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Guintoli overcomes chaos for maiden WSBK win

With Sykes continuing and other riders assuming he had potentially blown an engine, some gesticulation took place between riders as they picked their line around the stricken Sykes. Eventually, Sykes would pull off track, but his lingering presence had served to split the pack between the leaders of what was now Haslam, Smrz, Melandri, Guintoli and Checa, while Davies, Badovini – who was making stealthy progress up the order -, Rea, Hopkins and Giugliano, followed up in the chasing pack.

Amidst the melee, Melandri quickly moved in front of his BMW team-mate, but his 'reward' for the pass into the lead meant he was first into the De Bult as the heavens opened, the Italian coming down immediately, followed promptly by Smrz and Hopkins.

Forcing the red flags to be deployed, the riders returned to the pit lane ready for a restart to be held in very wet conditions.

Declared as a nine lap sprint, the results of the previous lap determined the grid positions for the 'new' race, with Melandri on pole position and Guintoli up to second having come up the order fast in the closing stages of the first phase. Smrz was classified third, but the damage from his fall meant he would begin from the pit lane, while Haslam rounded out the front row. Checa, Davies, Badovini and Rea made up the new second row.

Restarting in horrendously wet conditions, the riders tiptoed their way around the opening bends, with Haslam and Rea emerging as the most confident initially as they moved their way to the front. However, Rea's hopes would be swiftly dashed when he crashed at Dulkersloot, allowing Haslam into a lead that by lap two he had extended to nine seconds.

Looking strong for a first BMW win, the German team could only watch in despair as Haslam slid out of the race from his comfortable position on lap three.

Handing over the lead to Checa, the reigning champion was looking every inch his experienced self as he resisted the attentions of Badovini, who was enjoying a remarkable ride having only started 16th, while Max Biaggi was also making the most of the worsening conditions, the Aprilia rider having struggled in the dry to be a mere 13th when the race was stopped.

Guintoli, meanwhile, having had a second chance to get a good start from the front row, was again towards the back of the top ten and seemingly out of contention. Nonetheless, as the rain began to ease, Guintoli's confidence grew and he quickly moved into the lead group, passing Biaggi with a particularly impressive move around the outside of Ruskenhoek.

His chances of victory were aided further when on lap seven, Checa made an error into Strebben, wiping out his fairly comfortable advantage and being passed by both Badovini and Guintoli.

Having seen Haslam crash out and Melandri go backwards from pole position, BMW still seemingly had a chance to celebrate its first-ever WSBK victory, albeit from the unexpected source of Badovini.




Related Pictures

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Guintoli, Dutch WSBK 2012
Guintoli, Dutch WSBK 2012
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Guintoli, Dutch WSBK 2012
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
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Haslam, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014

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Don-R

April 22, 2012 12:42 PM
Last Edited 948 days ago

@ Ben1 I believe it was a split water hose on Sykes' Kwak. AFAIK it had nothing to do with the other riders crashing, which was due to rain on that corner.

John - Unregistered

April 22, 2012 12:27 PM

The rain couldn't have come at a better time for Max Biaggi, its clear his dry weather set-up wasn't good enough and he was set for a meagre 14th place but the rain came down and he finished just behind checa, good damage limitation. It was obvious that Haslam and Rea were going to bin it in the second part of the race, so obvious.



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