WSBK 2013: Nurburgring Race Report

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Tom Sykes has taken over the lead in the 2013 World Superbike Championship standings after splitting race victories with Chaz Davies at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit. Both races ended prematurely however with red flags during the final laps.

Pata Honda‘s Jonathan Rea and FIXI Crescent Suzuki‘s Leon Camier both crashed on the 18th lap of Race One after running into oil spilled on the track from Pedercini Kawasaki racer Federico Sandi‘s ZX-10R. Rea broke his left femur in the crash while Camier was treated for potential neck injuries and released from hospital. And in the second race, the red flag came out after wild card entry Matej Smrz crashed his R1 on Lap 19, spoiling Yamaha‘s return to the WSBK grid.

Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s Loris Baz crashed during warm-up before Race One, fracturing his second cervical vertebra. Baz is reportedly fully conscious and has full mobility in his body but remains under observation.

Race One Highlights

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Kawasaki’s Sykes jumped out to the early lead followed by the BMW Motorrad Goldbet duo of Marco Melandri and Davies. Sykes led for most of the race up until that final red-flagged Lap 18. After battling his teammate Davies for much of the race, Melandri passed inside on Sykes on the first turn to take over the lead.

Not long after however, Rea ran into the fateful oil patch at a speed of nearly 140 mph, sending him sliding into the run-off at Turn 8. Things could have ended tragically as Camier and his GSX-R1000 soon came tumbling through the same corner, missing the fallen Rea.

Sykes was awarded the victory with Melandri relegated to second with Davies completing the podium in third. Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli, who led in the standings going into Germany, finished fourth.

2013 WSBK: Nurburgring Race One Top Five Results

Pos. Rider Motorcycle Gap
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R -
2 Marco Melandri BMW S1000RR +0.268
3 Chaz Davies BMW S1000RR +0.714
4 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory +6.427
5 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 Factory +8.526

Race Two Highlights

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Melandri took the early lead in Race Two after just missing out on a win in the first race. He was followed early on by Sykes and Davies. Sykes dropped back to fourth on Lap 3 after being passed first by Davies and then by Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty.

Davies moved into the lead on Lap 7 with Laverty and Melandri both staying in striking distance. Melandri briefly regained the lead on Lap 15 but lost it to Davies who led when Smrz high-sided, his R1 landing in the middle of the track leaking fluids. The race was halted, with Davies awarded the win with Laverty in second and Melandri third.

Sykes finished fourth, about a second back of the leaders, but half a second ahead of Guintoli who finished fifth. The result gives Sykes 287 points on the year and more importantly, a one-point lead over Guintoli with four rounds remaining.

2013 WSBK: Nurburgring Race One Top Five Results

Pos. Rider Motorcycle Gap
1 Chaz Davies BMW S1000RR -
2 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 Factory +0.132
3 Marco Melandri BMW S1000RR +0.366
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R +1.189
5 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory +1.621

Smrz’s crash put a disappointing end to the return of Yamaha to WSBK competition since the manufacturer’s withdrawal after the 2011 season. Smrz, representing Yamaha Motor Deutschland (Germany) finished 12th in Race One to earn 4 points, the first WSBK championship points earned by a Yamaha rider since Melandri won on an R1 at the 2011 season finale at Portimao.

2013 WSBK Championship Top Five Standings after 10 Rounds

Pos. Rider Team Points
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing 287
2 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia Racing 286
3 Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Goldbet 257
4 Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing 247
5 Chaz Davies BMW Motorrad Goldbet 221

[Source: WSBK]

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