WSBK »

Showdown set after Sykes third, Biaggi DNF

Max Biaggi's crash, Marco Melandri's second and Tom Sykes's third in the damp at Magny-Cours reduces the Italian's lead to 14.5 points with just one race remaining; Guintoli wins race.
CLICK HERE to view WSBK Race 1 Results.

The 2012 World Superbike Championship will come down to a final race shootout after Max Biaggi crashed out of contention in the Magny-Cours opener, while Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri slashed his advantage with their respective runs to third and second behind winner Sylvain Guintoli.

A race of high drama befitting of a final round showdown, while the smart money was on Biaggi to inch closer to a second career WSBK title, even from tenth position on the grid, the slippery conditions brought on by earlier rain and cool conditions created a tense setting for himself and rivals Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri.

Indeed, the Italian came into the race commanding a 30.5 point lead, a margin that Sykes understood would require a win to significantly reduce. As such, the pole sitter came out of the blocks fighting, nosing ahead of Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa through the opening turns.

Biaggi, however, was already picking his way up the order, moving into fourth position when Eugene Laverty allowed him to overtake on lap two.

However, Biaggi's hopes of notching up the solid points he needed to seal the title would hit a hurdle on lap three when his Aprilia folded under braking for the Adelaide hairpin. A costly DNF at this crucial stage in the season, it prompted a flurry of calculations as the 25 points Sykes would gain for victory looked set to reduce the margin to just 5.5 points.

That said, Sykes was not having an easy time up front as Rea continued to harass him for the lead, the Ulsterman's perseverance being rewarded on lap five when he slithered to the front at turn one.

Taking five points off Sykes's precious tally, Rea didn't hang about for a response from the Kawasaki rider as he quickly established a comfortable lead over his countryman. Nonetheless, Sykes did get some fortune on lap eight when the closing Checa crashed out at the long turn three right-hander, the Spaniard joining a retirements' list that would grow steadily over the course of the race.

Indeed, with Chaz Davies and Leon Camier already out by lap ten – the latter taking a substantial hit when he came down heavily at turn one -, the race would claim another high profile victim in race leader Rea on lap twelve, the Honda rider losing the rear-end of his CBR1000RR on the exit of turn seven.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Guintoli, French WSBK 2012
Guintoli, French WSBK 2012
Guintoli, French WSBK 2012
Guintoli, French WSBK 2012
Guintoli, French WSBK 2012
Guintoli, British WSBK Race 1 2012
Guintoli, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Guintoli, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Davies, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Melandri, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Davies slides, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Melandri, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Melandri, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Camier, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Davies, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Davies, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Davies, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Melandri, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.