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SSTK: Barrier back in hunt as title rivals fall

9 September 2012

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Sylvain Barrier has revived his FIM Superstock 1000 Championship title hopes with two races remaining after winning a dramatic eighth round of the season at the Nurburgring.

The Frenchman came into the race as one of four riders vying for this year's title alongside Eddi La Marra, Bryan Staring and Jeremy Guarnoni, though by trailing La Marra by 31 points, it was always going to take a mistake from the Italian to play him back into the championship.

However, not only did Barrier get his wish when La Marra crashed out of the race, Staring and Guarnoni's failure to finish effectively rules them out of the championship fight too.

The race began with Staring getting away well from his pole position, shrugging off the later braking La Marra to squeeze into an early lead , while Barrier, La Marra and Guarnoni slotted in behind.

With the top four quickly establishing a margin over the competition, La Marra – who has not finished any lower than fourth this season - could afford to hold station, but his race would come to an abrupt conclusion on lap three when he slid off his Barni Ducati rounding the left-right Ford Kurve.

However, while he was visibly frustrated with himself as he retired to the pit lane, La Marra would receive a break of sorts as his rivals battled on to capitalise on his failure to score.

First to flounder was Guarnoni, the Frenchman sliding off the MRS Kawasaki at turn three from third position to leave Staring and Barrier out front battling for the win.

With Guarnoni no longer a threat behind him, Barrier made his move into the first turn at the start of lap nine, relieving Staring of the lead for the first time and proceeded to immediately gap the Australian.

It wouldn't take long for his efforts to be rewarded as Staring would also come down at turn 11 in his attempts to keep up with the BMW rider. Despite his attempts to get going again, Staring would concede defeat to accept a retirement that effectively puts him out of the title chase.

With his rivals down and out, Barrier coasted to the finish line to claim his fourth victory of the season, a result that reduces La Marra's advantage in the standings to just six points with two races remaining. Staring and Guarnoni, meanwhile, are still mathematically in the hunt, but 33 and 37 points adrift respectively with only 50 up for grabs.

With three of the four front runners failing to finish, Kev Coghlan took full advantage to claim his maiden Superstock 1000 podium on the DMC Ducati 1199 Panigale, the Briton crossing the line in a fine second position.

He was followed home by Alpha BMW rider Markus Reiterberger, who had the honour of breaking his own podium duck on home soil, while Staring'ss team-mate Leandro Mercado was another to post a new personal best to raise some smiles for Pedercini Kawasaki in fourth.

Monza race winner Lorenzo Savadori finished a quiet fifth place on the sole surviving Barni Ducati, just ahead of Fabio Massei, while Christoffer Bergman, Ondrej Jezek, Marco Bussolotti and Matthieu Lussiana all capitalised on the drama ahead to secure top ten finishes.


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