Marco Melandri captured his third win of the season, the Ducati 1199 Panigale scored its first podium while Sylvain Guintoli regained the championship lead despite dislocating his collarbone days before the race. But the big news at Moscow Raceway of course was the tragic death of Andrea Antonelli in the World Supersport race.
The opening-lap crash in severely wet conditions naturally led to the cancellation of the rest of the events as the World Superbike community mourns the loss of the 25-year-old Antonelli. Race results are far less important than the loss of a life, racing teams all sent their condolences to Antonelli’s family and friends.
But before the crash, the series completed the first scheduled WSBK race. The race was held in mixed weather conditions, contributing to several crashes, before the skies completely opened up with rain on the 20th lap, leading riders to pull into the pits for a tire change under flag-to-flag rules.
BMW Goldbet‘s Chaz Davies led the first 20 laps but his teammate Melandri’s crew did a much better job with the pit stop. Melandri’s crew helped him significantly narrow the gap, with the Italian taking the lead for good on Lap 21.
Davies finished second ahead of Ayrton Badovini who recorded the first WSBK podium for the Ducati 1199 Panigale R.
“It’s impossible to revel in a podium finish when something of this magnitude happens,” a subdued Badovini said following Antonelli’s death.
Badovini’s teammate Carlos Checa was one of DNFs in the WSBK race, crashing out on the opening lap after bumping with Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider Jules Cluzel. Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes, who led the championship points race going into Russia, retired after experiencing a fluid leak that resulted in a fire.
2013 WSBK: Moscow Race One Top Five Results
|1||Marco Melandri||BMW S1000RR||–|
|2||Chaz Davies||BMW S1000RR||+7.441|
|3||Ayrton Badovini||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+12.754|
|4||Jonathan Rea||Honda CBR1000RR||+21.317|
|5||Michel Fabrizio||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||+47.456|
2013 WSBK Championship Standings after 8 Rounds
|1||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia Racing||239|
|2||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing||235|
|3||Marco Melandri||BMW Motorrad Goldbet||207|
|4||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing||190|
|5||Chaz Davies||BMW Motorrad Goldbet||174|
In other action, the Cup of Nations race at Moscow Raceway saw Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha‘s Dakota Mamola take the win by 7.2 seconds over Ilja Mikhalchik followed by Giuseppe de Gruttola. If Dakota’s last name rings a bell it’s because he’s the son of noted American racer Randy Mamola.