlins that cost them both first place.


Aragon - FIM Superbike World Championship - Race 1

1. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 39'50.332
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39'55.548
3. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 39'57.421
4. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 39'58.528
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40'04.749
6. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 40'08.664
7. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 40'14.638
8. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40'16.216
9. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 40'26.053
10. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 40'34.461
11. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 40'41.756
12. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40'59.549
13. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 41'04.423
14. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 41'38.660
NC. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40'08.280
RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 37'57.840
RT. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 22'31.831
RT. Mark Aitchison (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 13'07.647
RT. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 10'02.121

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I have 2 questions regarding the WSBK regulations:
- did Laverty really pull his bike in the pits and into the garage but still had the right to rejoin the race later? I guess that would be a different regulation than in Grand Prix when your bike going back in the garage means automatic DNF.
- finally he's not 15th but not ranked, what is the rule for that, do you need to have covered a certain fraction of the race when it ends in order to be ranked?

Such bad luck for Laverty and Sykes in race 1, Davies could have won it anyway but we have been robbed from a serious battle between the 3 brits.