The last world championship race of the weekend would prove as important for the title chase as was expected.
The race start looked like Sylvain Guintoli would copy his start from the first two races yesterday, but both Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes got the power translated into forward movement better than the Frenchman, with Laverty leading Sykes into the first turn. Guintoli slotted into third place ahead of Niccolo Canepa, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. Try as he might, though, Guintoli couldn’t pass Sykes on the first lap.
On the second lap, Marco Melandri pushed past Niccolo Canepa, pushing him a little wide. Canepa, trying to recover his momentum, lost grip and went down. He was able to restart, but rejoined the race in last place, effectively ending his Ducati audition.
The front six, as Davide Giugliano joined in the fun, were a tight pack, with Sykes taking the lead from Laverty, Giugliano taking fifth place off Davies and Melandri passing Guintoli at the corkscrew.
Unfortunately, as all the action was heating up, just four laps in, Chaz Davies pulled into the pits on a bike that had given up. Jules Cluzel inherited sixth place, with Roger Lee Hayden in seventh.
At the end of the sixth lap of twenty-six, Davide Giugliano forced his way underneath Marco Melandri in a block pass that could easily have become a block crash, if Giugliano’s bike had been any more unstable on the exit. Giugliano then caught up to the rear of Eugene Laverty whi in turn was locked in place behind Tom Sykes.
At the end of the ninth lap, having tried the entire lap to improve his position, Giugliano performed the same block pass on Laverty that he had previously done to Melandri, only the exit was a lot less dramatic. For the next ten laps, Giugliano would try to pass Sykes, getting in great positions to have a go, but was thwarted every time by Sykes getting better drive at the beginning of corner exit, and braking late enough not to leave a gap into the corners.
During Giugliano’s hunt to try to pass Sykes, Melandri caught up with the front three and set up formation behind Laverty. As the laps remaining diminished, Laverty made a play to pass Giugliano, but, after an angry exchange, looked for a cleaner pass. He found one with only four laps left and set a pace that Giugliano had to slide the rear a little to match, able to keep his distance from an inquisitive Melandri, probing for weaknesses.
On the penultimate lap, after a dozen laps with the front four grouped together, Eugene Laverty patiently made his move and passed Tom Sykes on turn five. Giugliano made his move on Sykes in his favourite spot, the last corner, and tried to catch Laverty on the kinked straight while Sykes attempted to out-drag him. As Sykes fell into the clutches of Melandri, Laverty was able, with Giugliano, to make a break from the third place battle.
On turn five, Sykes finally lost the podium spot, with Melandri sneaking past. Sykes tried to make a scything pass at the corkscrew, but would be unable to regain a podium spot.
Eugene Laverty held off Davide Giugliano’s inevitable last corner attempt with an unusual line that didn’t cost him any speed to the flag, and won the race while adding up the championship points in his head.
The result, with Tom Sykes in fourth and Sylvain Guintoli in fifth, put Eugene Laverty in second place, only 23 points behind Tom Sykes and one point ahead of Sylvain Guintoli. Chaz Davies’s DNF put him out of contention, 102 points off the leader, while his teammate Marco Melandri, closed the gap in fourth to 42 points.
|1||58||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'23.944||254,6|
|2||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||0.112||1'23.707||253,4|
|3||33||M. MELANDRI||BMW S1000 RR||2.051||1'23.819||251,6|
|4||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||2.304||1'23.964||255,2|
|5||50||S. GUINTOLI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||2.959||1'24.169||254,6|
|6||16||J. CLUZEL||Suzuki GSX-R1000||10.187||1'24.207||249,8|
|7||24||T. ELIAS||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||17.789||1'24.556||246,4|
|8||54||R. HAYDEN||Suzuki GSX-R1000||20.602||1'24.245||250,4|
|9||44||D. SALOM||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22.055||1'24.420||246,9|
|10||84||M. FABRIZIO||Honda CBR1000RR||23.472||1'24.849||246,9|
|11||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR||24.118||1'24.746||250,4|
|12||79||B. YOUNG||Suzuki GSX-R1000||29.563||1'25.131||247,5|
|13||8||M. AITCHISON||Kawasaki ZX-10R||32.565||1'25.082||247,5|
|14||45||D. ESLICK||Suzuki GSX-R1000||51.777||1'24.688||246,4|
|15||59||N. CANEPA||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||1'05.824||1'24.889||246,4|
|16||31||V. IANNUZZO||BMW S1000 RR||1'23.892||1'26.788||241,9|
|17||14||G. ALLERTON||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap||1'26.916||243,0|
|RET||86||A. BADOVINI||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||8 Laps||1'24.925||251,0|
|RET||19||C. DAVIES||BMW S1000 RR||24 Laps||1'24.724||252,2|
|RET||23||F. SANDI||Kawasaki ZX-10R||26 Laps|