WSBK 2013: Magny-Cours Race Report

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Tom Sykes snapped up a pair of wins at Magny-Cours, setting himself up in good position to capture his first World Superbike Championship at the season finale in Jerez in two weeks.

The Kawasaki rider scored his series-leading eight and ninth victories of the season, giving him a commanding 37-point cushion over Eugene Laverty and 38 points ahead of Sylvain Guintoli. Sykes needs only score at least 13 points in total over the final two races at Jerez to secure the championship.

Race One Highlights

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Sykes got off to a good start from pole position followed through the first corner by Althea Aprilia‘s Davide Giugliano and Aprilia factory racers Guintoli and Laverty. Guintoli separated himself from the other Aprilia RSV4 riders to stay within two seconds of Sykes while Guigliano and Laverty dueled for the third spot.

The three Aprilia riders continued to follow Sykes right through Lap 19 when the race was halted by a red flag after Pedercini Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison high-sided, with his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R going up in flames. The race was soon called, with Sykes awarded the win ahead of Guintoli with Laverty taking the final spot on the podium.

2013 WSBK: Magny-Cours Race One Top Five Results

Pos. Rider Motorcycle Gap
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R -
2 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory +2.146
3 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 Factory +10.643
4 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 Factory +15.687
5 Marco Melandri BMW S1000RR +23.573

Race Two Highlights

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The second race began in similar fashion with Sykes jumping out to grab the early lead. Sykes was again followed by three Aprilia riders, this time with Laverty directly behind him in second position followed by Guintoli and Giugliano. This time however, Sykes was able to build a substantial lead, leaving the three RSV4 riders to fight over the scraps.

And scrap they did, as teammates Guintoli and Laverty remained neck and neck the entire race. Laverty led his teammate for the opening eight laps before Guintoli gained the advantage. The two teammates continued to battle as a light rain began to fall. Finally, on Lap 22, the two Aprilia riders both crashed on the same turn, with Guintoli first low-siding moments before Laverty suffered a slow-speed high-side.

Neither rider was seriously injured in the crash, at least not compared to the sting of seeing Sykes awarded his second victory of the day. Laverty was credited with second place ahead of Guintoli.

2013 WSBK: Magny-Cours Race One Top Five Results

Pos. Rider Motorcycle Gap
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R -
2 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 Factory +11.091
3 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 Factory +11.337
4 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 Factory +23.008
5 Chaz Davies BMW S1000RR +25.724

The 2013 World Superbike Championship concludes Oct. 20 at Spain’s Jerez circuit. Sykes leads the way with 411 points while a single point separates Laverty and Guintoli. The only hope either of the Aprilia factory riders has of stealing the championship is to sweep both races at Jerez and hopes Sykes scores at most 12 points in the last two races.

2013 WSBK Championship Top Five Standings after 13 Rounds

Pos. Rider Team Points
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing 411
2 Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing 374
3 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia Racing 373
4 Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Goldbet 339
5 Chaz Davies BMW Motorrad Goldbet 270

[Source: WSBK]

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