Laverty And Guintoli Split WSBK Features


wsbkPHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli each posted a victory during Sunday’s opening round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island GP Circuit.

Laverty rode his Suzuki GSZ-R 1000 to a dominant victory in the opener, winning his third straight race after sweeping last season’s finale in Jerez.

In his debut race with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty achieved an historical maiden win for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team. Laverty is also the first Suzuki rider to climb on the top step of the podium since the second race at Kyalami in 2010.

Laverty was seventh after the first lap, but steadily made his way to the front, passing Guintoli for the lead on lap 17.

With Laverty pulling away in the late stages, Marco Melandri got the better of teammate Guintoli for second, while Davide Giugliano settled for fourth after losing ground in the final laps. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) edged Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) to take fifth place as reigning Champion and Baz’s teammate Tom Sykes had a difficult time, eventually ending up seventh ahead of Chaz Davies.

EVO riders David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team), NiccolòCanepa (Althea Racing Team) and substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier Glenn Allerton (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) put up an exciting battle, with Spaniard David Salom to come out on top to claim ninth.

Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) scored his fifth career victory in the finale and left the event with the point lead.
The Frenchman was in first place on lap 15 when the race was red flagged, following the technical problem suffered by race one winner Laverty. The Irishman’s GSX-R 1000 engine blew as he was running second ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Baz and reigning champion Sykes, who claimed the remaining podium positions.

Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) was fourth followed by Pata Honda duo Rea and Leon Haslam, while Giugliano’s teammate Davies claimed seventh place ahead of Melandri and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia).