2013 Istanbul World Superbike Race One: The Track Doesn't Disappoint

Sixteen riders started the eighteen lap race in 23 degree sunshine.

Tom Sykes, from pole position had what looked like his best start of the year, leading the race ahead of a trio of Aprilias and Marco Melandri. Eugene Laverty slotted into second place with Sylvain Guintoli in third. Marco Melandri wasted no time in taking fourth place off Davide Giugliano and the front four set off in the order that they would maintain throughout the majority of the race.

Chaz Davies made early attempts at taking fourth place off his teammate Melandri, but Melandri was able to keep his place and try to close the gap to turn the front four into a breakaway pack. In the second group, Jules Cluzel, Chaz Davies, Toni Elias and Davide Giugliano would fight amongst themselves, with Elias making up for a poor start, slashing through to the second group.

It looked at first that Sykes would be able to break free of Laverty but the Irishman was fast enough to close the gap Sykes had built from the fourth lap and, while Guintoli had to stop trying to pass his faster teammate, Laverty was able to catch Sykes.

On the twelfth lap, well after the front pack lapped Yunus Ercelik, Laverty passed Sykes at the end of the kinked back straight with a clean overtake that Sykes had no answer to. Marco Melandri at this time, was showing Sylvain Guintoli a wheel, probing to find a way past. Two laps later, Melandri was able to take third place and set his sights on Tom Sykes.

Almost a lap after passing Tolga Uprak, Melandri caught Sykes at the end of the back straight and passed him on the brakes, but Sykes was able to switch back under and retain his second place over the line. At turn one, however, Melandri was able to pass Sykes and settle into second place.

As Sykes’s bike looked to lack the pace it had at the beginning of the race, it was clear he had no answer to Laverty and Melandri and had to fend off Sylvain Guintoli behind him. Whoever, between Sykes and Guintoli, finished ahead of the other would lead the championship. Ten seconds behind, Toni Elias and Davide Giugliani were locked in a duel that would only be decided at the flag.

At the end of the penultimate lap, Guintoli passed Sykes at the end of the back straight, but, as he did with Melandri, Sykes was able to switch back to the inside and retain third place, albeit with a little rear tyre slide, into the last lap.

Sylvain Guintoli had a plan. He was visibly faster on the back straight and placed himself perfectly to take third place and the title lead, but, coming out of the 240kmh right hand uphill turn, Guintoli’s Aprilia got a slight wobble on the rear tyre and lost him the drive he’d need to pass Sykes at the end.

Eugene Laverty won ahead of Marco Melandri with Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli in third and fourth. The battle for fifth place had Toni Elias try to pass Davide Giugliano on the inside of the last gorier, causing Elias to lose the bike, bounce of Giugliano and rescue an almost certain crash, all before the finish line. Giugliano and Elias retained fifth and sixth place after a brief investigation into the unusual move. A similar coming together of bikes before the flag occurred with new teammates Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio as Fabrizio had the inside line and bashed into Haslam, but Haslam led at the flag and the teammates seemed more amused by proceedings than annoyed.

Eugene Laverty’s win puts him within a mere 31 points of the championship lead in fourth place, behind Sykes, Guintoli and Melandri.

Attrition didn’t play a part in the race, with the two non-finishers, Mark Aitchison and the unlucky Ayrton Badovini, both retiring with mechanical issues.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Gap Speed
1 58 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 Factory   1'55.802 293,5
2 33 M. MELANDRI BMW S1000 RR 2.009 1'56.102 292,7
3 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 3.432 1'55.673 289,5
4 50 S. GUINTOLI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3.919 1'55.847 297,5
5 34 D. GIUGLIANO Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.830 1'56.746 295,1
6 24 T. ELIAS Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.945 1'56.353 293,5
7 16 J. CLUZEL Suzuki GSX-R1000 16.921 1'56.729 292,7
8 19 C. DAVIES BMW S1000 RR 21.491 1'56.082 292,7
9 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR 40.186 1'57.357 288,0
10 84 M. FABRIZIO Honda CBR1000RR 40.218 1'58.014 288,8
11 23 F. SANDI Kawasaki ZX-10R 41.700 1'58.136 288,0
12 31 V. IANNUZZO BMW S1000 RR 1'39.549 2'00.179 275,5
13 35 T. UPRAK Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap 2'04.026 264,7
14 169 Y. ERCELIK BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 2'05.181 262,8
RET 8 M. AITCHISON Kawasaki ZX-10R 8 Laps 1'57.623 285,0
RET 86 A. BADOVINI Ducati 1199 Panigale R 9 Laps 1'58.868 282,0

 

Round Number: 
11
2013
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