World Superbike Laguna Seca Results 2014

July 13, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Aprilia Racing’s Marco Melandri came out on top in World Superbike Race 1 at Laguna Seca while Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes took the number-one spot in Race 2. Melandri’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli finished second in both contests with Sykes trailing in third in the first event and Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea making the podium in a tumultuous Race 2.

Race 1

Sykes got a good jump from pole position to assume the lead during the opening lap, trailed closely by the Aprilia duo. The Kawasaki ace came into the corkscrew too hot on the first rotation though and had to run off track over the grate, costing him the lead. He slipped back into the field in third-place, with Melandri now leading followed by Guintoli. Ducati’s Chaz Davies was hanging close to the front-runners as well during the initial stages, but suffered an early crash which sent him to the ground hard, forcing him to retire. He was later confirmed to be ok, but did not participate in Race 2 to recover from the impact to his head in the incident.

Melandri and Guintoli maintained position in first and second, with Sykes challenging the French rider with verve during the early stages of the race. As the laps wore on however, Sykes slipped off the pace somewhat and couldn’t contend for position better than third. Melandri was a force on the other hand, lapping near the 2013 record on almost every rotation late in the race and crossing the line over two seconds ahead of Guintoli.

Behind, Davies’ teammate, Davide Giugliano, was pushing hard to contend for a top-three result during the early laps but on Lap 7 nearly crashed, costing him valuable time and leaving him to finish fourth. Giugliano came up on some late race pressure from Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias, who had one of his best performances of the year coming back from well outside the top-5 off the start to finish in fifth, three-tenths behind the Ducati rider.

Rea faced an uphill battle as well, running in sixth during the opening laps but falling to 10th when he ran off track briefly. The Honda rider collected himself and set to work after his expedition, coming up on the rear tire of his teammate, Leon Haslam as the contest drew to a close. Rea built up a multi-second gap on Haslam after his pass, leaving #91 to finish in seventh. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes took eighth followed by Sykes’ teammate, Loris Baz, in ninth. Kawasaki’s EVO entry, David Salom, rounded out the top-10.

Geoff May of Team Hero EBR was the fastest American in the field, finishing 18th ahead of his countryman and wild card entry, Chris Ulrich of GEICO Honda. May’s teammate, Aaron Yates, and Foremost Insurance EBR’s Larry Pegram both pulled out of the contest mid-way through with bike issues.

World Superbike Laguna Seca Race 1 Results 2014
1. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
5. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)
11. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
12. Sylvain Barrier (BMW)
13. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki)
14. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
15. Leon Camier (MV Agusta)
16. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
17. Gabor Rizmayer (BMW)
18. Geoff May (EBR)
19. Chris Ulrich (Honda)
20. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)

Race 2

The start of Race 2 ran much the same as the previous contest, with Sykes taking the early lead followed by the two factory Aprilias. This time Sykes was able to maintain his position at the head of the pack for a number of laps while Lowes’ teammate, Eugene Laverty, who retired from Race 1 with a technical issue, fought to remain in fourth. Giugliano and Elias were challenging the Suzuki rider heavily during the first half of the race, though Laverty remained strong and didn’t allow either rider a line past.

Elias made the move on Giugliano for fifth on Lap 10, but was unable to continue his charge because on Lap 11 Lowes suffered a big crash at the top of the corkscrew. Lowes was a bit too fast entering the turn and clipped Baz’s rear tire, sending the Suzuki rider to the ground hard and forcing officials to red flag the race. Baz, incredibly, was able to keep his bike upright and get it back to the pits for repairs before the restart. The crash proved to be just the beginning of an incident-filled race.

Officials declared there to be seven laps remaining once action was back underway and Melandri got the jump off the line during the restart, with Sykes keeping close in second-place. Guintoli, Elias and Rea were near at hand too, though Elias ran wide on Lap 2, allowing Giugliano to get in the mix for podium position as well.

Proceedings were once again halted though on Lap 3, when BMW Motorrad Italia SBK’s Sylvain Barrier suffered an awful crash coming around the final turn. Replays of the incident showed Barrier on the ground, caught under his bike as it continued to roll forward, with both him and the machine sliding into the left-side barrier wall. The BMW rider was put onto a stretcher and immediately taken to the medical center, where it was later reported that he was conscious and alert, but no details were provided on the extent of his injuries.

Another quick restart, with seven laps to decide the winner was called, and once again Melandri got a great start with Sykes trailing in second. Elias took the opening turns in third followed by Guintoli in fourth, Rea in fifth and Giugliano in sixth.

On Lap 2 of the second restart Melandri went down on the final corner, though in a much less dramatic fashion than Barrier. The Italian was able to pick his bike up and return to the track, but soon after pulled out of the competition. Sykes took over the lead after Melandri’s off and was able to hold there to the finish.

Further back, Guintoli was pushing hard to give Sykes a run for his money in second while Giugliano was picking off riders in quick succession in his attempt to score a podium. The Ducati ace pushed a little too hard though, losing his bike in the corkscrew. He slid off track into the dirt while his bike skidded down directly into the race line, nearly taking out Laverty as it came to rest. Luckily all the field behind Giugliano were able to steer around his downed machine without incident. Laverty pushed past Elias late in the race to finish fourth with Baz in sixth.

The war of attrition gave some riders the best results of the year, including the Bimota duo of Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon, who crossed the line in eighth and ninth, respectively, though still earning no points until the marque reaches homologation requirements. Pegram gave EBR a strong result as well, finishing in 14th, while May took 16th.

Sykes maintains his points lead in the championship over Guintoli, with Rea sitting third, Baz in fourth and Melandri in fifth.
World Superbike Laguna Seca Race 2 Results 2014
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
4. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
5. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. David Salom (Kawasaki)
9. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
10. Leon Camier (MV Agusta)
11. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
12. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki)
13. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)
14. Larry Pegram (EBR)
15. Gabor Rizmayer (BMW)
16. Geoff May (EBR)
17. Chris Ulrich (Honda)

World Superbike Championship Points 2014
1. Tom Sykes, 325
2. Sylvain Guintoli, 281
3. Jonathan Rea, 261
4. Loris Baz, 253
5. Marco Melandri, 217
6. Chaz Davies, 159
7. Davide Giugliano, 153
8. Toni Elias, 137
9. Eugene Laverty, 134
10. Leon Haslam, 133

2014 WorldSBK Laguna Seca Photos

World Superbike Race 1 Laguna Seca podium with Marco Melandri  center  in first  Sylvain Guintoli  left  in second and Tom Sykes  right  in third. Jonathan Rea  Eugene Laverty and Toni Elias at Laguna Seca. Eugene Laverty ahead of Loris Baz  Davide Giugliano  Leon Haslam and others down the corkscrew at Laguna Seca.
Leon Haslam took two seventh-place results at Laguna Seca. Marco Melandri took the Race 1 win but crashed out of the contest in Race 2. Tom Sykes got strong starts every time off the line at Laguna Seca  but was always followed closely by the Aprilias.

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