Sylvain Guintoli

Portimao WSBK Test - Sykes Tops Abbreviated Field After Two Days Of Testing

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leaves the two-day official World Superbike test with his authority firmly stamped on the WSBK field. The Yorkshireman was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, and nearly four tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz. Marco Melandri was six tenths off the pace of Sykes, with the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies setting the fifth and sixth best times.

Neither Sykes nor Baz had much to work on besides further perfecting set up of the Kawasaki ZX-10R. The development work was handed to EVO rider David Salom, who spent time developing the 2015 version of the bike Kawasaki will race next year. Despite the rule changes coming next season, the Kawasaki is still more closer to a Superbike than an EVO bike, Kawasaki manager Guim Roda told German website Speedweek.

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2014 World Superbike Line Up Solidifies: Melandri Signs With Aprilia, Laverty To Join Suzuki?

With the uncertainty surrounding the World Superbike series easing up, the outlines of the 2014 season are starting to become clear. The test after the final round of the 2013 season at Jerez turned into an audition for some of the riders, with riders still searching for a team for next season. 

In the days since that test, news has been emerging of rider signings and team plans for 2014. While both the Pata Honda and factory Kawasaki line ups were known, the future of the Aprilia and Ducati teams was still uncertain, with doubts over whether one or both of the Italian factories might pull out of World Superbikes. Ducati confrmed their intention to continue in 2014 earlier this week, while today, Aprilia have also stated their intention to keep racing next year. Aprilia have also confirmed the signing of Marco Melandri, something which had long been expected. Melandri will line up alongside Sylvain Guintoli for the 2014 season.

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WSBK News: Results Of Race Two Changed After Appeal

The last lap of the second World Superbike was frought with controversy after an overtake followed by an off-track excursion. The results of third and fourth place in the race have subsequently been reversed, following an appeal.

Sylvain Guintoli was overtaken by Tom Sykes and pushed back to fourth place as Sykes chased second-place Marco Melandri. As Sykes approached Melandri at the Variante Della Roggia, he had to run off track to avoid the Italian's rear wheel. Upon rejoining the race, Sykes returned to his place ahead of Guintoli, causing the Frenchman to slow down, ending his run for the podium.

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