World Superbike race one, started on a warm day, with Sylvain Guintoli holding an unassailable lead in the championship with 28 points. At the very best, Tom Sykes could only hope to close the gap as passing him would be a mathematic impossibility.
Sykes fumbled his start while Jonathan Rea took the lead ahead of Davide Giugliano and Sylvain Guintoli, but all this would change at the second chicane when Rea ran off the track and into the gravel, dropping him back to 12th place. Sykes settled into third place ahead of Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri.
As the front five riders made a break, Guintoli in second closed the gap to Giugliano, while Sykes set the fastest lap. Jonathan Rea at this point had scythed his way up to eighth place while Tom Sykes took second off Sylvain Guintoli. Sykes made a few attempts to pass Giugliano, but had to abort them midway through.
Tom Sykes finally made a pass stick on the 6th lap as his title challenge received another boost in the form of Sylvain Guintoli’s Aprilia pulling off track with a smoking engine, ending his immense run of consecutive points in races.
Giugliano stayed with Sykes, riding in his shadow until lap 13 when Sykes set the lap record and decided to make a clean break. Laverty and Melandri were out of the running for second place with Giugliano just having to keep his pace to earn his podium, but Laverty and Melandri had another problem in the form of Jonathan Rea. Rea had slowly been collecting the scalps of Chaz Davies, Leon Camier and the rest to close on fourth placed Melandri. After a duelling few laps, he was able to pass Melandri’s BMW and aim for Laverty’s podium spot, slotting in behind Laverty. With two laps to go, Rea followed Laverty, but his bike just let go smoothly. Both front and back tyre cried uncle and allowed his Honda to gently slide off the track, ending his promising run to the podium.
Tom Sykes won the race comfortably, cutting Sylvain Guintoli’s title lead to just three points. Davide Giugliano earned his second place, putting a customer Aprilia on the podium above Eugene Laverty’s factory bike in third.
As Sykes ran away at the front, another former championship bridesmaid, Noriyuki Haga, fought for a book-ending last place. Sykes was clearly overheating on the aptly named cool-down lap, unzipping everything with zips in an effort to get cooled down. The heat and a lost earplug being the only negatives to his pole position, lap record and race win.
The gentleman took his gentleman’s set.
|1||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'47.274||284,5|
|2||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||7.198||1'47.427||281,5|
|3||58||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||9.484||1'47.949||286,0|
|4||33||M. MELANDRI||BMW S1000 RR||10.323||1'48.098||288,4|
|5||84||M. FABRIZIO||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||18.697||1'48.188||284,5|
|6||19||C. DAVIES||BMW S1000 RR||19.531||1'48.602||283,7|
|7||2||L. CAMIER||Suzuki GSX-R1000||22.412||1'48.519||279,2|
|8||86||A. BADOVINI||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||29.142||1'48.799||276,3|
|9||76||L. BAZ||Kawasaki ZX-10R||36.828||1'48.844||285,3|
|10||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR||37.507||1'48.986||285,3|
|11||7||C. CHECA||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||39.239||1'49.361||276,3|
|12||27||M. NEUKIRCHNER||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||43.334||1'49.458||274,2|
|13||23||F. SANDI||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'12.069||1'50.486||269,3|
|14||31||V. IANNUZZO||BMW S1000 RR||1'30.685||1'51.211||267,9|
|15||41||N. HAGA||BMW S1000 RR||1'30.773||1'51.432||277,0|
|RET||65||J. REA||Honda CBR1000RR||3 Laps||1'48.129||289,2|
|RET||16||J. CLUZEL||Suzuki GSX-R1000||8 Laps||1'48.954||282,2|
|RET||50||S. GUINTOLI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||16 Laps||1'47.944||283,0|