It rained this morning but the rain had stopped by the time the race started, but the conditions meant that the race was reduced from twenty-one to nineteen laps.
Jonathan Rea led from turn one, getting an excellent start in the low-grip conditions. He was able to build a gap ahead of a fight amongst Davide Giugliano, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli. Chaz Davies passed Tom Sykes but crashed out at turn five on the second lap, hampering Marco Melandri's progress as he had to slow to avoid him. Sylvain Guintoli got used to the conditions and caught and passed Jonathan Rea, demonstrating once more that he was one of the better riders in tricky conditions and at the beginning of a race.
On the fourth lap, Davide Giugliano caught and passed Tom Sykes, forcing Sykes wide and making him run off the track. The run-off area was luckily not covered in astroturf and Sykes was able to rejoin the race without losing a place. On the next lap, Giugliano then caught and passed Jonathan Rea while Loris Baz passed Tom Sykes. Marco Melandri started carving through the pack and, after some jostling, Melandri was second ahead of Loris Baz, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea.
At the halfway point, Sylvain Guintoli had over a four second lead ahead of Marco Melandri and the two Aprilias had a better pace than the rest of the field. As the gap between Melandri and Baz increased, the gap to the front dropped. Melandri had a visibly better pace and cut Guintoli's lead at a rate of 1.4 seconds a lap.
Jonathan Rea passed Loris Baz and settled into a lonely third place with team battles ahead and behind him. Marco Melandri made a very kind pass on Sylvain Guintoli, and led the race four laps from the end, but his pit board was shown with an angry face and a down arrow. Team orders were given.
Melandri waved Guintoli past, in a very deliberate way. Team orders were obeyed.
Tom Sykes tried to pass Loris Baz for fourth pace, but Baz was having none of it and made it clear that if Sykes wanted it, he'd have to earn it, but on the penultimate lap, Baz too was shown a pit board with an order to lose one place.
Sylvain Guintoli won the race ahead of Marco Melandri, playing the part of the obedient teammate, taking, as he put it, one step back to take two forward. He made it clear that this was part of the job.
Jonathan Rea didn't have the luxury of a teammate ahead of him and took the last spot on the podium on his own. Entering the last chicane, Loris Baz slowed rapidly, letting Tom Sykes past as Baz shook his head disappointedly. He too played the role of the teammate and Sykes signalled a thank you, with a thumbs-up and a wave for Baz as he crossed the line in fourth.
Team orders have always been a part of World Superbike, but never before have they been so blatantly displayed. They were used to reduce Sykes's lead over Guintoli to just nineteen points, Guintoli being gifted five points to Sykes's two as a result of their teammates giving them their places.
The French fans got their Marseillaise, but under rather sheepish conditions.
|1||50||S. GUINTOLI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'54.200||251,7|
|2||33||M. MELANDRI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||2.257||1'54.013||257,8|
|3||65||J. REA||Honda CBR1000RR||5.954||1'55.034||268,0|
|4||1||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||15.670||1'55.426||247,7|
|5||76||L. BAZ||Kawasaki ZX-10R||16.149||1'54.751||262,8|
|6||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR||29.411||1'55.742||262,8|
|7||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||57.319||1'55.837||264,1|
|8||57||L. LANZI||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||59.306||1'57.372||240,5|
|9||27||M. NEUKIRCHNER||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||1'12.274||1'58.056||235,8|
|10||52||S. BARRIER||BMW S1000 RR EVO||1'22.931||1'58.889||248,3|
|11||59||N. CANEPA||Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO||1'39.670||1'59.920||236,3|
|12||11||J. GUARNONI||Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO||1'42.886||2'00.018||239,5|
|13||71||C. CORTI||MV Agusta F4 RR||2'03.253||1'59.843||248,8|
|14||67||B. STARING||Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO||1 Lap||2'00.733||242,2|
|15||9||F. FORET||Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO||1 Lap||2'03.009||232,3|
|16||74||N. SALCHAUD||MV Agusta F4 RR||1 Lap||2'04.397||240,0|
|17||32||S. MORAIS||Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO||2 Laps||2'00.958||232,3|
|18||99||G. MAY||EBR 1190 RX||2 Laps||2'07.905||209,3|
|19||58||E. LAVERTY||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2 Laps||1'58.221||250,0|
|20||10||I. TOTH||BMW S1000 RR||3 Laps||2'13.656||196,4|
|RET||16||G. RIZMAYER||BMW S1000 RR EVO||12 Laps||2'05.838||232,3|
|RET||20||A. YATES||EBR 1190 RX||12 Laps||2'09.307||230,8|
|RET||212||X. FORES||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||14 Laps||1'56.673||234,3|
|RET||21||A. ANDREOZZI||Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO||16 Laps||2'08.416||234,3|
|RET||24||T. ELIAS||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||17 Laps||2'00.202||232,3|
|RET||22||A. LOWES||Suzuki GSX-R1000||17 Laps||228,3||1'37.270 284,2|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||18 Laps||236,8||1'37.021 294,3|